An essay on the perils of living in a “lovely” blogosphere
"Writer's Block" available for sale from I Wear Party Hats on Etsy
I’ve had a tough time blogging lately, and have begun to refer to it as being “blogged down”. There are several factors that have seemed to contribute to this lapse…..but I’ve recently realized the primary dilemma: I’ve forgotten who I am and have thought I should be someone else.
The Boden Girl and Me... She looks great, doesn't she? Sometimes, I wish I could be her.
My Google Reader and Facebook feed run long with “love, love, love it” blogs about beautiful people living lovely lives in tenderly restored vintage homes. There are perfectly symmetrical (and dust free) mantels decorated for Christmas with just so eco-friendly handmade snowmen. There are the cutest candids of model-gorgeous women in short skirts and great boots who look over their shoulders through gauzy filtered light as they bake vegan pies from scratch, while surrounded by beautiful children in clean, matching Hanna Andersson jammies.
My not necessarily clean nor cherubic (but very much loved) oldest son in his "ugly Christmas sweater" which he wore for three days in a row.
There seems to be lots of cleanliness, a good amount of order, and quite a few cherubic children. All of this is captured by women who are not only cleaning and creating that order, but raising the shiny angels, doing amazing DIYs, and also blogging about and photographing it all. In their great boots. With their amazing long legs and upcycled hand made skirts.
I”m not a hater, although I’ll admit there’s a part of me that is jealous… I’m sure that if I met these stylish, talented, kind, organized, creative women I would like them – maybe even a lot. I’d want to have coffee and vegan pie in their tidy and romantic kitchens. I don’t hate them because they’re beautiful.
Perhaps, though, there’s trouble (at least for me) in blog world, because there is so much perfect, perfect, perfect. We’re always to be showing off our finest accomplishments, remodels, DIY’s, and the best of the photoshopped photos.
Part of it is that this is what we readers want to see. Who wants to read a blog about a floor covered in dirty laundry? You’ve probably got some laundry of your own at home to look at if you want to! Who wants a blow by blow tutorial of me making Kraft Mac and Cheese? For that matter, who wants to read a blog about my struggles with blogging?
I’m banking on the fact that someone out there does. In part, this is an explanation of my absence and my journey to the group of genuine, interesting and kind friends whom I’ve met as a blogger, and to all those who have shared the joy finding creative inspiration along with me.
I’m also wondering if there are others out there who feel swept along (and away) by all the perfection and “lovlies” and simple solutions of the blogosphere. Can we be more real, and still be winsome, interesting and valuable? What does this look like for me as a writer? I don’t aim to write any sort of confessional blog, but I also don’t want to burden myself with the high bar of always being “on”, good, or right. Neither do I want to portray myself to you in any way that doesn’t at least move towards fuller disclosure of what it means to be a real person living a real life.
I don’t have an answer yet, only a few ideas and a general direction. I started the day by cleaning most of the design and decor blogs out of my feeds. (See, I did some cleaning)! I kept the art blogs that I love, and a few others that I think will help motivate me to write more genuinely.
I am also reminding myself of what my own writing is about: art, creativity, imagination, inspiration and all the variety of people who express those in their lives. This is what I love, what I sometimes do, and what I want to share.
Thanks for joining me in these incomplete thoughts – I’d love to hear your takes, your experiences as either readers or writers in this culture of “lovely”, and certainly any input that you have to offer!
To conclude, I wanted to point to a few of the bloggers I’ve met along the way whom I like in particular. These are all newer writers, and I think one of the reasons I’m drawn to each of them is that they (in different ways) reflect authenticity and beauty at the same time. When you have time, check them out! I think you’ll enjoy… (Any to add? Tell us in the comments!)
Beauty of Everyday Life
Still + Life
Take Care… ( Look for a double dose of 52 Fridays this week! :) Delaware and Florida coming up!)