At the beginning of December, I had a 30 minute FaceTime call with my friend Micah Murray, who I have written about before. Micah runs the Clumsy Bloggers workshop that I’ve participated in, and he made himself available to us for some one on one time about issues we experienced as bloggers. These are the things I identified that I wanted help with:
- I’m a counselor, and I often struggle with how much to tell. My personality is to tell it all. My training is to tell nothing personal. So my question for Micah was how do I find a balance that feels comfortable both personally and professionally?
- I’m the mother of three girls who are 22, 24, and 26. My oldest two are married. One lives six hours away and one lives here in town. My youngest recently graduated from college and is looking for a full-time job. She also currently lives at home. Sometimes I feel a bit of snarkiness about my writing from my girls. Not always, but sometimes. One of them commented that my pictures look too “stock photo”-ish. When I wrote about my marriage and how to continue pursuing your husband after 30 years of marriage, it would not be an exaggeration to say that my married daughters (and maybe their husbands) were appalled. So I wanted to hear from Micah about how he’d advise navigating the world of writing about my life and family without feeling like my kids, parents, siblings or relatives might be judging me.
- Finally, I wanted some advice about why I find it so difficult to make time to write. Surely there’s a magic potion or something that he knows that I don’t. I know this isn’t true, but I wanted to hear from Micah about what was making this so hard for me? I love writing. I process life best with words. And the truth is, I often don’t make time to write or to process.
I’ve never met Micah in person. We’ve spoken by phone and online several times but never face to face. It was fun getting to see him as we talked. Hopefully, one day our paths will cross in real life. I’m old enough to be his mother, and I’d love to give him a hug!
In some ways, I felt like I’d been to “blogging counseling” after we hung up. Micah helped me to see that it was okay to block my family from seeing my blog post when I shared it on Facebook. That doesn’t mean they won’t stumble on it themselves, but it does make me feel a little safer as I put myself out there with my writing. The pressure I was feeling about how much of my story was okay to share and what would my girls or family members think about what I was saying was daunting. It was as if every time I sat down to write I was second guessing myself. What would the girls say about this post? Would my family be alright with what I was trying to say in this one? Knowing I could take some editorial control felt good.
We talked about where I was writing. I described where I write and what a lovely view I have from where I sit. We live on 13 acres of land and it is beautiful and private and calm. Micah suggested I write in Evernote instead of actually on WordPress. Writing for writing’s sake instead of writing a blog post feels safer. I can write, edit, review, re-write, and ultimately choose whether or not I’ve written something I even want to publish. Then it’s easy to copy and paste it into my blog if I want to. This practice has been helpful.
So I’m going to keep at it. One Evernote entry at a time. I hope you’ll continue to join me.