This blog is a continuation of the previous one, also titled “The Next Step.” Check that one out first before reading this.
Now, what do I mean by, “moving this blog in a new direction”? I don’t totally know. On the one hand, maybe I just wanted to get all meta for the sake of being meta on this blog. But on the other hand, I think I really want this thing to evolve. I’m eventually going to run out of things to talk about, aren’t I? Once I reach a year of consistent blogging, what do I aspire to after that? Do I aim for two years? Does two years really amount to that much of a difference over one year?
I think where I want this blog to go is in a direction where I don’t feel forced to write for the sake of writing. Although, I guess that contradicts what I said in my previous blog, considering I talked about how great it was to cultivate the habit of writing for the sake of writing. I guess what this really boils down to is, sometimes writing feels like a chore. Having a chore as a habit is sometimes less than ideal, considering all the other chores that life brings. But, then again, there’s obviously value in writing as a passion. It’s rewarding to build a habit that has practical value. Being a better writer is great for any career. I’m not saying I’m an outstanding writer or anything like that, but I am saying that doing what I’m doing usually leads to people becoming better writers than they were before, wherever they started at. So for me, I hope to be a little better than I was a year ago, or at least a bit more self-aware of my own writing styles.
I’ve thought a lot about the future of this blog, and whether it will continue in its current form. I don’t even know what the next form of this blog would look like. To those of you who have read this thing for awhile now, you know I used to write on this back in 2013 with regular poetry updates and then that turned into just a place to publish all my creative writing endeavors. Then, for awhile during grad school and shortly afterwards, I stopped writing on this altogether. I didn’t have time to update it, and I wasn’t the type of person to spend my limited free time doing creative writing. I was fresh out of ideas and had no one to share my writing with. My energy and enthusiasm for writing totally dissipated during that time period, even though I was in an occupation where creative writing was encouraged and heavily involved. To think that I used to teach writing to kids (well, I still do, too) but didn’t actually write anything? What use am I as a teacher? But the fact of the matter is that writing is difficult and time-consuming. It sucks up your energy and consumes you inside it. In the teaching profession, I simply didn’t have the time to write.
One of the great joys of restarting this blog has been getting back into habits. I go to the gym at least three times a week, and I’ve been doing that since New Years. I’ve kept a daily blog where I write at least 300 words a day for about 250 or so days in a row. Even while I discuss potentially moving this blog in a new direction, I don’t want to give up my daily writing. It has truly become a part of me that keeps me grounded and secure, along with going to the gym, and I cherish being able to cultivate those habits into my lifestyle as an adult.
When I was younger, I used to write in a physical journal, and I carried it everywhere with me. (Have I told this story before? Inevitably, I’m going to repeat myself; not like anyone’s keeping track, but still…)
As someone with low self-esteem and a predisposition towards telling people what they want to hear rather than the truth, my whole life has revolved around pleasing others. But writing is one of my few remaining solitary activities. It’s something I can return to and rediscover my true self and feelings, without reservation. I don’t have to worry about whether or not I truly like something or if I’m just saying I like something to please another person; while writing, I am honest to the only person who consistently reads my writing: myself. Self-esteem doesn’t play a role in my treatment. Everyone deserves the opportunity to discover their voice and allow it to be heard, and a lot has been on my mind lately regarding what I want to do with my life. At age 24, it’s hard not to think of all the ways in which I’ve slowly lost control over things I used to have under control. Appointments, daily routines, large-scale ambitions. Inevitably, all of these things fall apart over time, but I never expected it to be so sudden and apparent to myself.
But that’s a topic for another blog post. Today, I want to solely discuss the act of writing, or keeping a daily journal, as it allows me to flesh out my thoughts in ways I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. In my journals, I am forced to stay consistent with my own thinking, and I don’t allow other voices to intrude on what I ought to write about. The only person I owe anything to with these blog posts is, ultimately, myself, and hopefully that doesn’t come off as selfish to others.