Thursday, August 5, 2010

What I've Learned - July I Believe Challenge

Well, I'm finally back at the keyboard.  I needed a brief break after a month of posts almost every day.  I took Dani Fake-Webb's July I Believe Challenge because I wanted to see how committing myself to a post every day would affect my blogging and the internal process that accompanies the blog.

I learned a few things - about myself, about writing, about the world of blogging and about what I believe.  Most of the time, even on the touchy topics, I didn't have much trouble actually writing down what I believe.  Now sometimes what I believe shifts and transitions, or I hold two opposing or paradoxical ideas.  But actually stating what I believed came easy.  The sixty or so posts I wrote before I started this challenge eased some of the fear of speaking the truth.  Sometimes I still falter and hesitate, but I'm less concerned about attracting criticism or dissent - and I've found warm and supportive encouragement for being authentic in this space. 

However, I did find the every day format a bit daunting.  I felt ideas wanting to percolate, to simmer, to reduce down to their essence but posting daily forced me to serve them up before they reached the proper internal temperature.   Sometimes they felt too fast and underdone.  I found myself writing from my head instead of my heart.  And the process that drove the creation of this blog needs more feeling and less thinking.  I've done enough academic writing to know my strengths and weaknesses in that venue.  This blog is more about depth and feeling and poetry.  While some of the topics definitely stirred feelings in me - the pressure to comment on the topic today limited my creative energy and shifted me back to the comfort zone of writing from my head.  I need time to let the ideas bubble to the surface a little more to access the depth and feeling.

But the exercise proved interesting and even fun.  I enjoyed making connections with others writing on the exact same topics at the exact same time.  I wished for more discussion on some of the topics where others expressed varying viewpoints or nuances of a topic I hadn't considered.  And I felt supported and encouraged by the comments and discussion that did occur.

Blogs, and social media in general, are funny little creatures.  This blog has allowed me to find my voice, to an extent, and to begin to speak my truth.  It supports my process of becoming.  And still, even though I have a few welcome readers along, I find it is mostly for me.  I write here to work out in words the feelings and ideas working on me.  If my words resonate with anyone - that's wonderful - and the connections I've made cannot be measured on any scale of worth.  But even if no one ever read, the writing itself carries worth for me.  I admire the bloggers who post something beautiful or creative or profound on a daily basis, but I've discovered that my posts need a bit more time between.

Thanks Dani for the challenge.  And I'm beyond delighted at the new connections I've made.  But for now, I think I'll go back to a pace that seems to suit me a bit better, posting a couple of times a week, when inspiration strikes.  That's what I believe works best for me.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely like the "when inspiration strikes" approach. It seems that once I said what I really needed to say, my blogging pace begged to slow down a bit. It's almost as if I've gotten over myself a bit, and now, what I write is more for me and less about the feedback.

    The connections with others, however, are the best. Such amazing people exist out here....people I've known forever and some I've never met. The encouragement to keep on writing because our experiences have value for others is so delicious.

    Keep on writing, Sistah.....your inspired, occasional, awesome writing....