I'll be honest. I did not spend the last month pondering my blog and the direction thereof. I did not spend it dreaming up new posts, thinking of fun features I could do. I did not spend it thinking about the blog much at all.
I spent it traveling, and with family. I spent it dealing with yet another personal loss. I spent it editing MIND GAMES and reading ENDLESSLY for what will probably be the last time to catch any last typos or words I want to change. I spent it losing myself in another imaginary world that may or may not ever be a book, and I don't care, because the point is the losing.
This blog has evolved over the years, and frankly I'm not sure what the next evolution should be. I always tried to leave off too many personal things, but lately it seems like everything I am thinking about or want to write about is too personal for an audience of thousands without the filter of a Main Character other than myself.
I used to talk about my struggles with infertility, but three-and-a-half years and four lost pregnancies later, I am too tired to even think about putting it out there in an effort to deal with it myself and maybe help other women deal. I remember the last time I did and someone emailed me actually questioning how I could claim to be infertile, implying I had no right. (I lost another pregnancy a week after that email. I have tried to forgive that person, remembering how much pain we all carry around with ourselves.)
I used to talk about what I was writing and working on, but I feel like I can't anymore. And not because I think people will steal my ideas (I could tell you my exact idea and you would write a completely different book--I know enough about writing now to know that). Because people get excited and attached to ideas, and then maybe that idea will never be published. Maybe I'll quit fifty pages in. Maybe it won't be right for publishing. Maybe it WILL be right for publishing, but I'll need to stay quiet about it because there are some parts of the process you don't talk about while they are happening.
I used to talk about writing in general. Advice, thoughts, that sort of thing. I've read enough on the internet to know that pretty much any topic I think to talk about has already been talked about--extensively--at great length--frequently more eloquent and thoughtful than I could ever manage. And I talked about those things because they were the questions I had, but I don't have those general questions anymore. Frankly, I know how publishing works. I understand the process and the ins-and-outs. I know how my own writing works. And I know now that the way my writing works is not the way your writing works nor should it be. The only questions I have now apply so specifically to myself and my own writing that there's no point in putting them here.
(I don't know who Frankly is, but I am addressing much of this post to him. I hope he doesn't mind.)
I worry about whining. I have so freaking much good fortune that I never, ever want to come across as ungrateful in any way, shape, or form. I worry about what other people take of my words and do with them. (I've had whole blog posts written about an "anonymous" author who was obviously me, that left me utterly shocked and bemused that someone could take my words and make me into a snide, sarcastic, unfeeling, evil monster. I am nothing if not feeling! The others, well.)
I worry about bragging. Again, please see "I have so freaking much good fortune." Sometimes I worry that I am bludgeoning the internets with all of the Good Things, because I choose to leave the Bad Things off.
I wonder at this strange, nebulous line between public and private. The more people pay attention to what I say and do, the more I want to retreat into myself and keep the private things even more private, and limit the public things even more. And it's not because people are mean. They aren't! People are awesome. It's because...I don't know how to put it. It's very, very weird to know that there are people out there who feel like they have a relationship with and know you, when you know nothing about them and never will. Obviously I have courted this to some extent, but it doesn't mean it doesn't bother me on a fundamental level. Not on my end--on the other person's. I'm sorry that I can't be for them the friend that they think I am/should be/could be.
I wish I could give more of myself to other people, but I feel the need to circle the wagons (and, apparently, I feel the need to use Old West metaphors). This blog has been a journey, and while I don't feel like I've reached a particular destination, I do feel like the course of the journey has been shifted and I no longer know exactly which gear to put the car in (we have moved on from Old West to manual car transmissions--which is a bad sign, because the only time I drove a stick I totaled it).
I've gone from hopeful aspiring writer, to frequently rejected and failed writer, to newbie author, to...now. I don't know what now is. And that's okay. I'm not giving up on the blog. I'm just not sure what it's going to evolve into. Nothing bothers me more than stagnation in my writing, and the blog is no exception. So, as always, thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. And thank you for your patience as I try to figure out just what the crap I am doing.
(It's been twenty-eight years so far. Still haven't figured it out. Let me know if you do.)