Blogging doesn’t feel like real writing. This doesn’t mean I don’t take other blogs seriously. I just don’t think of my own blog as legit writing. It doesn’t provide freedom to brainstorm like a journal, and it doesn’t allow me enough time to make the words into a piece of art either. It’s an avenue for me to look at my thoughts through the lens of others. It’s also a way for me to feel heard. I always appreciate when someone tells me they read my blog. It allows me to reread entries, imagining what they think while reading my words. It also motivates me to blog when the negative thoughts convince me I don’t have anything worth saying.
Chris, a friend from the first writing group I ever participated in, asked me to critique his blog recently. Quick Back Story: He and I come from a small community, we discovered–through a piece he’d written about his grandmother–that we’re distant cousins. Hence why he gets the name Cousin Chris for his blog. Check it out. He’s a beautiful writer. He’s been an older brother figure to me, and I’ve been meaning to write him a letter about how highly I think of him. I’m way behind in my mail, so for now he gets a half-assed YOU ROCK in this entry. The point of all of this is that Chris offered to critique my blog entries in exchange for my feedback on his. As a writer, criticism is a good thing. I’m honored when someone, whose judgment I trust, offers to critique my writing. Chris offers great constructive criticism while encouraging me. His offer made me realize I don’t want criticism on my blog. If I know my writing will be criticized, I get stuck trying to anticipate the criticism. It really slows my process down. I start obsessing over every flaw (And there are always so many flaws in a first draft).
I’m a slow writer, because of my perfectionism. If I put the energy into my blog that I invest in my other writing, I wouldn’t blog at all. A blog lets my loved ones follow up with me when I don’t have time to give each one of them an update. I treat it like a mass e-mail. So, here I am–trying to convince myself I didn’t betray my writing by turning down an offer for free criticism—in front of an audience.
RATIONALIZATION: As a writer, I try to put myself aside, for the sake of art (Any artist will tell you it’s impossible, but we try!). When I don’t treat my blog as art, it is harder to put myself aside.
In all honesty, I contemplated starting this entry over. I take pride in the “embarrassing sincerity” maintained on here. It’s not like I ever write anything ultra personal, but I do try to capture my thoughts without judging them. I will not erase this entry. I’ll push publish after I type the period at the end of this sentence.