I’ve been blogging off and on since 2009, the year I lost my job during the not-so-great recession.
Back then I blogged to purge my thoughts and never thought about finding a niche for my blog. I considered blogging a platform for testing ideas, where I could meet other bloggers and get feedback on my posts.
But over the years as I’ve changed, so have my blogging needs and ergo my focus.
As a writer/blogger/person in progress, I’ve received lots of advice from experts on what I should write or not write about and the topics on which I should focus my blog. I agonized for months to find a focus for my blog, and my writing by association.
With my thoughts caught in a perpetual tug-of-war, my sanity stepped in and forced me to make an executive decision. “Whatcha gonna do girl?”
“I’ll focus my blog on finding my focus,” I said, with indecisive certainty, “which includes a large chunk of everything.”
“A no-no!” yelled the “they sayers” in the blogosphere who advise bloggers to narrow their audience.
Impossible for someone like me with a genre disorder. Someone who vacillates between writing and blogging, nonfiction and fiction, humor, culture, and politics. Oh, my!
Add ADHD to the mix (I’ve got attention deficit disorder.), plus a four-day work week, three days w/o a routine (dangerous for an ADDer), and I’m back in a 2010 time loop, the beginning of my underemployment status, which left me in a creative vacuum.
Lost in an ADD world where time is an anachronism, I’ve never been able to cobble together a major success in my tilted perception. Success means landing a book deal with an agent or just sticking to one project until the “end,” which isn’t permanent anyway in writing until printed in ink.
Today, at the start of another unstructured day, I kidnapped myself and duct taped my butt to the chair in front of the computer, then asked myself: what should I write about? To which I replied, I have no friggin idea.
My head is filled with lots of ideas, which end up in three or four notebooks on my desk, or a digital “note” file on my Mac. Where do I begin when I can’t see past a flock of ideas that block my view like a Sharkanado cloud?
How can I focus when lingering childhood insecurities bully their way into my conscious thoughts? I know. We’re all products of dysfunctional families. But many of us are able to escape the cycle of “almost there’s” when we grow into our adult selves.
I feel like I’ve been idling on off ramps for years, with a few successful stops along the way, one of which is my 27-year old son. He has surpassed all my expectations by overcoming the educational and social hurdles that encumber a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.
It’s a huge accomplishment and I would never minimize my contribution to his success.
Now that my son is on the path to success, I thought it was time for me to cement my own path.
I need to stop the vicious cycle of “I’m stupid” in which I’ve been stuck, leftover from the adolescent years and the stigma of growing up with a mentally challenged brother 22 months my senior. This is my time to get unstuck and reboot my life, replace the negative inner voice, “I can’t” with the positive, “I can.”
A long time ago, I realized that when life sends you down a circuitous route, having GPS is helpful, but only the person at the wheel can drive you to your destination.
Do you feel stuck?
Sounds like you’ve accomplished plenty in raising such a wonderful son! You’re also a talented writer and I look forward to your posts, be they many or few. I can’t narrow the focus of my blog either but am happy with that “niche-free” status. It allows for more variety. After all, we should do it for ourselves, first and foremost, yes? I’ve been in a blogging slump lately but will be coming back to life this week. See you around the Blogosphere. 🙂
I agree. We have to enjoy what we write. Look forward to reading your posts later this week.
I think it’s healthy to slump every once in a while. It’s a much-needed reboot.
See you around!
Dysfunction is the new normal, right? Ha! I’m routing for you. Just keep on scribblin’ those words!
I do have periods of feeling stuck. This, too, shall pass….sometimes when life gives you a swift kick in the butt!
Thanks! Writing keeps me somewhat sane.
I guess getting stuck is cyclical. In this case, I think it’s more political. : )
I am so pleased you are inspired. If you like to write and enjoy sharing great information with a community, blogging comes naturally, right? I’ll be watching to see how you do.
Your post made me smile and nod my head in recognition. It’s amazing to have launched a child into the world. Do you think 26 is the new 18? My daughter just turned that magic number and is now on her own insurance policy.
I don’t know how long you’ve been blogging but you sure can write well. The last line was perfect and reminded me of a dream I had where I was with my daughter in the weary, green Toyota station wagon that we called “The Bean.” No one was at the wheel. That was a revelation for me and may just be the beginning of something that I want to write about. Thank you. : )
I think you’re right about 26 being the new 18. He just moved out at 27.
Thank you for complimenting my writing. I’ve been blogging since 2009 off and on (during the last few years, more off than on). The blog has gone through many transformations. I’m kind of at a crossroads right now. What to write? Write about writing/blogging or satirize pop culture? I don’t want to confuse people.
I think the revelation is a perfect start to writing something.
Just keep at it if it makes you happy.
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Lauren, the inception of your blog is similar to my own–which I started in 2008 whilst unemployed. Jeff’s course has opened up many cans of worms for me as well regarding “focus.” I ALSO have a 26-year old who is thriving, contrary to my own life of self-doubt, remorse and angst. I LOVE your writing!
Small world! I’ve got worms, too.
My blog is a post buffet with too many dishes.I was told to narrow my focus long before Jeff’s course. I’ve narrowed it somewhat but miss the days I wrote about the absurd stuff that happened to me. I don’t know if I can still go there.
Thank you! I’m thrilled you like my writing.
I’m including another post inspired by Jeff’s course. I have too much inspiration and not enough perspiration from actually writing.
Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.
See you around IB and the web! Will stop by your blog.
I’ve been nosing around, so I’ve already read it. Love: “too much inspiration and not enough perspiration from actually writing.” I suffer from this affliction myself and have snippets of prose tucked away both virtually and physically.
I love the absurd–bring it on! (I realized my upbringing was less than “normal” in a college English class during a discussion of Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child.” I didn’t think it was absurd that dirt was being dumped in the living room as it reminded me of an incident involving my mom–the rest of the class disagreed.)
I feel as if I’ve found a kindred spirit and will merrily keep reading.
Yes, it’s great meeting another kindred spirit. : )
We’re all children of dysfunction!
Thanks again for sticking around and reading.
I have to agree with your class. Though it does remind me of that scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.