On 31 Days of Writing: Big Questions

Day 11 of this challenge and I can already tell you that it’s been absolutely liberating, humbling and exhausting. I’m not even half way through yet.

The kindness and support I’ve gotten from everyone reading is truly amazing and I’m so grateful to all of you.

But I have to tell you, I still feel stifled.

I touched on this is my post introducing this challenge, that I need to work through some stuff to be able to get to the meat of what I want to say, but the discipline and the small steps make me feel crazy.

My head is constantly swimming with things I want to say or create. Sometimes it’s more like screaming, like the way anxiety sounds but this time the screaming is words and not just, well, noise.

As much as I’m lusting after these bigger truths, as much as I’m aching to get these heavy pieces out of my head, I’m also feeling more and more fear.

Even as my sweet friends tell me how much they are relating to what I’m writing, that they’re glad I’m doing this, I’m afraid to go further.

The way that we are all used to consuming content is pretty comfortable. We’re used to swallowing stuff that confirms our biases and makes us feel “normal.”

Some of that is really useful for important work like breaking down stigmas or educating people about topics that we would otherwise remain in the dark about.

My concern, as a writer in this day and age, is how far is too far? How do we wake ourselves up to more? Where do we all go from here?

For me, the pull is to go deeper. To go further. To double down.

Every time I write a piece for this blog, I think of five more things I want to say, each one more taboo than the next.

But I know that the way to get there is through the surface first. I have to break into these truths in phases. I understand that’s where I am in the process.

However, my fear comes back when I think about publishing. When I think about sharing this work. When I think about the line between self-publishing and pitching pieces to publications I respect.

 

Black Sheep

I’ll admit, I’m not particularly thrilled with the status quo of blogging and online content. It’s very rare that I find people online that seem to approach this work the way I do.

I see writing as a craft.

Content? Now, content is a trade. I’m happy to say I have a very intimate understanding of that trade and feel lucky to be working with people who want to create high quality work in that sphere.

But this, what I’m doing here and what I am desperately searching for more of, is writing as a craft. Call it blogging, if you want. Whatever. I just don’t see much work like mine out there.

This is where the questions come up again.

Why do I care if not many people are doing work the way I’m doing it?

Do I really need a peer group online to legitimize the personal work I’m doing?

Even if I am completely out of my lane and damn near out of my mind, what are the chances that anyone outside of my nearest and dearest are going to read or notice?

I know there must be some more people out there doing this kind of work than I have been able to find so far.

But with so few other voices in this type of work, utilizing this kind of platform in this way, it’s a constant question of how far is too far? Have I paid my dues? Who would I even pay my dues to?

 

An Invitation

I want more people to have the audacity to try this. I want my friends to abandon this idea of how to blog correctly, how to start a creative business, how to have good manners online.

I want you to just get started.

Because as we can figure this out together. I know we can.

There is a precedent of writers helping writers, artists helping artists, the creative circling of the wagons. It’s been happening for generations and generations before we all got domain names and Instagram handles.

(Here comes one of those risky truths.)

The odds of any of us making six figures from our personal blog is seriously fucking slim.

And really, no one who has a “six figure blog” really makes that just off of their blog posts alone. At least, not a single one that I have found. (If you know of a unicorn, please feel free to email me or comment.)

So why don’t we, instead, focus on doing the work and figuring out how to support each other in that work?

I’m so tired of the myths I’ve built up in my head that because I didn’t finish my degree or go to grad school that the writing life is not really mine to go after. Or that because I don’t write fiction or poetry, that my work isn’t meaningful or creative.

Frankly, I’m just sick and fucking tired of all the unspoken rules and I’m ready to break them.

I want to write the scary shit, I want to support other writers, I want us to legitimize the process and progress and product of our creative work.

How do we create a lucrative environment for us sustain ourselves? What does the next generation of writers look like? Where are going?

As you can probably guess, I have no answers for any of these big, hulking questions.

But I’m going to keep showing up and doing the work. I’m going to keep searching for connections and nurturing the ones I have.

I want to be here for you when you decide to start writing or doing your work.

You are welcome to join me and ask your questions and work your process. I’ll be around.

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