I've been thinking about my authentic self. Both as a person and as a writer. And, whether the two can be separated. As a blogger, my posts about my life are real. But, there is always a truth that lies beneath. Something deeper, meatier. Here, I choose what I want to write and post about. Yet, I think a real writer doesn't choose. A real writer listens to the words that come, allowing them to escape through her fingers ...falling upon the page as they may. Sometimes the words have arcs and cadences, but often the words are ragged and coarse. I am a private person, oddly enough. Perhaps it is bizarre, to be a private person and to have a blog.
I've been blogging for two years now. What do I write about? I write about the adventures of raising my GIRL and BOY, who are ten months apart. I write about feminist issues. I've occasionally written about politics. I write about my struggle to retain a sense of self separate from that of wife and mother. I've shared my infertility stories. I've written about adoption. I used to share my poetry, but have stopped doing that because it might preclude the possiblity of the work being published. It doesn't feel good or comfortable to hold that part of myself back, yet I am working on prudence. I've done a series of interviews with women called The Motherscribe Interviews. I've written about the demeaning and disturbing trend of sexually objectifying young girls in commercial media. And, I've written about the incredibly stupid and assinine self-inflicted things that have caused me humiliation.
It's been an interesting journey with the writing here. Initially I drew readers because of stories about my children. Then I had a need to write about other things and some readers left, while new readers arrived interested in what I was writing about at the time. There is always fluctuation. Whenever I get caught up in worrying about how many readers I have, or commenters, or whether my writing is "good enough", I have to take a step back and ask myself...but, WHY am I writing? And, the truth is that I am writing because I need to get the words out.
It has become so natural to write, that when I don't write, I feel toxic. There has never, ever been a time when writing didn't help. It always does. Once I allow the words to spill upon the page, I find that something is always there. It may not be riveting or lyrical, but it is there. The blog is an endless legal pad. The pages never run out. It is a place to practice. To work on my craft.
I want to be an authentic writer. Having courage to write my truth...whatever that means. I'm just not sure that place can be here. I love reading memoirs, but I don't want my blog to be a memoir. I believe that there is something just around the corner that I am not yet seeing. A path with my writing that has already been decided. I just have to keep moving. And perhaps my words will lead me there...