One of the problems with blogging about your personal life, is you’re…well…blogging about your personal life. Over the last year I felt like it was a really good thing. I felt really connected to other women (and men) going through a divorce and it gave such a great outlet for finding humor within the painful experience. It also gave me a way to write about real things instead of just imagined ones. I don’t know. It was liberating.
And I felt supported. Loved.
So maybe when I received a message from a friend today that my constant Facebook status updates and blogging are a cry for outside validation, it hurt because it’s partly true. I have been looking for it. For me though, the validation has come more through the process of writing through my own experiences and finding meaning within them. I didn’t really think I was looking for that from other people.
Then when I had trouble in my dating, I did the natural thing. I wrote about it. Was I looking for help and validation? Yes. Was that wrong? Maybe. I’m starting to think maybe it was. I’ve enjoyed sharing my life through words. Not because I want to be in a spotlight but because so many people have written to me and said “I feel the same way you do” or “life is hard but you somehow find a way to laugh through it”. And everyone in the publishing business has encouraged me to connect through the media, to use social networking sites because you’ll find new readers. You’ll get your work out there.
Now it’s out there. Today though, I’m not feeling too good about it. Are bloggers and people who tweet and do Facebook desperate? Do they need attention? Is there something wrong with them or is this a new way to connect with people and share life experiences and laugh through the suffering? I don’t know anymore. I don’t know a lot of things.
I know I work hard. I work to keep writing because I feel a deep need to create for whatever reason. I work to connect with people. I work to support my family. I’ve enjoyed my blog and tweets. Of going through the day and trying, every single day, to find the funny within it. I don’t always succeed, but most days I do.
I guess I need to think about this. Where’s the line between putting your work out there and being a writer, and when do you just come off as sounding desperate?
I’m sincerely grateful for all the support I’ve received. For anyone who reads my blog or my books or any of the work I put out there, thank you. It is validating. Writers write, and until their words are read, it doesn’t feel like the process is done. It’s like baking a cake. You mix everything but it’s not a cake until that baby is baked, cooled and frosted. THEN and only then can you eat it.
(I’m so close to saying “EAT ME” right now, but will refrain.)
I don’t know the answer to any of this. Do I NEED validation? Do I NEED input from others? And if I do, am I okay with that?
Part of me wants to stop writing, stop promoting. But you know…I tried that in my marriage and it nearly killed me. I disappeared for a long time. I don’t really want to disappear again.
So maybe that’s the truth. My truth is I write because it helps me connect with people and it helps me feel alive. And I’m not ashamed of wanting to share my work with people. If you don’t want to read it, you don’t have to. Many don’t. But if you do…it’s here. I’m here. And my words continue the way my life does: awkwardly, full of errors, and deeply, deeply human.