Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Have This Blog

I have this blog. I have this little corner of the internet stored on some server somewhere just to lay down my thoughts and tell my stories, but I only post in it once a month at best. I have great, commited blogger friends who post every day some anecdote or revelation and I am jealous of them. I found out the reason for this phenomenon only recently. While reading a book for class it all made sense. I opened up Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, a revolutionary writer, poet, teacher, and painter, to find an echo of my feelings about blogging and writing in general. The fear, paranoia, and pride that Natalie Goldberg describes I feel every time I sit to make a blog post.

My biggest fear about blogging is that no one is reading. I have been told that people still follow their RSS feeds and check up to make sure I'm still alive. I know that I have thousands of followers in thirty-three states and seven countries that have looked up my blog, but I always have that nagging fear that, "no one cares about it" (Goldberg 130) and that I am only writing for myself. I should be accepting of that, writing for myself, but I am not. It is not enough for me to simply write something and have it sit here for an eternity unread. I need to know not only that people read what I write, but also that they find it somewhat interesting.

That wanting to be interesting is difficult because previously on this blog I was going through the dramatic steps of dying and being pulled back from death. I often see my, "life as dull" (Goldberg 182), just because I am not in the hospital. I wait to blog about something extraordinary that I always expect will happen. Not only was I dying when my life was interesting, but the record of that dramatic event was being recorded by my parents who are eloquent and articulate despite hiding their affinity for writing in fancy Biology Phds. In general, "most people are smarter and more talented than I am" (Goldberg), but I never expected that when I read my blog I would be inspired by my parents' talent for writing. I thought that I could win with no contest there and so when I read something on the blog I often get intimidated into not writing because of the dullness and blandness of my life and writing. I am constantly surprised that I am only comparable with my parents, not exceptionally better.

I know I am a writer though, so I continue to try. I am a writer because I live from "first thoughts, to the place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness" (Goldberg 11) most of the time. I can be polite, but if my friend asks if their hair looks nice I will sometimes say no and I told someone when I was eight that they weren't the person they thought they were. I am a writer because I can usually recognize and express my first thoughts before they are edited out by what I 'should' say. This I know I can bring to the blog in every post.

This blog is called Emily's Atrium. Atrium is not only a play on the heart, but it is also an entrance, a passage, or a walkway. By no means do I consider what I write here to be complete. I consider it a passage. See, I know most of the readers on this blog think I am strong and brave, that might even be true of my writing, but like most writers, "as people we are wimps" (Goldberg 153), and I want to please everyone around me more than I want to be brave. I will enter this atrium and try to express my ideas as first thoughts, but I am often staggered by my parents eloquence, my own apparently monotonous life, or my fear that no one will read what I write. This blog is a passage for me to visit my past and my friends, but it is hard not to look at what I have done and not feel bored.

I have written beautiful writing in the past like my letter to my donor, but I have to not let that terrify me into never writing more. Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones reminded me this week that it is acceptable to only use this atrium as an entrance instead requiring every post to be interesting and insightful. I love the world and I live in first thoughts so I am a writer. Whether anyone finds my life as interesting as my near-death is unimportant to my identity as a talented writer.

Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Boston, Massachussettes: Shambhala Publications, 2005. Kindle EBook.


Bob Singer said...

A lot of people read but they share your anxiety about writing and posting.

Sean Czarniecki said...

I check your blog almost every day just to see how your life is progressing after following your past "struggles." In addition, you are at a stage in life which I find extremely interesting (college - where a person becomes independent).

I have to say, your latest posts are very eloquent and enjoyable....

Unknown said...

Not only did you read the book that wasn't on the syllabus, you quoted it in a blogpost. You are my favoritefavorite. I think you know that.