When I began blogging a number of years ago, I thought I’d use it as a way to chronicle and share our efforts to live a more sustainable life. Blogs should have themes; otherwise they’re essentially just digital public journal entries, right? And so I chose “Living Life the Best We Can” as my tagline and began trying to share my (mis)adventures of living lightly.
However, over the years, and even more so lately, I’ve lost that desire to be diligent about living lightly. That small spark of hope for the future of our world has started to dim. It hasn’t gone out completely, It’s just not burning as brightly as it used to. No matter what actions I take, it feels as if I’m constantly being undermined; and that takes it’s toll on me.
This has made me ponder if I can continue blogging about about living lightly on the earth. Sure, “Living life the best we can.” is very vague, and I planned it that way. After all, that leaves my themes rather open ended; I don’t claim to be solely about food, recycling, living plastic free, decluttering, or living a particular lifestyle. It’s simply about doing the best we can – which is what I have been writing about, mostly.
But lately I feel as if I’ve failed miserably at sharing this blog’s intended ideals. OK, maybe not miserably, but it’s been a lot more open-ended than living lightly of late. Where are the tips, helpful hints, or anecdotes that could help others on their journey of living the best they can? It’s getting harder and harder each day for me to find ways to blog about a “best we can” scenario when the best I can doesn’t feel very noteworthy or shareable.
When I began blogging, the world was a different place, and I was in a different place on my own life’s journey. While this may make it sound like there’s been a major crisis or something has happened to change the direction of my life, nothing like that has happened. Sometimes a lot of little things can add up to create a larger, yet unidentifiable or unnameable change;and sometimes we simply need to redirect ourselves.
And that’s where I find myself right now. I’m at a crossroads where the signs are in gibberish and the paths are entirely overgrown so as to leave one wondering how to move ahead, yet knowing you can’t go back. So I sit here, staring at the screen and wondering how to change and adapt or move forward. I’m stuck wondering what tools are in my satchel to help me forge ahead. Maybe it’s a midlife crisis, maybe it’s the current uncertainty of our society right now, or maybe it’s just an idea trying to escape my brain.
I’ve always been a story teller- I had what most would simply call “a vivid imagination”. Along with that, there was a constant love of words. I was a voracious reader, despite my inability to spell and suspected dyslexia (This, by the way, drove my paternal grandfather nuts! “How can she read at a 7th grade level if she can’t spell Wednesday!?”) As I got older, writing seemed to be a more reoccurring theme in my “what do you want to be when you grow up?” answers – author, advertising executive, reporter, librarian – you get the idea.
But I grew up at a strange time in history. Computers were going to revolutionize the world. And they did. But during the early transitional years, when I was in school, the fate of writers had yet to be determined. The world would always need wordsmiths, but just how and what they would do was questionable. The media world was changing and I didn’t know how to adapt – no one did. My college major is proof of that – Business Communications with a Minor in English Literature.
Somehow, during this uncertain time in our progress from an analog to a digital world, my interest in words waned. It never disappeared, it just sort of dimmed as the digital world burned brighter. Maybe “dimmed” isn’t the correct word to use here, my love of words simply changed as the world around me changed.
As advertising changed, publications died, and new ones emerged, I kept fanning the small spark – that original love of words and literature. I kept it alive as I tried to navigate a new world. I had a first gen nook and thought it was cool that one could own a device that could hold one’s entire library, just like on StarTrek! But, when mine finally quit working, I didn’t replace it, I just stopped reading e-pubs. I’ve started to use them again as I occasionally download books to my tablet and I’ve started listening to audiobooks on my commute.
I also appreciate that we now have a medium like blogging at our fingertips. Yet, ironically, I don’t understand the blogospere (Who reads all this prattle? Who writes it? What did we all do before blogs? Keep journals?. I didn’t…). Yet I keep trying to find blogs I would read regularly, and then I try to actually read them, and I (obviously) have one of my own. I also maintain one for my brick and mortar business and appreciate it as a written way to communicate information to a mass audience.
Lately, however, even with all the digital media available to me, it’s not enough. I still find myself searching for something I can’t quite pinpoint. I still browse bookstores, read printed materials, and carry a book with me almost every day – even if I don’t get around to reading it for days at a time. I read every sign or poster I come across. Bumper stickers entertain me. I read multiple magazines at a time. I still research recipes in cookbooks and not the internet (‘course I do have a large cookbook collection…). I carry notebooks and pencils with me almost everywhere. My planners are still paper and pens. I can’t get the hang of digital planing programs, they just don’t work for me.
So over the next few weeks to months (because I honestly have no idea how long this is going to take) the theme and style of this blog will likely change. Even the title might change, I’m still working on that. I’ve got short story and book ideas rattling around in my head and making so much clatter that I feel as if the ideas are screaming a message and I can’t understand their gibberish. I’m trying to figure out how to better blog so as to let all that clattering out, how to translate all that gibberish into something readable.
Do I just redecorate or rebuild? How will I transition the site from one theme to another? Would it be better to simply start over? It’ll still be written solely by me, but it will include short stories, tall tales, average essays, and possibly even some crocheting and knitting patterns. The biggest hurdle I face in this change is deciding how and when to commit to updating it.
It’s silly, but this is a scary transition. Will people still read it? Will it help me get these stories that are screaming for a voice out of my head? Will I actually prioritize writing? After all, if you want to be a writer, you have to write. I guess only time will tell. I hope you’ll hang around to see (and read) what’s next.