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.