Who Is Listening? Who Am I Writing For?
I love writing publicly, which I can easily tell by the fact that as soon as I discovered online writing (LiveJournal, circa: back-in-the-day) I almost entirely stopped my private journalling and have been thinking out loud on the internet ever since. I get a HUGE satisfaction from having an audience, from getting comments, from seeing my stats, etc.
“Lifestyle” bloggers, the sort of niche-less catchall category into which I fall, are the ones I see mocked most often (well, there’s the scrapers, but I don’t even count those). We’ve got big egos, I hear. We just like the sounds of our own voices. We think we’re awesomesauce. Well, yeah. I agree with all that. I DO love the sound of my own voice, and I DO love my own writing. I blogged for years with none-to-few comments. I love knowing there’s an audience out there, but I don’t require a ton of feedback. I do, in fact, just love talking about myself.
Many of the things I write are advice, which is a certain kind of writing. It’s a kind that must, by definition, involve a receiver. Someone must be being advised. I definitely appreciate it when someone enjoys my advice or finds value in it or makes changes based on it.
But another awesome thing happens as well. Since I like my writing, and I like my ideas (obvs!), and I work so hard to get my ideas down into manageable chunks, I am able to give myself advice.
Because, you see, I’m not always the same person from day to day. My moods change. My priorities shift. Especially as a person with depression, I can forget things that are really important when I get lost in Everything Sucks Land.
Just this past couple of weeks, I’ve had a really hard time with Dylan and with sleep. He’s been nursing almost constantly through the night. I was tired. On good days, tired is okay. On depressed days, tired turns me into cranky, bitchy Issa, which is not a great combo with a sweet baby who just wants to be close.
Fortunately, I had just written the post Good News and Bad News About Childhood Stages, and it was fresh in my mind. I’m able to tag back to that advice in my mind and take my own word for it that this stage will be over before I know it.
I have other bloggers and writing I look to for advice, as well. There’s a yahoo group I belong to that really improves my parenting. Ariadne at Authentic Parenting writes amazing posts that are just what I need.
And it’s also just really nice to have this own record of my own thoughts so I can be there for myself when I need to be reminded of what I think matters.