|April's first quarter|
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Moving Through Self-Doubt: Some Thoughts on Blogging
This blog is primarily for myself, to motivate me to write more—both creative non-fiction and stories—to take more photos, to eventually create more art, and to pursue creative living in general.
Yet blogs are designed to be read by other people, and this creates a dilemma.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of brilliant blogs out there. Clearly, it is impossible to read all of them, or even to follow a substantial number. There are a few blogs I read regularly, and several more that I might dip into from time to time, if there is a post that specifically interests me, or for inspiration, or out of curiosity.
The fact is that I already read a great deal, and cannot constantly be adding to this always growing, never-ending workload. Ideally, I want to read only what is most stimulating and necessary for me—wild and wonder-filled fiction and non-fiction with mythic, ecological, spiritual and feminine focuses. (Though I would also like to connect with other bloggers in the Blue Mountains, and Australia in general, whatever it is they may be blogging about, for I am sure there are some treasures out there I have not yet discovered.)
Yet if I must carefully control how much I read, how then can I expect anyone else to read my blog?
I am not a professional writer or artist. I am not (yet) published. I am not marketing a product. I don’t have fans or followers. So how am I to find a readership?
After the great excitement of launching this blog, and the substantial attention I received in the first few days, now the interest has dropped off sharply, and I find myself wondering why I am doing this, and if it is even worth it. This is the negative voice talking, I know, and I am doing my best to ignore it. Still, I need to renew my courage and sense of conviction that I am doing the right thing.
I have never been much of a ‘commenter’ on blogs, as I have often felt I have nothing important to say, and I have never been particularly comfortable with social networking in general*, but I am trying to remedy this now by commenting on blogs when I can, and being a bit more sociable (as much as that is possible in an online space).
All writers and artists need encouragement—even the seemingly successful ones—though especially those of us just starting out. So, if you have stumbled across my blog and you find something you like, please do leave a comment, however small, however simple. It would make my day. And I extend this to all other blogs too, not just my own. If you enjoy something, leave a comment, for I think we often don’t realise just how important our comments and small connections can be. We can’t possibly support every blogger or creative person out there, but we can make a (perhaps substantial) difference to a small number of people.
At this time I am also needing to remind myself that I have only just begun. It is too early to be thinking of failure, of this venture being a mistake.
My mood has a tendency to change like the moon, to go through cycles of ups and downs, and the ride can be bumpy, to say the least. When I am ‘down’, all of this work seems pointless, the inner critic flaring up to seed doubt in my mind, and I wonder whether I have anything of worth to say. Yet when I am ‘up’, I remember why I am writing and making art, and why it remains necessary. We are living in a time of great destruction. Creativity is one way to counteract that, to resist those forces that seem hell-bent on destroying the Earth. Creativity has the capacity to heal, and to create meaning. It is essential, else we die to life.
The truth is that I greatly enjoy the process of writing and the unexpected journeys I am often taken on. I enjoy the process of designing my posts, incorporating photos and artworks. I am excited about the glorious unknowns I might be drawn to write of and about, excited about what I might discover and learn, and how Offerings from the Wellspring might evolve over time. What possibilities will it open up for me? What new avenues of inspiration will be revealed? And now that my blog is here, it is here for the foreseeable future, when it might be discovered by just the kind of people who will gain something from it. So I will put doubt aside and be patient. Much is yet to come.
I know that my voice and my story may not appeal to many, but it may appeal to some. So I am doing this not just for myself, but for them too, whoever, wherever and whenever they may be.
If you are one of those people, and you have the time, please leave a comment, say hello, tell me what you like about my work. And if you would prefer to contact me directly, you can send me a message using the form on the right side of the page.
Thank you to everyone who has read my posts so far. You’ve helped to smooth out the bumpy road at the beginning of this particular path of mine.
*Nor do I feel particularly comfortable with technology as a whole. While the Internet can be a great tool for learning, finding information, and forming connections with people all over the world, it is also awash with many of the worst aspects of Western and patriarchal society; whilst technology, and the vast infrastructure that sustains it, is one of the major things responsible for the destruction of this planet, our one and only, irreplaceable, home.