Lot’s of new and exciting changes are coming to my blog! It’s nerve-wracking for me, but exciting for you, I hope! While I am in the process of making the change, I have had to remove my youTube links 😦 So some posts might seem bare, but just wait! Bigger and better is on its way!
Call me introspective…blame my last post. My last post, lots of comments. Stuff. People’s stuff. My stuff. I have been wondering what my place in this universe is. Well, wait. No. What my place in this world is, yeah, not that either. What my place is in the
writing blogging writing world. My dirty little secret? Not only do I love to write, but I really want to be a writer. A real writer, one with a modicum of success. Why is it a secret? I cannot tell. Oh do I lie, of course I can tell. But I want to believe that I do not know how my psyche works. I want to pretend that I am not as defeatist, as self-deprecating, as distrustful of my own abilities, as I am. Because maybe I’m not. My sister does not possess any of those traits, yet she was raised by the same people, same place, same time. Birth order? Nah, don’t buy it. We have no “middle”, just us, so it can go 50/50, that’s not enough for me. I mean if I am none of those things, and there is no obvious reason why I cannot be successful, then maybe I can be successful.
Things have gotten a little out of control lately. I started this blog about two years ago. Originally in the form of a personal blog/website to be an informative platform. I wanted to help people, by sharing what I knew about my son’s health issues, what I did about them, how to move on. The blog was on a lame platform, it wasn’t a “real” blog, it got ZERO traffic. That doesn’t mean I didn’t think about it. It stuck in the back of my mind, it would not come unstuck. It whispered into my ear, in the middle of the night. Angry Jen “what did you do? did you start something and not finish it again?” Healthy Jen “you started something wonderful, you should keep doing it.” Angry Jen “don’t bother, what’s the point? It’s not a real job.” Healthy Jen “this is your dream, this is what you want, writing makes you happy, do it.” Yes. I am that conflicted. No. I am not schizophrenic, because I recognize the conflict.
After a year, I couldn’t deny it any longer and I transferred the best of what I had created onto this blog. Instead of transferring posts, I condensed and edited and created informative “pages”. Then I released the muse, which in my case is a cross between Woody Allen, Christopher Moore, Jennifer Crusie and throw in any 70’s DJ worth his salt. Eclectic, I know. I started to write again, I didn’t really know how to get any traffic. I had no idea what I was doing. I linked my blog to my personal Facebook page. Most of my friends were indifferent. I blame myself. I wrote. I got very little feedback. Healthy Jen was in her element and happy to write. Angry Jen was so sure that she was failing and that this was ridiculous. The thing is, both of my personalities can operate simultaneously so I don’t actually have to make a decision. Nice, I know.
Then something did happen, sadly I can’t even remember the chain of events leading up to this, because nothing about my writing career had seemed important enough to commit to memory. Another blogger reached out to me and asked me to join her community. I felt honored, and I felt like a fraud. Guess who was who. But as I said, cancelled out, so I joined. I participated, things began to happen. People began to know I existed. I admit it, it felt good. The more I participated, the more my reach grew. The more my reach grew, the better my writing became. I needed the competition/camaraderie/practice to get better. But I still felt like a fraud. Bloggers need a niche. That’s what I’ve been told, if you are going to be a “successful” blogger you have to find your place. What? Place? I don’t think so, I don’t fit into any “category”. They won, I felt cornered. I picked parenting. Now what. Yes I am a parent, yes most of my writing moments are inspired by parenting or marriage. But not all of them. It’s not WHY I write. I write because I have things to say, they demand to be released from my brain. I have things to say and I take great pleasure in forming the right words to fit the thoughts that are coming out of my head often times faster than I can write. Sometimes what I say is witty, sometimes it is sensitive, sometimes it is completely insensitive. Always it is me, not my niche.
I got really ahead of myself, I got scared, I got confused about what I was doing. I was neglecting my son, neglecting my house and neglecting myself. Neglecting myself because I was only writing what I wanted to write half of the time (and not showering, but that’s nothing new). The other half of the time I was writing what I thought my niche me should write. You know what, the percentage could even be higher (to the niche side).
I have to admit, once I feel like I have been “accepted” into a group I admire, I will do anything in my power to stay there, and continue to “earn” my acceptance. Often to the point of losing myself. I did it in real life as a kid, and I regret it to this day. It’s like Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful (somewhat obscure 80’s movie where the character of the lost soul is Eric Stoltz to our Molly Ringwald, he’s not a chick), or some after-school special. The girl (or Eric Stoltz) is awesome, but she doesn’t know it. Someone in the “cool” world recognizes it, and the girl (or Eric Stoltz) will do anything to stay in that world. The thing is, it never works out in the end. Not ever. And the girl (or Eric Stoltz) goes back to the world where she (or he) came from, and realizes how wonderful that world was all along and how they always knew she (or he) was wonderful too. Great metaphor. Only problem? The end part is a hollywood ending. This is not Hollywood. Nope. So, instead of me going back to my world where I realize everyone already knows how awesome I am and being content with that. Jen’s real-world translation is. I stop trying to fit in with the cool kids, I write what comes in my head whether it fits a topic or not, if a topic speaks to me, great. If not, pass. I know how great I am and how cool I am. I cannot expect everyone around me in my physical reality to understand that. But I’m gonna stick with my crew. I have a feeling that someone special saw me for who I was, because the post she liked the most, was probably one of the most honest I had written up until that point. I think she saw me. Not niche me. Healthy Jen me. I’m gonna go that way. I’m gonna stay with the people who helped me to realize the dream by quieting the angry Jen.
And because where would I be without these wonderful ladies, here is my shameless plug Lisa Nolan of Life Happens Then Write (and many other blogs) has created an amazing community of blogging women who support each other and share in each others moments, Mom’s Who Write and Blog. That is where I belong right now. So if things slow down, and you stop seeing me everywhere, that’s why. But if you want to join us, jump in!
See you soon! I’m gonna write, write like the wind, to be free again……….
And for those of you who did not get half of my references, this is for you:
It breaks my heart to even say this, but if you’ve NEVER seen Annie Hall, you would have trouble grasping the acute
neurosis humor, behind this post so here’s a little help
16 thoughts on ““I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.””
We are all many different people at different points in our lives. I certainly don’t fit in any specific niche. I am going to be myself and just see if a niche develops. I loved your post!
Thank you! I was actually scared out of my wits to post it. I scheduled it, unscheduled it, scheduled, unscheduled, then finally just hit publish.
My wonderful existentially introspective, struggling daughter. You are not of my blood, but of my soul. It is an art, so study other artists with appreciation. Fly free with discipline.
Thank you, I know you know the real me ❤
HI HONEY, YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORK TOO HARD TO BEEEEEE A WRITER.
YOU RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR A WRITER AND A REALLY GOOD ONE TOO.
LOVE YOU LOTS
PS LOVED MICHAELS NOTE
Love you too 🙂
Hey, you. I appreciate this post so much, because I also struggle to find my “place” in blogging. I alternate between not caring and being sad that I’m not gaining more traction. But then I look at around at who is gaining traction, and I’m not so sure I want my blog to look like theirs. It’s all a process. Glad you joined our little community, and I look forward to reading more from you. xo deb
Deb, thank you so much. It really is a hard road isn’t it? The why’s and how’s and even should I’s. I agree about realizing that maybe what I thought I wanted isn’t what I want it to look like now. That’s where I am and I really want people to read my blog because they like to READ my blog. Not because they have to out of a courtesy. Maybe that means I’ll get 20 hits a day, not 100. But no matter. Again, thank you. ❤
And of those 20 hits, I happen to think you deserve an award for being yourself. So i nominated you for one:) Check it out LOL!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you….. I sent you a message, because I didn’t want to get all gushy here. You are an angel, and I am honored!
Jen, you had me at Woody Allen and “Some Kind of Wonderful”?! Only one of my favorite movies of. all. time. That ending? Perfect. I had it on VHS and played it ’til the machine ate it. I love this post because you described how I’ve felt so many times over the year I’ve been blogging. It’s so fitting that you linked it to the blog hop because that’s one of the things that drove me to start it in the first place. There are so many wonderful people out there in this big wonderful thing we call the Blogosphere. But sometimes it can feel like you’re fighting to be heard or to belong. It can be a bit polarizing. I wanted to start my own corner of the ‘sphere where everybody could come and hang out and feel welcome and I’m really happy that so many of you came. Really fantastic writers and people to get to know and read. Good eggs, ya know? I’m gonna check out the writers’ community you mentioned and of course my blog hop will continue. Because, as Woody would say “We need the eggs.”. 😉
Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me, your blog is one of the ones that keeps me thinking, I can do it my way. I wasn’t kidding about it being my favorite hop, you truly get all types and it makes me feel like I am really sharing my “writing”. And, Woody Allen lives in my head, pretty much 24/7. Also, I played the soundtrack to “Some Kind of Wonderful” on cassette over and over until it wore out and broke!
I have no clue about my place in blogging. Or in life for that matter. I have only been blogging for about 6 months. But I’ve been writing my whole life. There’s a weird crappy balance between trying to find out what people will come see versus what we care about. And a new pressure that comes with blogging to actually do it more often, link up, etc. I’m glad people are finding you. I’m glad I found you. Your voice is amazing. Your writing is great. your son? well..he’s f’ing perfect. As you know. I’m SO glad we found each other HERE in the blogplace. Huge. TTTx10 mwah.
I appreciate your honest introspection, and can identify on many points. I wanted to blog for a long time, but kept telling myself I had nothing worth sharing, thought I had to find a niche. I started blogging in February, and feel SO fulfilled now. Found a couple blogging sites and started getting to know some other bloggers. Recently had 400 page views in a two hour period, and started to panic=what am I DOING?! 🙂 Found you on HonestMom’s linkup today!
Thanks so much for commenting. I am looking forward to checking you out. I feel that sense of panic once a week at least!
I haven’t decided what blog ‘niche’ to belong to, but at the moment I’m mostly writing to practice the art of writing to entertain, to entertain my friends (and whoever else pitches up)and to share the nitty gritty of my two miscarriages and impending, medically induced infertility because having read other people’s blogs around these issues has been SO helpful I can’t begin to explain. I feel that if, by sharing my experiences, I can help one other person facing these issues (though I understand that it would be more of a solidarity or a ‘phew, that’s the same for me’ thing rather than actual ‘help’) then I am able to give back.
Your post is very thought provoking but I would worry that the Woody Allen quote holds an inherent dislike/disapproval of self. You’ve said you hear the different aspects of yourself in conflict quite clearly (which is good) but all of them are part of you, and you are more than the sum of their parts. I recently struggled with this kind of thing and my lovely Husby said to me (quite stroppily, after listening to me whinge) “If you were a vegetable in a wheelchair and could DO nothing, your friends and family would still love you, just for being who you are.” As hard as it has been to come to accept that, that is the truth. You matter for you, not what you can do or whatever other successes (or, indeed, failures) you muster.
I’m glad you found your group. With luck I might join you in ‘Mom blogging’ one day – it’s a great (and maHOUSSIVE) niche.