One of the hardest things about continuing to write in this space is that it is no longer just my virtual hangout as many more people in my offline life both personally and professionally stop by and check out my musings. I find that many of my offline connections are less apt to leave a comment instead choosing to comment directly to me when our paths cross; as a result it’s starting to feel like the chances for confusion grows greater. While I write a lot about my life, I rarely write about people in my offline life (or anyone I consider a friend) for a variety of reasons and on the occasions that I do, I will clear it with them to avoid any hurt feelings.
Yet despite my attempts to avoid any hurt feelings, it seems I have not been successful since in less than a week, I have had more than one person I consider a friend, express hurt feelings that they felt I had taken something that was said to me and used it to create a post. I admit it’s been a little perplexing since in both cases it was exchanges that took place offline that inspired my writings.
So I wanted to talk a little about my process in this space. For starters I no longer am comfortable with the label blogger, this space could be called a blog but I no longer see myself as a blogger. Instead I am just a writer who writes online (and in other spaces). I feel the need for the distinction because blogging is growing up. I think the recent growth of BlogHer12 shows just how far bloggers have come, more and more bloggers are achieving success at branding themselves and generating revenue. As a result most professional and semi-professional bloggers have goals that are different than my goals as a writer. I have no interest in being a brand ambassador, reviewing products or pretty much any of the stuff that is now the norm in blogging. For starters with my professional life, I don’t have the time. Secondly, after testing the waters, I have no interest. My only goal is to grow as a writer, to develop a stronger voice, remember where to put the comma and eventually get enough material for a solid manuscript. If said manuscript can be turned into a publishable book, I would be over the moon but I am at a point in my professional life, where I am at peace so if writing is never more than a hobby, I can live with that too.
When it comes to my actual writing, my only rule is to do it. I allow myself 30 minutes a day to write, plain and simple. On the days I don’t write in this space, I journal or write short essays. For me the only way to be a writer is to write. I pretty much write what I feel; often what I choose to write in this space is inspired by my life, or current events. If I write about something that happens and it appears to be inspired by a specific person, rarely is it a specific person. Instead if I find myself having the same conversation with several people, I will use those exchanges as the basis of inspiration and if I reference a “someone” it’s really an amalgamation of several people. In part I use this process because it cuts down on the number of people I have to clear my posts with, which would become time consuming.
I am already prone to writing long pieces, so I rarely write in-depth academic pieces in this space since I am available for hire for such pieces. Instead, I like to sometimes present an idea and my thoughts and leave it at that. Footnoting my pieces is not gonna happen, I did that in grad school, though I always try to link to pieces that are the basis of thought.
In the end these are simply my musings, as my tag line says “musings of a Black woman living in the nation’s whitest state” that really is what this space is about for me. Once upon a time, I would end most of my day’s calling my mom and talking about my day, instead I use this space for those talks that are no more.
So for anyone who may have misinterpreted anything recently posted, I offer a heartfelt apology.