As with most things in our lives, finding time to enjoy ourselves seems to become more and more difficult as we get older, until we retire, or possibly win the lottery (the good lottery, not like Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery“). Since I have returned to work full-time, I have found it challenging to make time and get my thoughts in order to write a coherent/education/fun blog for all to enjoy.
The Five Steps of Grief…and/or Blogging
Denial and Isolation
When I first began publishing my writings on the internet, I was going through a physical and emotional change in my life. Technology was my greatest buffer between me and the outside world, which I did not have much use for at the time. I used my blog to keep people away from me physically, preemptively answering questions about my condition in order to avoid talking about it face to face. I was trying to escape answering the same questions over and over by sharing everything I was feeling and going through at the time. It worked well, up until the point I was censored.
After a handful of somewhat personal, yet very emotional blogs had been posted, I was told to remove them by my accident lawyer. They were afraid that I was going to divulge something that might hurt our case against the person who unsuccessfully tried to drive through/over me. This request infuriated me. I was writing my version of the truth, which was not an easy thing to do to begin with and I was being rejected by my own team. I was finally able to write my emotions down in an effective and positive way, but was told to stop, right when I thought I was making progress. Instead of bowing to their demands I simply protected any blog about the motorcycle collision with a password and only granted it to those readers whom requested it (which was maybe three people). When the insurance claim was complete, I rejoiced by removing the password protection on those early blogs.
Once the restraints were off, I began to explore writing about my life and observations away from the topic of my leg and the recovery process. I went back in time and introduced some journal entries from a once in a lifetime motorcycle trip I shared with my father through some of our amazing National Parks in the United States. The more I wrote the more I seemed to garner some positive attention. Slowly but surely, I started gaining some followers. Whether they enjoyed my writing, or were just being the great friends I know they are, they were feeding my desire to write creatively and share my ideas with a larger audience. They were the inspiration for me to produce results at a faster pace, while remaining conscience to maintain the quality of my writing. I decided to sell my soul and began posting links to my blog on all the latest and greatest social media sites. I was turning into a site visit stat whore. Every new visitor was feeding my need to post something new, whether it was worthy of reading or not. I joined local social media groups in order to further promote my site. I pretended to care about other websites with the intention of using them to help me. I stopped writing quality blogs and found myself putting out filler, just to have a site that was active.
I did not care for the kind of social media junkie I had become. I decided to make some drastic changes to my online presence. Eventually I was able to regain control over my social media addiction by quitting cold-turkey. No more “likes” from online friends, no more tweets going out over the interweb. My site views statistic dropped drastically, but my creative writing was improving. I no longer needed to write just to have something to publish, and I began to write like I had in the beginning, with a purpose, but with less serious topics. I took the lack of public views hard at first, realizing what a great tool social media is when you have something to sell. As I have nothing to sell at the moment, I realize I am a better person for not living my life through other people’s online shenanigans and making snarky comments at the cost of little pieces of my soul.
The final stage of blogging is acceptance. I accept the fact that I am writing for me, and me alone. My audience size really doesn’t matter, provided I remain true to myself, my goals and my ideals. I write nowadays about new experiences, new adventures and I look to the future for ideas and inspiration. I use social media sites to promote my blog, to keep my Photography 101 peeps in the loop and to share our pictures with whomever is interested in seeing them.
The future of this website is not yet written, as a matter of fact, the site has been changed drastically in the last month or so. I hope cyngle.com continues to change, evolve, get stronger…which is the same wish I have for my writing skills.