I meant to start a blog last spring. I really did. But my goal was derailed by many different realities of Mommy world:
1. Potty Training. Nothing saps my energy for starting something new as quickly. I cannot fully articulate why potty-training can get me to the state of Goldie Hawn’s character from the movie Overboard, blubbering “bu-bu-bu” insensibly faster than anything else. And it’s not just physical exhaustion–it’s a mental exhaustion. Try writing from a place of mental exhaustion. Having potty trained three times, each was harder than the last. (And they say girls area easier??? Ha! After about 6 months of absolute inconsistency, I did finally chill out though. Just got to the point where it ceased to bother me, and I said, “Well, you know what to do about that,” after yet another accident. And she’s so cute, it’s hard to stay annoyed long.)
2. Sleep issues. I write while kids are sleeping, by definition. Hence, any reluctance for napping or nightmares–any sleep issue at all–and the time I intended for blogging disappears.
3. Outgrown crib. Related to, but slightly different than the above. Once my youngest started slinging her leg over the side of her crib and climbing down to open her door herself, a writing sanctuary I’d counted on in the past disintegrated.
4. A box of tissues torn to bits. Or crayons (streaked on the wall). Nail polish as war paint. You pick which of these and many other substances a supposedly napping child got into. Obviously, this follows the outgrown crib problem. No matter how far in the writing zone I can get, my daughter’s tattle-on-self confession shouted through the door always manages to break it. And there usually was just no coming back before nap time was over.
5. Fear that you will ruin the keyboard with all the drool escaping your mouth when you nod off. Everyone else is finally sleeping, and you have time to finally….zzzzzz.
6. Similarly, fear you will whack your forehead or chin on the desk and need stitches. You’ve caught yourself falling asleep so many times, jerking yourself awake every few minutes, you know the possibility is real.
7. Time. When you keep doing “one more thing”–confiscating the scissors, cleaning up the water spill, telling your son to quit whipping his sister with underwear, saving a number into your phone before you forget, folding laundry before it’s so wrinkled in the basket you have to re-wash it (yep, really have done that rather than iron all items)–and then realize such tasks delayed going to the bathroom which you had to do desperately an hour ago. It’s the kind of dogged pace that makes you question adding any goal to your to-do list.
8. Lack of mental space. Lack of time, in this stage of my life, not only challenges writing time but steals the mental space to even think about what you could write when you have the chance. This, I think, is the real difference between being the mother of babies versus the mother of walking/talking children. When my kids were pre-verbal, I was very busy caring for them, but many tasks left my mind free to think about things, plan things. THAT is why I was still writing prodigiously back then. Writing is so much more a task of thinking than even writing. The space to think is GONE now–my mind is constantly engaged with solving problems and in conversation. And while that is a really good thing -(who better to converse with than my kids? And what is more amazing than seeing the world through children’s eyes as they discover?)–it poses another challenge for people who need to be contemplative enough to have anything to communicate.
9. Doubt. Doubt that anyone wants to read about the stuff that makes up my life. It’s hard to find energy to write about things far from my experience right now–because I am enmired in the experience of raising children 24/7.
10. Lack of conviction that I have anything to say that hasn’t been said. How many bloggers have been writing for years about children, all things baby, homeschooling, natural health? Zillions. I have not been passionate about starting a blog in the past–because I did not believe I had anything to offer. All the niches have been filled. It’s all been done. I bet there’s even a blog on how to knit mini clothes for eggplants!
But the final two are the real reasons. The others, I realize, can be waited through or surmounted when I’m passionate enough.
But that is what I had to get over–the idea that the purpose of blogging is to offer something unique in a world where unique content is hardly a possible goal. The goal of a blogger now cannot be what it once was in 2010 or 2005. So my goal is different. I just want to have conversations with people who care about some of the same things I do. I want my blog to be a place where friends from near and far can share a little more deeply and personally than facebook allows, where we can get beyond a status update and a comment. I’m not trying to fill a niche or be an expert, but just to be me in a world where maybe a few will share in the journey and we can have rich exchanges as I write on education, kids, art, writing, books, or whatever else comes up.
So, to make this conversational, can anyone relate to, or add to this list, of reasons why you aren’t blogging/writing/creating right now?
To make this inspirational, can anyone share how they got past this list and channeled the creativity anyway?