Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm full of myself

So it is only the fifth day of March and already I've missed two days of blogging, breaking my first mini goal for the month. I am crap at sticking to goals! I'm in a filthy mood too, after what has been a shocking day with two kids who are hell bent on making my life a living fucking misery.

Ok, so my life ain't that bad, but seriously! How do you mums with more than one child do it? Anyway, I'm not going to go on about that now. I can't think about it any more. I'm at my desk, mum is in the kitchen cooking dinner and Noo is finally playing on his own. I haven't heard the word "MUUUUUUMMMMMMMM!!!" yelled out for at least 10 minutes. I'm free to write...

So, back to my failed goal of writing a post a day for the whole month of march.

How do you crazy post-a-day people do it? Is it the stockpile approach? You know, write a stack of stuff and save it in your drafts and you're always ready to go no matter what comes up in real life? Is that it? So you can actually have time away from the computer to go live the experiences to later write about?

I actually have two posts nearly written truth be told. Both The Dad Question Part 6 and Part 7 are nearly complete but I've been hesitating because I am worried that they are too personal to publish. Yeah, I did just type that: too personal to publish. You would have thought with all the other shit I've written about nothing could be too personal for babblingbandit.me.

I read an awesome article yesterday on none other than The Daily Life website. After my disgust and disappointment with the journalistic integrity of this post with its sweeping generalisations about Australian psychiatric facilities, I was glad I didn't abandon the site completely after reading this post. Yesterday's piece was titled In defence of the personal essay written by blogger Kate Fridkis.

Kate talks about the flack that we personal writers get for writing about ourselves. You know the whole you must be "full of yourself" to write about yourself and the nuances of your life. I understand that argument because you do have to be somewhat self aware to write about what is going on in your life. But does that have to mean I'm full of myself?

When I am having difficulty putting fingers to keyboard the main reason is usually because I'm over myself and my own voice. Not just the sound of it out loud but the sound of it in my head. Typing out my story makes the words ring loud and clear and they become unavoidable as I attempt to arrange them into somewhat intelligible sentences to present on my blog.

I get so sick of Me, Myself and I. But there is more to the personal story than the person who is writing it.

The crux of Kate's piece is that personal essay writers are important in this world for so many reasons other than self gratification. Every living person has a story to tell and they are all important. It is just up to the individual as to whether they use their voice to share that story.

I love this paragraph about what personal writers can achieve:
"They give us insight into the parts of life that don’t coincide with the news or fit into a major publisher’s agenda. They allow people to tell their own stories, instead of waiting for someone else to show up and record and edit them. In doing so, they give the writer control. They place inherent value in the human experience, in every shape it takes. They emphasize small, meaningful moments. They connect us with other people by exposing the similarities that exist even in our very different lives. Because of this, they create community, because honesty surrounding particular experiences draws other people who also want to be honest about the same issues. They give people who have been silenced a platform to speak. They celebrate non-famous individuals, investigate mundane but serious problems, and reveal meaning in everyday life. They allow us to learn from the mistakes of people we've never met. They tell us the truth about experiences we’re curious about but can’t ask about in polite conversation. They make it clear that there are many, many truths, and help keep our perspectives diverse and more tolerant as a result. They encourage openness and vulnerability in a world that can feel impersonal, cold, and disinterested. They acknowledge that people’s experiences, as well as reported facts, are innately interesting and relevant. They reassure us that we’re normal just when we were worried that we were weird and unacceptable; there’s someone else out there going through something similar. And so much more.
Personal essays provide us with historically relevant and valuable accounts of what people’s lives are actually like. They are an amazing opportunity to learn about other people and ourselves, and in doing so, to delve deeper into the human condition."

I love it!

"...delve deeper into the human condition."

This is why I got into blogging. It started with me searching for personal stories about lapband surgery as I was trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge. I found stories in the bucket loads on blogs from all over the world. I then decided that starting my own blog about my weight loss/gain/plateau journey could be just the thing I needed to keep me sane and accountable. In doing so I found a voice I never knew I had and I discovered a new love: writing.

Human connection was the next bonus. Reading, commenting and finally meeting up in real life with people I'd met through the blogosphere opened up a whole new world for me. The therapeutic benefits of blogging has also been enormous.

I remember writing early on in the life of my blog that I like the idea that my words are here for my family to read. My blog will be here for my son and my grandchildren to read if they want to. That's even despite the fact that a lot of my story is sad. It might be sad (at times) but it is still relevant. I wish my parents, grandparents and great grandparents wrote their stories as they lived them. I would love to read about the details of their every day life.

Personal bloggers are today's diarists. The only difference is we put it all out there to the world to read and to judge. From that comes consequences. I don't care what anyone says about me but I worry about the consequences my personal story telling might have for Noo in the future. Mainly I worry about him getting teased. Kid's can be cruel (and not just to their parents - see above).

And that's where I'm at with the Dad Question. It is my personal story but it is Noo's too. Already I've divulged a lot. Why am I worried all of a sudden? What has changed?

I don't know the answer but I'll keep writing. I'm addicted now. Whether my words are read, if they help people, or entertain I am just happy to be given the chance to express myself.

If you are a blogger who is reading this right now keep writing. Your words are important.



Kathryn OHalloran said...

God help us if we ever appear full of ourselves! Wouldn't want us chicks having a bit of self esteem or anything :)

If anything, I think it's more egotistical to think you can write someone else's story. Especially when you haven't been given that story to tell.

Neen said...

I really liked this post. I do quite like reading people's own stories, their 'diaries'. It does make me think a lot and see things from different perspectives. I too worry about what content I put up. I'm usually guarded about what I write because I think about the effects that it can have on my loved ones. I cannot predict what the domino effect will be so if in doubt, I follow my gut feeling.
As for a post a day. That just baffles me.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Hey Neen. It is amazing right? The post a day phenomenon. I need to start a stockpile for the slow days or the days I'm out living life and don't have time to write about it. V.

The Babbling Bandit said...

Good point, Kathryn. No story is truer than the one written by the person who lived it. V.

Emily said...

I've always loved your blog - you write so well! And you know with more than one kid you just accept that your life is totally f$*ken insane and try get through each day - like Dory says - just keep swimming :) x Em @ Have a laugh on me

Rachel @ TheKidsAreAllRight said...

I understand your hesitation about sharing too much, and only you know what your line is. But regardless of how much/little you give, you have such an honesty to your writing and it makes you very readable.

Three Quarters Full said...

I have no idea how the post a day people do it, I don't think at any point I've been able to churn out a post a day - not on any regular scale anyhow. I recently took my old blog offline, not because it was bad in any way but because the journey, the pain of that process was written anonymously and when linked to me I realised I didn't want D to read it one day and think at any stage that he wasn't enough because he is, more than enough. I've kept it though, those words because they're important even if they're not for public consumption any more. Only you can decide how much of your journey to share and sometimes the therapy is in the writing, not the sharing :)

EssentiallyJess said...

There is so much I love about this post, I don't know where to start. (Plus then I got distracted mid sentence with having to help with maths homework for a child who is being deliberately contrary.)
I often get sick of my own voice and don't want to hear it any more. it frustrates me that we can't take a break from ourselves.
As for oversharing; I just go with that gut feeling. If it doesn't feel write, don't post it xxx

babblingbandit.me said...

Thanks Em! I'm just so glad I get to hand the other one back at the end of the day. V.

babblingbandit.me said...

Thanks Rachel. I think I will post it. Seems a shame not to. V.

babblingbandit.me said...

The therapy is definitely in the writing. Just wanted to say too, you have a beautiful blog. I love the design. V.

babblingbandit.me said...

Hi Jess, thanks for stopping by. I wish I could take a break from me. Isn't meditation supposed to help with that? Though I don't think I have the concentration span to meditate. If only I had a crystal ball so I could see into the future and if my blog will have any negative consequences down the track....

Bella Mills said...

I think you're doing just fine. Better than fine. You're working hard at your life and that's incredible to read about. :) Thanks for posting your link on the Aussie Blogs to Love page.

Caz Filmer said...

I have no idea how people post everyday. How do they find the time? I think most full-on bloggers do 'stockpile' having writing day once a week or so. (Well that's my theory). Love the content of this post. Very interesting and does motivate me to keep writing. Lovely work :)

Kylie Purtell said...

That is an awesome piece by Kate, love it too! And I agree, I really wish I had this kind of record of my parents, and grandparents in particular.

I wrote a post a day back in October last year for Blogtoberfest and it wasn't easy. I do tend to get moments of inspiration and can sit and write 4 or 5 posts in one sitting, which I will then leave sitting in my drafts folder and come back to later. I also create drafts with nothing but a title and a link to a news article, blog post or some other thing I've seen on the net that I think I might be able to write a post around and go back to those at times when inspiration is low. Posting everyday for a month is hard, but it helps if some of those are mostly pics, like a Wordless Wednesday or My Week According to Instagram kind of post. You also have to let go and know that its ok to post something that may be really short and sweet, to get through and make a post every day happen. And I definitely was not in front of the computer every day, there was a lot of scheduling!

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babblingbandit.me said...

Hey Bella. Thanks for stopping by. V.

babblingbandit.me said...

Hi Caz. I think it is probably all about the stockpile and pre schedule. Thanks for stopping by. V.

babblingbandit.me said...

Good on you for posting everyday through October! I definitely have to write up and schedule more posts if I want to start publishing more. V.

mumabulous said...

I for one love that you have shared your personal story. Its a gripping read!

Three Quarters Full said...

thanks, V. I can't take much credit for the design, I had a rough Idea and an awesome web designer who managed to take my rough idea and make it pretty :)

babblingbandit.me said...

Thanks Mumabulous!

Seana Smith said...

Hello there, I'm popping over via the Kids Are All Right... we have lots of similarities in our stories, I started blogging NOT as a personal blogger and my posts are mainly factual, informative. But I have a growing urge to tell more of my own story (which have done a bit in autism and pnd books I've co-written only the odd thing ont he blog.) I've very, very recently stopped drinking altogether which is a huge thing for me, getting good support, but opened all sorts of emotions and issues. Anyway, just wanted to say hello.

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babblingbandit.me said...

Hey Seana. Thanks for stopping by. I love your blog and think it is one of the best resources for things to do in Sydney with kids. Good on you for giving up drinking. It really is amazing how life changing not having alcohol in our lives can be. While it can be scary at first, in the long run the benefits are wonderful. V.

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