Cross Posted from Polka Dots and Rainbows:
I’ve been feeling rather uninspired of late, mostly because this is a rather stressful time for me. I’ve got an ECA to write for the creative writing course, and tomorrow I will probably be working on it all day. I’ve got stress spots on my chin (nasty red ones, yuk) and since it’s 3am in the morning (UK time), I’ve also got insomnia. I’m sure I’ll go to bed soon after this post!
Anyway, Vanessa at Fashion and Beauty has written a series of three posts (linked at end of blog) that have inspired me and helped me to reflect on where I want to go and why I am blogging. I’ve noticed on Twitter and some blogs that people are worried about trying to get more followers and having their blog ratings go up. It’s something that most people go through when they are blogging – it starts as a venture in writing and putting your thoughts out there, but then when you get people commenting, it can then sort of lead to worries about whether you are writing content that people will enjoy. I’ve had a few blogs in my time – one was a feminist blog that eventually overwhelmed me because I felt I couldn’t be myself within a certain element of the community. I went on a journey – one that had a few learning curves along the way. I learnt that it is better to be true to yourself than try to mould your blog content to fit into pre-defined categories.
However, there is nothing wrong with wanting your voice to be heard or wanting people to read your writing. Blogs are not private, they are out there in the world for people to read, stumble on and bookmark. I’m happy with just a couple of people reading my blog and commenting – after all, I understand that most people read many, many blogs and don’t always have time to comment. I’m guilty of this – of reading lots of different blogs each day and not commenting, but this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what people have written, it usually just means that I don’t know what to say or don’t have enough time to write thoughtful comments.
I love the internet – I’ve found so many inspiring things – feminism, the fat-o-sphere, fatshion, deaf blogs and writing blogs – that have enriched my life and injected me with more enthusiasm when I am running low. This happens a lot because I am at a crossroads in my life. I’m a writer, and I know I have to understand that this won’t necessarily get me paid a lot of money, but it’s my dream. Writing and reading are my driving forces in life – I love to learn and write about my thoughts, feelings and opinions. Blogging is a way for me to connect with other like minded people, people I might not meet in my everyday life because of distance, money or time. The internet is a truly wonderful thing (but also needs caution!) when you genuinely connect with others. Communities are forged and friendships made.
Mostly, its been my experience in the past few years that finding what you want to do with your life and where you want to go needs patience. After doing my MA, I felt kind of deflated. I spent a year before my MA and then the year after my MA sort of floating around, looking at jobs, feeling depressed and volunteering. Then I did a summer course in creative writing, and I finally got it. I had to get up the courage to tell my nearest and dearest that this is what I want to do – write. I’ve always been a writer, but sometimes it went on the back-burner and took second place, or third place, to doing my A Levels, getting my degree and all those other things. I’m 25 and it was only last summer that I figured it out.
Doing the diploma in creative writing with the Open University means I’ve finally found my voice. I’m feeling more confident in my abilities to write both fiction, non fiction and poetry. I feel less like ‘I want to be a writer’ and more like ‘I am a writer’. There is a place between the two when you feel uncertain about yourself, and need more confidence, less self doubt. Life is about being unafraid of taking risks – embrace your dreams, don’t be afraid. Its hard to go on that journey of self discovery to figure out what you want from life, but I’m proof that eventually, you will get there. I’m only just starting myself, at 25 years of age.
Vanessa’s inspiring posts are here (read each in turn, and don’t rush over them!!):
2. Are You Taking a Grip of Knowledge?
3. OOOH You Make Me Wanna Shout!
I hope she inspires you as much as she inspires me!
p.s. All images from We Heart It
3 thoughts on “Food For Thought”
Oh Liz, what a beautiful heart felt post. I have your comments on my blog and I will reply soon and possibly one of the reasons I haven’t done so sooner – with all the replies on those posts it because I wanted them to settle without any more input from me.
My mother is also a writer, albeit part time. She just had three stories bought by People’s Friend. When the first story was published just recently I’ve never seen someone so excited. It gave her a real boost because before she was a little lost and rejection letters didn’t help. But she persevered and honed her craft and she finally made it happen. I’m so incredibly proud of her and anyone else who puts their creativity into a product format and the next level is of course selling that.
I know a few published authors and their first book deal or story sale is always the sweetest. I’m going to follow your journey!
I am glad my knowledge has had some meaning to you. I have learned a lot over the years, doing a job that family or friends didn’t think would earn money or wasn’t traditional. You have to cut through that and follow your heart.
You have the skills and it just takes patience and honing your skills.
Remember what I said about ‘having the answer to someone’s question’? Always believe that as you progress.
Please make sure you check out information coming soon on my ‘Get A Grip’ newsletter. I’m posting it shortly.
Thanks for sharing my links on your home on the web. I’m humbled, truly.
Hi Vanessa, thanks. Your posts really did inspire me, particularly since I’ve been feeling quite low recently. I’m glad your Mum has had three stories published – what an achievement! 🙂 It’s stories like that which give all us struggling writers some hope. Being a writer can be quite lonely, so its lovely when you see a community of people supporting and inspiring each other.
I’ve signed up to your newsletter, so I’m looking forward to reading it. 🙂
Much love and best wishes,