January 8, 2010 § 2 Comments
Just a quick update to say that, no, I have not forgotten about my blog. I’ll admit I am guilty of serious neglect, but that is going to change in the near future. Big sky country has proven to be the perfect playground for a (hopefully) budding writer and I have been avidly chronicling my thoughts and experiences on my mac book. However, I’m struggling when it comes time to click on the post button that magically makes those words, my words, public. I suffer from an affliction known as perfectionism. Oh, and as a novice writer I’m a bit conflicted over deciding what information to share and what to keep private.
The guiding motivation behind creation of Life Under Lone Peak was to encourage me to write on a regular, consistent basis so that I can improve my writing ability. Obviously, I secretly hope that my writing becomes so witty and eloquent and my photos so breathtaking that I’m the next Julie Powell (The Julie Julia Project) or Deb Perelmen (Smittenkitchen.com) but that isn’t why I’m writing this blog. It’s about practice, practice, practice and experimentation, experimentation, experimentation. Hopefully, at least a few of you friends and family, love me enough to endure all this trial and error. If I’m really lucky, maybe even a few unknowns will stumble across my blog and tag a long for a while. But as I mentioned earlier, there is this wee little problem called perfectionism.
These silly blog posts take a lot longer than you’d think to compose. The culprit that seems to be literally eating up my time is perfectionism. As I reread my words, one distinctly critical voice starts to spout all sorts of negative: that’s awfully trite, or can you be more repetitive, a bit dramatic don’t you think, or my personal favorite, this sucks. I just so desperately want to get everything right the first time. I want it to be absolutely perfect. I want people to think wow, she’s got talent or what an incredible writer. It is possible that I might end up as those things, but I need to accept that I am just starting out on the road to getting there with a lot of mistakes and a lot of work ahead of me. Right now, my perfectionism is only serving as a roadblock inhibiting me from advancing along the path. I need to accept that becoming a good writer, requires that I make mistakes and write some bad stuff along the way. These are the natural byproducts of learning. I’ve got to bite the bullet and press the post button, or else my blog will remain in a neglected to state.
Dilemma #2: Sharing. This is a two part dilemma: what do I share about myself and what am I allowed to share about others? Just how personal is Life Under Lone Peak going to get? My most favorite nonfiction literature is such because of how intimate and honest the authors are. Take Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love–of which I am a huge fan. Gilbert manages to artfully and delicately recount her thoughts and emotions during some very trying times in her life. And readers ate up her every word, but I imagine it was pretty scary as well as risky for Gilbert to expose her personal life in such a fashion not knowing in advance how well received it would be. I can tell you, I’m a bit scared.
To make matters more difficult, I also have to figure out what is safe for me to share of others. Just because I want to throw some of my more private thoughts and experiences onto the worldwide web for any and all to read, doesn’t mean that the people I interact with desire the same. I want to know how writers decide what they can recount and what they cannot. Do they always ask people before they share? And in regards to negative accounts of others, how do writers manage to pull that off with out hurting or angering others? If we withheld the ugly truths and only shared the beautiful of ourselves and others, most of literature, actually most of art would be pretty boring, in my opinion. To err is human, they say, and well I’m writing about humans. We all make mistakes, myself included, which means any honest story will offer up both the wonderful and not so wonderful things we did. It is all well and good for me to share whatever I want of myself, but finding the line when it comes to sharing about others is proving to be quite a challenge. I’m beginning to think a lot of so-called fiction runs very close to reality with only the names and places being changed.
In summary, writing is difficult. And I love it, now more than ever. So please stick with me as I figure this out. My blog will get better and with your help, too. All of you have the opportunity to offer up your comments whenever you wish. Maybe you like one of my photographs, maybe you think I was a bit too personal in a post, maybe you have the answer to my above dilemmas, or maybe like my good friend Alex you really liked my hat. Comment to your heart’s content.
Thanks for sticking around.