I had a brief conversation on Twitter last night about my blog. The original poster stated that her boyfriend had logged into Twitter and scrolled through her timeline. He noticed all the writing she had been updating the world on that she had not mentioned to him. He was upset. She asked Twitter Writing Community if we regularly share our work with friends and family or if, we too, find it easier to share with strangers. I responded that only a handful of friends know where to find my blog. I don’t think any of my remaining family even know that I have a blog. My friends rarely share things that I post to my “professional” Facebook page. I don’t blame them. I’ve struggled to update the website and the Facebook page since my mother died.
Someone else responded to the OP but asked a direct question of everyone else. Why? Why don’t we share more with the people we know. Shouldn’t they be our most significant fan base? Why are we embarrassed?
I’m not embarrassed. I put the work out there and don’t mind at all who finds it. I’ve struggled with it the last few years though. The blog has had many different sites and even forms (it was a sort of newsletter while I was deployed in the military on several occasions). But, the purpose was always the same: to keep my parents informed of the foolishness their youngest was up to. It was a sort of one-way conversation with them. Here’s a blog post about a show that I’m currently watching. Here’s another about happy cows (that started a thing for some time). Here’s tonight’s story from deployment that is really just a way of letting you know that I’m alive and everything is okay (I mean, war zone, so sometimes things were not okay). I don’t know that the deployment stories ever made it to a formal blog. They were emailed out to a small distribution list, and then Mom had another group that she shared them with.
Then Dad died. This event didn’t really affect the blog or my writing at all. I still had my audience of Mom. Mom still needs to know of my shenanigans. But then, Mom died, too. Now I’m at a loss. I have ideas, thoughts, things to write about, and photo ideas that I want to explore. But no audience. I never formally addressed a blog post to either of my parents, but in my head, when I was writing, it was to them. Who really cares about my exploits now? Why should I sit down and write this thing that I’ve been thinking that would be really timely if I did it right now when there’s no one to address it to? This is why the blog and many other creative ventures have floundered since April 26, 2015. I don’t really know how to fix this problem.
In a vain attempt at kickstarting something, I have decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. For those of you that don’t know NaNoWriMo is an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. The big project is every November. Writers from around the world push and help each other write a 50,000 word (minimum) novel or project. On July 1st, I learned that NaNoWriMo hosts two camps every year. These camps are basically the same idea, but the writing goal is self-set. The camps take place in April and July. I signed up. I set myself a 15,000-word goal for a series of short things. Stories. Thoughts. Grad school papers (if I post it on my blog, IT COUNTS). Whatevers. Happy cows. You get the idea. Fifteen thousand words is a little less than 500 words a day. I’m probably not going to do 500 words a day. Some writings might be shorter or longer. But, each one will be shared. Will. Be. Shared.