On ‘The Book’ and a Return to Blogging

I think I was around 15 the first time one of my friends, upon hearing bits and pieces of my life story, said to me “you should write a book about your life!” and thus the idea of ‘The Book’ started to follow me around.

I always thought, yeah, one day I’ll do it — I even started a few times but quit after retraumatizing myself writing about certain events. I had false starts when I was 20, then 24, and again at 32. But there was another barrier. As much as I wanted to tell my story I didn’t think people would care to read it, and even now embarking on that journey I maintain that to be true. Truly, most people aren’t going to care, but in taking on this project I don’t think that really matters to me anymore. At the base of everything, I write for myself. I want to hold a book in my hands that I put my heart and wisdom into and beyond that I don’t expect anything else.

Now, I’m 37. I’m a mom. My life is stable and healthy and my psyche has been held and protected like a baby for long enough that I feel I can finally take it on. I started the year with a goal of writing more, but that goal is vague and insufficient to hold me accountable. So I added an additional goal: I will finish the book, whatever that may look like. It’s May, and I’ve been plowing forth with steady progress since January but I’m finding myself wanting to write more than ‘The Book’. There’s an excess of words, of stories, of feelings.

I used to run a daily blog, which I started when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I wanted to document my pregnancy and motherhood. However, 4 weeks after my son was born, his father and love of my life passed away very suddenly and the blog became an outlet for my grief instead. I’d post every day, sharing my feelings and what I was going through. It was a coping strategy but it was also survival. I felt so alone, just me and my newborn, and I wanted a witness. I wanted someone to know I was alive and trying.

Then, at some point, there were too many witnesses. I got freaked out by the numbers and stopped. I could blame it on the social phobia or stage fright, but looking back I think it really came down to impostor syndrome. I was struggling with the attention and why anyone could see value in what I had to say. I am doing better in that regard these days and finding my worth but as always I’m a work in progress. I’ve reached a point where I don’t care if my work gets attention, but I’m getting more comfortable with praise. It is what it is, and as long as I’m happy with what I’m putting out there, the rest is roses.

So hey, blog, I guess I’m back.


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