when the words won’t come

I’m currently very stressed out.

The work week is over, but I still have things that I had to take home with me. I’m not even sure they will get done because we have so much else going on.

This is another non-post.

Sorry.

What’s Past is Prologue

With it being National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo), I’ve been thinking a lot about this space. I realize it’s only Day 2 of the month, so Ok, I’ve been thinking about it for awhile, but this is as good of a time as any to actually write about it.

I keep seeing all these links to posts and articles about blogging being “dead”.

This makes me laugh. For one, many of my readers had no idea blogging was “alive” in the first place. Those of you who have stuck around are not really “blog readers” as much as you read MY blog. So ya know, that is cool.

Another reason it gives me a chuckle is because when I started this space over eight years ago, I didn’t even know blogging was a “thing” at all. I just wrote silly, boring updates about our life. Then one day (probably for Wordless Wednesday or something), I posted a picture of a tiny Eddie in a onsie standing with his little hands our on our large front window. I had two comments on it: one from a friend who always commented and one from someone I didn’t know!

That started the whole “blogging is a thing” for me. I realized that there were thousands and thousands of blogs out there on the internet. There were communities for blogging in all areas of social media (who remembers Blog Frog? Anyone? Is it still a thing?). I joined networks and did blog hops and even co-hosted some of these sites for linking up writing. My stats were at an all-time high about four years ago.

If I look at my stats now, I guess I would have to agree that “blogging is dead,” but to be honest, I didn’t really ever do this for the stats.

The reason I started this blog–and continue to post here–is because I want a written record of my stories. Of our life as a family. It started as a way to keep friends and family updated, but it morphed into something even more meaningful once we had kids.

One time my mom and I were looking through my baby book and some things she had saved. In the pile we found some paper with some “memories” jotted down from when I was tiny. She had written some funny things I said (how I said “k-pop pop” for “ketchup”) and did (one time my dad was home alone with me and I threw up on the bathroom floor). She said something about wishing she had written down more because it’s just too hard to remember it all–even when you think you will never forget some of the stuff.

I realized the memories–both small and large–that I put here will help me and my kids know what our life was like right now.

I also have never gone back and deleted a post. There are some that could go because they don’t further my “mission” of writing for my kids–like giveaways. But it is what it is, right? Shakespeare used the phrase “what’s past is prologue” in his play The Tempest meaning that everything in the past is a preface for the present and the future.

That is how I feel about my writing here.

I may do side things or try new writing stuff, but as far as I plan, Sluiter Nation will always be here as my place to write about me, my life, and my kids. On my “About” page, I call this blog a legacy blog because writing my words and my stories–our stories–is a way to leave something for my children.

This is my place to tell stories to remember their little selves, to give my thoughts on everything from potty training to gay marriage to my own {at times shaky} faith.  My hope is that this blog will be here, in some form, long after I am gone.

The hype and trendiness of blogging may have come and gone, but it really doesn’t matter to me. My words will still be here.

30 Blog Posts

I did it.

I posted all 30 days of November, and I learned a few things along the way.

1. I don’t really enjoy posting every single day.

2. I am not entirely happy with what I have written for that day, but instead of just hitting “save” on the draft, I hit “publish” because, well, a post a day!

3. I don’t feel like I wrote more than I usually do; I just hit publish more often.

4. I found myself thinking “is this a blog post?” about everything…like I used to do.

5. I am still annoyed about the picture thing. Yes, there have been pictures but that is either with copy/paste or embedding via Flickr. Both are annoying stand in’s to what I should be able to do here.

6. I do still enjoy writing every day, and it’s not all bad to have some pressure to hit publish once in a while.

7. I’ve been more stumped for content because, I think, I’ve been holding back.  No, I know I have. I have some stuff I really, really want to write about, but I am afraid of being controversial or whatever and I don’t have the energy to “deal with” the fall out. Or even the support.  I know. That is sad.

8. Blogging every day has me somehow missing real people more than usual. I am still working this through my brain about what this even means.

9. I’ve become acutely aware of how much has changed since I was at the “height” of my blogging (stats-wise that is) in 2011/12. I didn’t care what other people were logging about or what had been said already. I was writing my own truth not trying to say something new.  Now I feel like a small, repetitive voice in a sea of “been there, done that” type of writing.

10.. I made time to post, but I didn’t make enough time to read others, and I wish I had. I miss reading blogs just for fun. So to those of you who have popped over here, thank you. I know how big of a deal that is.

Will I do NaBloPoMo again next year? I don’t know. I didn’t know I was going to do it this year until I had posted on November one and decided to see if I could. So maybe?

I also know I am tired and tomorrow starts the three-week haul to Christmas break, so I am going to go grab some rest.

Five Favorites on a Friday

It’s Friday.

Finally.

It’s been a rough week here in Sluiter Nation.  Eddie has been fighting something and has to miss out on school and fun this week. It’s so hard to see my buddy feeling like garbage.

I’ve also felt incredibly overwhelmed this week.

But it’s Friday now and we can hope the weekend will bring healing and rejuvenation for our little family, right?  And I am going to kick it off with a HAPPY blog post!  One that shares some love with some people I love.

This month’s Old School Blogging Meme (hosted by Elaine and Tracy) is the one where we share five bloggers we love.  Even though my blog-reading time has been severely slashed lately, there are a few bloggers out there I always catch up on…even if I am reading MONTHS of posts at a time.

iheartblog

Letters for Lucas

Tonya is one of the very best things/people/happy that the internet has blessed me with. I read her blog for a long time, but meeting (and rooming with) her at BlogHer11 sealed our friendship. Our oldest boys are the same age and we just have so much in common. I am in love with the way she shares so openly and rawly about her battles with infertility, the deaths of her parents, and just every day mom stuff. I can honestly say that Tonya is one of my best blogging friends.

The Posma Family

Every now and then God drops a special person in your life…one you don’t know that you want or need, but as soon as she is there, you find yourself thanking Him for her. Kelsey is that person to me. She is my neighbor, but until this past year, we didn’t really know each other.  She was the one who took the first step. And I give her heaps of credit because my introverted self is a hard one to get through. She was persistence that we have play dates and she invited us into her home for neighborhood/friend BBQs and birthday parties. I am so glad she did. Our sons are great friends now, and I always know I have someone praying for me. I hope she knows I am praying for her and her family always too.

Late Enough

I love Alex. I have read her blog forever because she shares my heart on so many topics, but she says them in an intelligent, succinct way that I never could. She is hilarious and awkward and kind and wonderful.  I was able to meet her and spend time with her at BlogHer13 this summer and I count it among some of my favorite times from the conference.  I felt so at ease with her…as if we meet up for lunch every week.  That is the mark of a great friend, right there. She blogs about everything from politics to what her cats and dogs are up to.

Buried with Children

I’m noticing that all the bloggers I am listing are people I have met in real life. Jen is no different. Jen and I discovered just over a year ago that we are local to each other. How we did not know this for so long, I have no clue, but I am so happy she is in my REAL life now and not just my computer. Jen and I couldn’t be more different. We roomed together at BlogHer13 this year and she had about three changes of clothes each day…I had one. And all of hers were fabulous. Mine were maxi dresses. However since then, she has inspired me each day to dress so I feel pretty. She is also the one to blame for my new love of Top 40 music. Oh and she is HILARIOUS.

Stepping Stones

MacKenzie is my sister. Well, as close to a sister as I will ever have. She is actually Cortney’s sister, but since neither of us have our own biological sister, and we are sisters-in-law anyway, we claim each other as sisters. She is one of the most important women in my life. She blogs about life as a mom to twin boys who are adopted from Ethiopia and being pregnant with their baby brother (due in a MONTH!).  She writes exactly the way she talks, which is why her writing is so good. She is kind and giving and I love her.

So there you go!

According to the rules,  the five of these lovely ladies are now tagged to share their five favorite blogs in a post. But no pressure!

Now tell me…who do  you love to read? Who should I add to my Must Read List?

 

on bowling and belonging

Welcome to another  Sluiter Nation Recruit Wednesday!

Today I bring you Angela of Tiaras and Trucks.

I have met some absolutely delightful people through this world of blogging, and Angela is at the top of that list.  I believe I met Angela through The Red Dress Club (now Write on Edge), but I do most of my chatting with her on the twitter. Plus she is a fellow Michigan girl, so there’s that.

She is kind, thoughtful, and always has a positive thing to say when I am feeling down or discouraged.

And she can write like the wind blows.  I am in love with her metaphor in the post she is sharing here today.

Oh, and Angela?  I’ve got a bag of twizzlers for you right here!

*************

One night in college, tired of yelling over loud music or possibly just looking for a different pitcher of beer, we decided to go bowling. 

A small group of people converged: my boyfriend and some of his friends, many of whom I’d known since high school.  One of the guys brought along a girl he had just started dating.

She and I chatted a bit, my interest in bowling heavily overshadowed by the humorous nature of bowling shoes and the ripe opportunity for people watching.

Fueled by vending machine Twizzlers, I had one of the best bowling games of my life, despite bowling with a six pound ball in one hand and a piece of candy in the other. 

In a cosmic planetary alignment, one of Ryan’s friends, a guy with a hyper competitive streak, happened to be bowling beyond terribly.  At one point it seemed like I might beat him.

Thrilled by our unlikely rivalry, our friends cheered each time I bowled a great frame.  A better bowler would’ve called it keeping the ball out of the gutter, but with my limited skills four pins seemed like quite a feat.

Light-hearted and silly, the evening was a welcome change from a usual night at the bar, until I overheard the new girlfriend complain, “I don’t get it.  I’m bowling better than her.  Why are they acting like she’s doing something special?”

A little hurt, I didn’t offer to pour her anymore beer.

Years of friendship meant the cheers weren’t literally about my anemic bowling score, and it wouldn’t have been fair to expect her to understand that immediately.  But if she would have paused for a moment and tried to figure out the group dynamic before commenting on it, it would have done more to endear her to an established group with a long history.

I’m reminded of that night every so often as I stumble into different blogging communities, figuring out where I belong, finding my own tribe while respecting community members already comfortably established.

I’ve heard rumblings at times, like the too-loud whisper of the new girlfriend.  Vague comments alluding to favoritism or the mysterious nature of a popular blogger’s following are spoken without mentioning names. 

Part of the beauty of blogging is finding a community where you feel welcome and comfortable and ready to share candy or beer or a six pound bowling ball.  But finding a community doesn’t mean you automatically have access to the complete history of the members or the ins and outs of established relationships.

I’ve been lucky enough to discover a few places where I’ve felt an instant sense of camaraderie, but I’ll admit I’ve taken a moment to observe and participate a little cautiously, trying to feel out the intricacies of the group before making assumptions about how I fit into the mix of personalities. 

For me, truly belonging takes a bit of time, but I’m so thankful I’ve taken that time and found this supportive, funny, and fun community tucked snuggly into the online world.  You can share my Twizzlers anytime.

**************

I wasn’t kidding.  Angela is the real deal (plus she totally knocked out 50,000 words during November for NaNoWriMo.  I hope she remembers me when her first novel is published).

You should be reading more of the lovely Angela…

about taking time to rejuvenate her spirit…Leaves in Their Hair.

as a mom of a little girl, she finally makes peace with Disney princesses…Her Royal Wish

and some of her thoughts right before she dove into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)…My Costume?  I’m an Author

Go on…spend some time with Angela today.  I totally understand.

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