It has been nine long months since I last posted to my blog. Pondering this duration, I’m not sure if I should be more embarrassed by my own consistency or excited about how life has progressed. The gestation and birth of so much love in my life over the past nine months has been almost too beautiful to describe.
My last post was on January 22nd, right around the time I was building the photo book that I would present to the love of my life while asking her to marry me. This creative project consumed my attention because I wanted the proposal to speak love as a lasting memory to the most creative person I’d ever met. Scheduling challenges with family and work forced our wedding into the last week of June and it took every bit of effort that we had available to make a beautiful wedding happen with so little time. After traveling to Santorini and Rhodes for a lovely honeymoon, we settled into a home in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood.
Since our return in early July I’ve struggled to resume blogging. While considering why it has been hard to begin writing again as well as why I tend to start and stop with blogging, I’ve made a few discoveries. I’ll share them here in case you can relate to them in your own creative efforts and also for my own processing.
Blogging vs. Keeping a Journal
My first discovery is that I tend to mistake writing for a blog with keeping a journal. When I first started a blog I hoped that it would motivate me to keep a better record of my life since I would be sharing it with others. The problem with this approach is that our lives require too much editing to make a blog interesting. This means that I fail to document my own story because I am waiting until I have time to carefully process, write and edit it for the blog. A journal needs to be a place where memories are captured quickly and where the focus is on remembrance rather than presentation.
One of the ways that this affects my blogging is that I hesitate to post about recent events if I haven’t documented something significant in the past. It would throw off the chronology of my like journal-like blog. With few exceptions like my closest family and friends, I don’t think the rest of you care how much of my story is missing in the blog. When I look for a good to blog to follow I am more interested in thematic development than an exact chronological sequence.
Blogging as Performance Rather Than Conversation
My second discovery has been that I blog too much as a performance rather than a conversation. I used to spend months pouring over WordPress themes looking for the perfect presentation. The time spent beautifying my blog would have been better invested in actually writing. Once I do write, I hesitate until I have the time to put significant work into each post. If we’re going to write, of course we should put our best effort into it but my problem is holding back until I believe I have the optimal content to share. It is more important to keep a conversation going with those who read your blog, keeping both the reader and writer engaged with your content.
Capturing Ideas & Inspiration
My third discovery is that I don’t carefully capture the inspiration and ideas that will inform my next posts. Most of life’s most interesting discoveries come when you expect them least. They are thoughts and ideas that occur to you in moments when you don’t have the time to stop everything and write them down. I’m starting to keep a list in OmniFocus of headlines for blog post ideas that I discover. What’s even better is when I take a moment to grab a pencil and write down a few thoughts connected to the idea for a post in my Field Notes memo book.
With my ideas captured I’m much more likely to spend the time scheduled for writing, actually writing rather than trying to come up with an idea to write about. As a result of these discoveries, I’m going to keep a more consistent journal but not on this blog, I’m going to focus less on my blogging performance and more on staying in conversation with those of you who take the time to read it, and I’m going to keep a running list of blog posts ideas. I’m back to blogging once again and I look forward to reconnecting with you!