15:38. Why do I feel so blocked again, from posting on this site? I think it’s because I no longer understand its purpose.
When I started my second blog on WordPress, that purpose seemed clear; it was to engage with the extension of the word “sober.” Sober: this word I had long detested and written off. “Serious, sensible, and solemn.” Oh no, I wanted no sombre feeling, I wanted only playfulness, wildness, cheerfulness. But finally, I had neither extreme, so I decided to relax on my linguistic nitpicking, and go for “sobriety,” after all; a further-developed word, that seemed inherently cheerful and optimistic, had a natural joyful ring. The jury’s still out on its future; it lives only in the present day.
But here, on this place I called Bloomwords, what was I doing here? I know I had a few different objectives, rolled into one blog: I wanted to share or show or experiment with aspects of my writing work; I wanted to find like-minded community; I wanted to share or show writing techniques, tips or tricks that I’d learned from experience or from others; and perhaps, build some kind of creative portfolio.
Then something changed. I’m not sure exactly when, or how; and those ideas which I do have as to why, I’m not ready to elaborate on yet; but something changed.
I suddenly became even more fearful than when I started this endeavour, and believe me, I was fearful when I started it. Who among us isn’t, or at least, wasn’t, in the beginning? To share one’s creative work is to expose the life of us, at least if we’ve done well; “done well,” meaning, shared some kind of truth, some kind of personal story. Even if the story, or the poem, in some cases, is said to be fiction, it comes from some place inside ourselves; it comes from our own base of experience.
We may read another’s work and think “what a great story, this has touched the soul of me.” Meanwhile, we may share our own seed of truth and think, “what shame lurks here; what bad soul have I, that I could have produced this textual offspring, or that this could be part of my story.” At least, that’s how I often feel, about much of my own output.
Anyway. I feel a sense of friendship still lingering here, and I still want to post things for friends. What kind of things? Imperfect things, nonsensical things perhaps, mental meanderings, class notes, book notes, old work, half-thought-out partially-read-book reviews, and recommendations of other blogs or creations.
But I do that, or I overdo that, or even under-do it and/or undo that, and then I feel awful, like such a failure inside. And then I feel terrible for feeling that way. Such neurosis! I never in a million years would have imagined myself as a future neurotic, years ago. But perhaps I was already one then. It took me so long to understand the meaning of the word. Or perhaps, I only inhabited this term when I learned it…
I have published some strange things recently; some pieces with very good intent to connect friends from here and there, but which perhaps missed the mark; or offended others by unintended omission. Other pieces driven by some reactive force against perceived negative feedback, the latter of which I now disparage and cringe at and can’t even bear to re-read. I’ve made those posts private; put the lids on them to let them pickle a while; perhaps they belong only as preserved organs in my own little natural history museum, or perhaps they must be incinerated as operative waste. Or perhaps, like some previously-made-private posts, I’ll one day quietly make them public again.
I made both of my entire blogs private some short time ago, and even thought about giving up blogging completely; but I missed the feeling of community I’d found here, and I missed these spaces with which to connect with others. I then tried the method of only consuming, reading others’ blogs, once again; input without output; but somehow the community relationship feels one-sided that way. I want to give as well as take, talk as well as listen.
And that’s how this all began… I’d read blogs for so long, that finally, it only made sense to produce one, or several.
Besides making selective posts private, I have done other odd things. I’ve recently removed nearly a hundred followers. I got tired and quit, but might later remove more. I’ve removed followers from both blogs, before. That doesn’t make me look nor sound too good, perhaps, but it makes me feel good.
I suppose I like things cozy, or more real, or seemingly controlled, depending how we look at it. Those followers did not interact (unless I’ve clicked a few of you by mistake, which certainly is likely; I’m still a digital klutz; for that I’m sorry). They/you can always follow again, for better or for worse.
I felt like this: I could maintain a blog with hundreds of silent “followers,” and feel intimidated, and ultimately not write for anyone; or I could maintain a conversation with a core group of existing or potential friends, and continue for a while yet.
I admire those who can allow their “followers” to accrue, and just write from their heart without ever looking back, without ever self-judging, only casting their view outwards and onwards. But whether that’s more or less evolved, it’s certainly not me.
I sometimes idly wonder what the ratio is, of women whose blogs ultimately disappear, versus men’s. I remember one female-identifying, anonymous blogger who followed me here on Bloomwords in the very beginning, also with a flowery name. I genuinely liked her blog, very much, in fact, and followed her back.
She was a brilliant community-builder, she soon had thousands of followers, and many long and insightful comments on every post, instigated by good questions, which is how she always finished each piece. Then she deleted (not made private, but actually *deleted,* at least according to what she said) all her past posts, and blogged truthfully about that.
Then she nearly deleted her entire blog, and blogged about that. She was one of my favourite bloggers due to this fascinating meta-blogging narrative, somewhat like my own at times but completely in her own style, and further along the path, thus more experienced in the blog-world. Many of us, her followers, gave long, personal replies, spurred by her queries, and by her honesty and generosity, to reveal our own truths, anxieties and/or encouragements. She received those replies so graciously, and efficiently, with a simple line or two of thanks. May they rest in peace.
One day she changed her blog’s name, then another day, changed it again. Then, finally, she disappeared.
“This domain is parked,” says the Internet, if you visit her old URLs, now.
But she was so sparkly, so truthful, so friendly, so kind! What happened to her? I miss her. I miss those words by wildflower…
Perhaps, she needed more mud; perhaps, she will return as a lotus.
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