I find myself a bit fearful as I enter the blog community. To me, blogging has always implied a sort of self importance, assuming that all of my thoughts are worth publishing. That my words are at the cutting edge and desperately need to be liberated. That the whole world will benefit from the light I have to shed. And I deeply do not believe any of that to be true.
I am still cautiously trying on for size the partial identity of writer. My vocation is more messy and broad than that. I am a teacher, coach, spouse. But one of things I love doing is writing. I have published a book and a few essays, but I do not yet describe myself as writer. The world has not fully embraced me as writer. My secret hope is that no one will read my blog, that it can continue to be what it has been for me in the past- a tool of self processing and discovery.
From junior high through graduate school, I was the student who did not raise a hand in class, but preferred processing in writing after days of grappling with words and ideas in my subconscious. My book came out of incessant journaling while living in South America. Writing feels like yoga for my mind. I enjoy sweating out thoughts until I feel as though I have successfully offered something to the conversation. Although a small part of my vocation, writing is not my occupation. So what is my forum?
My spouse suggested a blog. I cringed. He blogs, but his blog is academic. It has a clear purpose, subject area and audience. I ended up at my initial fears of blogging. I write for selfish reasons of self processing, using the brain I’ve got. What if a reader misreads my blog as self importance? But what if a reader is moved? But who, really, is that reader? Who is my audience? Whatever is the point of this? Does there need to be a point? Is the art the process or the product, or is it trash? But isn’t one person’s trash another person’s treasure? But what right do I have to take up space on the net?
I like to write about being a woman. It is helpful to vent about the gender stereotypes that I see limiting all humans. I like to write about justice and how it is our job to usher peace and equality into the here and now. I like to write about my theology students and how in all honesty, they are teaching me. I like writing about becoming married, the process my spouse and I daily engage in as we name our heterosexual privilege and actively reject society’s status quo of gender roles and passionless partnerships. And I do believe that others like to think and talk about these things, too. Thus, the title. I am just a woman, adding my musings, my thoughts, to the conversation.
But I am still scared. Clicking the publish button is like pressing that seventh number when calling the boy you have a crush on. Or maybe passing that note in junior high that reads: “Do you like me? Check yes or no.” Hitting publish on a blog entry is like sending a tiny yet precious piece of myself out into the world, having no idea what the response or reaction will be. But unlike the pre-prom or prepubescent example, one person is not my target. This could reach no one, or everyone. I am not sure which is worse. And, no is not the reaction I am afraid of. I would love to insight anger or inspire action or be answered with the resonance of truth. Apathy and indifference is to be avoided, yet it is a very reasonable response to my blog. Being a waste of cyber space is my fear. How can I earn my bandwidth?
In my blogaphobia, I cling to the lyrics of Ani, “I just write about what I should have done/ I just sing what I wish I could say/ and hope somewhere some woman hears my music/ and it helps her through her day” (I’m No Heroine). After all, isn’t that why we are here? We have the ability to feel connected, and that connection can do more than help us through the day, it can help us thrive. And maybe the woman I am helping get through her day is me. That is enough, right? I still do not think I like the idea. But, I shrug with a half wince, “Well, here we go!”