Help! Someone stole my blog post ideas!
Oh, wait. That was me.
If you’re saying, “What is this crazy lady talking about?” then I’ll admit that I’m saying that too. Here, let me try to explain…
Lately, I’ve been writing poetry, so much so, that I created a new blog. It’s called Evening Poetry, “sharing words when the sun sets.”
Why did I branch off?
2.) I was worried the intensity of my poetry might be too much for my readers. People have been kindly keeping up with my blog these past three months without poetry included. Maybe introducing poetry would be too much of a shift in writing styles.
3.) I felt too different. It didn’t fit my idea of what a “mom blog” should look like.
There you have it- three honest reasons I created a poetry blog. I’ve been rethinking the separation, so I will address each reason.
Yes, Your Mercies New is a great platform for sharing what it’s like to be stuck in the mires of depression. And I know it has been encouraging and uplifting to some people, because I’ve received positive feedback.
But- the ORIGINAL reason I started my blog was for myself, if I’m being honest. I needed a creative outlet. I needed to let out the words that had been bottled up for far too long. As I just wrote on my other blog:
“these words are a balm upon my lips
opening a window to let fresh air flow
through a room sealed shut for far too long”
I follow a blog that gives blogging advice, leaning heavily towards the idea that the blog is all about the readers. I think it has gotten in my head, making me overthink what I’m posting. If I leave out the personal aspect of my blog, what is there to connect with as a reader?
And, like I said, I originally created it for my own mental health, so I can think of it as a work of art. I know from experience that if you do commissioned paintings (what other people want) for too long without creating something for yourself for fun, that art will lose its personal meaning.
Then there’s the stats… Anyone else who blogs knows what a trap the stat page is. After clicking publish, my gaze becomes focused on how the readers are responding. I can see how many people view, like, and comment in one day. It can make me think a post was good or bad, even if I originally felt moved to write that piece, enjoyed the process, and felt pleased with the final product.
WATCHING STATS STEALS THE JOY. And yet, it’s so hard to stop! It even inspired a poem from me the other day:
Why should I explain myself
with words and gestures that knock you down
like a wave crashing upon shells and sand,
then dragging you back for more?
No, I will only weave my thoughts
and leave them hanging with the mist-
the decision to walk into the fog is yours.
I will air out my head
and move along my path,
solitary unless you join.
For I will not force an alliance
or clench your shirt in my fists,
begging for your loyalty.
My lips are sealed-
yet still they move.
Let’s face it- mental illness and all that it entails is intense. It’s enough to make someone shy away by casually mentioning it in conversation, like I admitted I had done before in Forgive Me For Not Asking. I worried I would push people away with it.
But it has been so healthy for me to write about postpartum depression, particularly in the form of poetry, which wraps it up in a tight little emotional package. Maybe I NEED to share the intense poems because others might connect with them as well.
Oh, insecurities. I just reread my post The Greatest Of These Is Love, where I voiced my worry that my posts about depression were coming across as bitter. A friend just encouraged me that if I’m glorifying God with my blog, then I shouldn’t worry about the rest. Thank you for that! I will take it to heart.
When I chose to make a separate poetry blog, I was having a hard time reconciling the sane mommy life that I am daily grasping for (if that’s even possible to attain!) with the deep emotional embrace that poetry requires.
That makes me ask myself this question: If I cut out the poetry, am I rejecting a key element of ME that makes Your Mercies New unique? And more than that- Am I trying to separate those feelings from my identity as a person?
In the past I was tight lipped with my emotions, only sharing them with the closest people in my life. Blogging opened up the flood gates, helping me be real and vulnerable. It was a big step for me.
Looking back, I realize that not only was I scared to share, I WAS SCARED TO FEEL. I fought off the natural urge to cry or look downcast when I was having a tough time. Instead I plastered a smile on my face and forced myself forward on my merry way. I choked down the tears and bottled them up. Doesn’t that sound unhealthy? I assure you it was. I don’t want to push away the feelings anymore…
I’ve read posts about how to make your blog unique. They say the “trick” is to find your niche. Make yourself stand out in a way that is different from everyone else in your category. Obviously, easier said than done to figure that out and accomplish it successfully. And what is the goal with that, anyways? To make it big? Have lots of followers?
I’m actually not sure what my niche is, but you know what? I AM DIFFERENT! God makes each one of us unique, and he gave me the ability to express myself with pretty words that paint pictures.
Another good friend also encouraged me a few days ago to write when and what makes me feel good, since this blog is for the benefit of my mental health.
So here’s the plan:
I will share my poetry on Your Mercies New when I feel like it pertains to the things I’ve been writing about.
I will continue sharing one poem a day on Evening Poetry, for those who really love poetry and words.
Whew! That was a lot of introspection. Kudos if you hung in there. Can you relate to any of those feelings? Do you ever struggle with sharing? Do you ever try to suppress your feelings like I sometimes do?