So I need to get it out of the way. I get writer’s block when blogging, or tweeting or facebooking about my personal life & what to share. The advice out there is that I should write about my everyday life as part of my author’s platform. You know, I should tell you about my day–if I think the clouds look pretty, what I’m eating for dinner, where I drink coffee and what kind, if I have worn a hole in my favorite pair of socks (my laundry–I’m told to describe it to you, the norm, and comment on your laundry, if your dog chewed the remote control.) I should also provide you with the small dramas of my life–if I scored delicious vegetables at the farmer’s market, if I stood in the warrior pose for over 10 full breaths, if I crashed the car into the neighbor’s tree for leaving it in neutral and failing to put on the parking break, if I didn’t plant a garden & got so angry at its absence that I refused to do one moment of yard work until I had to push mow tall grass this summer, if my oldest daughter currently has a sass mouth only with me & I’m tired of doling out consequences and discussing right choices today. at. this. moment. sometimes., if she also earns As in school, if strep throat has been my nemesis already this season, if the library and a beer at the pub are my idea of a good time in my normal life, if Amsterdam is my idea of a good time when I take a break, if I’m running and failing to reach my target mileage since I gave birth & I also need to give myself a break b/c I broke my toe and kept on running with a purple appendage b/c I just need to run on some days<–yes, all of those are true. [I'm also advised to end this paragraph with phrases like, "So there you go!" in order to feel liberated from social networking writer's block.]
You see why I would rather create characters, take a walk, live live live. But, all of those social networking strategies are touted as essential to any artist's platform. I plunge in, thumbs ready. I enjoy reading & writing, don't get me wrong, but I'm weighed down by the time and demand of social media, of interacting on and personalizing a huge message board. I go back and forth about whether or not this transparency is a good thing, an essential component to human culture, or if it would be better to stick with my basic bohemian lust for the bare necessities. I write this all on my notepad on my phone right now. I see the irony, but there's still a shiver up my spine about that, about how complicated it is to do what you love & try to make a living at it while discussing the personal or what I think about all of the "hot" topics out there. Soup, anyone?
Sometimes, You might simply want to say, Look at this, read this–Here's an article, an interview, about a group doing important work, something informative. But in reality, many people just want to read about your dinner, your sassing, breaking your toe, and the like so they can like it. I think this transparency is a product of our economic trends and its a way to support that system = I'm not supposed to get too deep, too cerebral, so I'll stop there.
And, I'm here… in my office above the garage in my house, and I have recently read a friend's status update that notifies me that her daughter also has a sass mouth. I might as well tell you that I'm currently starving and have been interrupted five times by the phone ringing. I drink too much coffee & haven't had enough this morning. My dog wags his tail. He needs a haircut and so do I. So do I. We'll leave it at that for now. Not so nicely wrapped up so that it still has the feeling of a cross between an admission between friends and my laundry list.
Ah, yes. Maybe the spell has broken and I'll do this again sometime.
It is all terrible pressure. I can relate to everything you wrote. The worst part for me is the paralysis that results from my perception that there is a perfect way to do this so that everything works out exactly as I hope. But I do not know what the perfect way is, so I sort of just get stuck, wondering what the exact right perfect way to do this might be…
(My kids sass and also fight like maniacs sometimes. I like soup. I have no bodily injuries to report. I like to breathe for as long as possible in relaxation asanas. I think it might be the only time I actually breathe.)
You are so right–the pressure causes the paralysis. Sometimes I start writing a blog post or a status update, and then I delete it before posting it. I feel so self-absorbed, thinking, why would people want to read about my personal struggles. Today, I was talking to a friend about this and she said, “If you tell me about some your problems, then I can relate to you more.”
Yes, breathing during yoga, I actually take full, deep, conscious breaths that reach all the way into my solar plexus.