New year, new possibilities, new groove.
We're loving our wide-open days. The boys are signed up for swim lessons. They're in the same class together, it's just too precious for words. The older one spent an afternoon at a Lego robotics class and another afternoon tubing with his grandparents; the younger one and I have been loving the time spent together, just us, and did you know he talks a mile a minute when his big brother's not around?
Too precious for words.
This little girl of mine, she's cooing and rolling and giggling like mad. I am so over-the-moon in love with her magical self. She's - you guessed it - simply too precious for words.
Words. The idea of them has been on my mind for a while now. I love words. I love the feel of them, the shape of them, their sound, stringing them together, arranging and rearranging, getting them just right, the whole process. It's grand.
I don't know if you can tell, though.
I've been trying too hard these past few months. Sometimes I'll close my eyes and let my fingers fly, but too often I'm cautious, deliberate. It's not enough to just write anymore. No, now you have to have a perfect picture to go along with each post. Bonus points if it has text on it - makes for a better pin, you know? Add share buttons to the bottom of each post, and then share that post like mad yourself (don't forget to consider optimal share time on the various social media sites - and you are on all of them, right?). Find out what your readers want and then give it to them! Don't write about too many different subjects, just carve out your one specific niche and stick to that. Lists are best, people like lists. Update your layout, get a blogging calendar going, and don't forget that engaging with your Facebook page is nearly a full-time job in itself. You really ought to try vlogging once in a while. And it's been nearly six years, when are you going to get that About page published, don't you know how integral those are?
Then I read similar thoughts from Megan and Heather and I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, and wasn't that really why we all started blogging in the first place? To know we weren't alone, to let others know they weren't alone? We're all figuring out this life as we go along, and it's comforting to hear that we're not the only ones who don't have our crap together. You mean it's not just me who still feels like I'm pretending at this whole "adult" thing? Awesome.
But lately it feels like blogging is less about writing and more about marketing. I don't want that. Not for me, not for you.
Yes, there's you. And that's the other half of it, isn't it? I'm honoured by your presence here. I value your time. It's precisely because of that that I've been fighting with myself for a while. There's a little voice in my head telling me that if I'm not going to write a "worthy" post, then I shouldn't bother to write at all. With all this stuff that goes along with blogging now, part of me feels like if I want to be a serious writer, this is the cost, just go along with it. But another part of me is shouting forget it! I don't have time for all that, I'm busy living and loving and all I want to do is bang out a few words in my few spare moments for the pure joy of it.
Always the frustrating cycle: I want to write, I love to write, but there are all these blogging "extras" now and I just don't have the time or inclination to get sucked into all of that, but then why bother blogging at all if I'm not going to keep up with the whole blogging "culture", but I want to write, I love to write...
While our little family is feeling our way into a new groove this year, I'm feeling my way backwards. I'm reaching for my old groove, where I wrote for the sheer love of it. Perfect pictures be damned, forget fancy titles, I don't have any lessons to share because I'm just as lost and imperfect as you are, you beautiful soul.
I'm not sure which to apologize for - sorry for getting sucked into it or sorry for tossing it all away again - but I'm just happy to be settling back into the good ol' blogging days. Maybe it was useful to try out a few new things, consider some different possibilities. This is my year of being open, after all. But now I think I'll be open to simplicity again, open to old ways, open to doubling back when the path beneath my feet no longer feels right.
I'm rediscovering my old groove, and it feels unbelievably free.