Lately I've been thinking about the real purpose of blogging. I'm finding that it's like a house; it needs daily and weekly maintenance. Sometimes I'm tempted to pretend that it doesn't exist so I can go back to my "normal" way of living. But is normal always best? For nearly 18 years I was a smoker, and although it was normal for me to start the morning on the back porch with my coffee, smokes, and the current book I was reading, that lifestyle had to change. And sometimes I wonder, is blogging like smoking without the carcinogens? I suspect I'm not alone in feeling like I've plugged into something that won't let me go. The Redhead Riter's blog subtitle is "witty, intelligent and addictive".
In a recent blog frog discussion, Redhead shares an advice list for bloggers who want to be successful. Between practical tips like "include a feed" she repeats the line "be real" as if it were a blogger's meditative mantra. For many many bloggers, being real, telling the truth, and writing honestly is the golden rule. The naked truth is important because we can't always share our reality or explain the complexity of our feelings to people we live and work with. In the daily moments of face to face interaction, everyone wears masks and performs roles. It's not intentional that we do this. It's bound up in the expectations that we perceive others have for us.
I want to believe that I'm always truthful, and that I write from the real emotions and issues I'm experiencing. But I also am conscious of emphasising the positive. No one likes a whiner or a miserable pathetic complainer.
I could go on telling little, true stories every day here at the Knees and Paws blog. But the challenge for me "lies" in writing something that's not only honest, but relevant to people who are kind enough to spend five minutes here. The challenge is to keep things fresh, interesting, and suspenseful (will my patent be submitted on time and accepted???). I could go into the heart of things and talk about how I feel alternately free and caged working from home. But then I have to ask if there's an interesting story to carry me deeper into that issue. It takes a lot of quiet, meditative listening to draw out things like that.
I began this blog as a way to chronicle my journey into creating meaningful work for myself through my own business, to tell the story of how it began. To see the miracle of it unfold. To inspire others to take their lives into their own hands. To show that intention and faith are the wings that help us fly over circumstances. I don't have any answers. I'm just going to keep it real.