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PAGING STUART SMALLEY
When did I stop thinking that what I had to say was worthy of writing down? Somewhere along the line I veered off into feeling that if what I was writing about wasn't scinctillating, profound or humorous, it wasn't worth posting. This makes it harder and harder to want to post anything, to write ANYTHING, for fear it isn't good enough.

For who? For me or for my audience?

The idea that writing about the mundanities of my day, the things that happen to me, the funny things my kids say, all those little things—isn't good enough or exciting enough to share in an online journal that is read by people all over the world, has taken hard hold of my brain. What do you care what a relief it was to see that the flea-market collection truck had taken our huge pile of donations? What do you care that I slept in again today and have mostly puttered around the house and worked on various projects? What do you care about the flutter of joy I felt in the car the other day when playing a game with Martin made me realize how very much he thinks like me?

What do you care?

Some people seem to effortlessly write funny stuff, or great stuff, or thought-provoking stuff every time they write. It boggles me, how good they are. However, they don't usually do so every day, so why should I feel obligated to? Why should I feel that every time I sit down here to post, that it has to be 1) interesting and 2) comment-worthy? Is it the nature of the blogging beast?

The real question is, who am I actually asking? I don't appreciate the tendency in myself to desire validation from anyone other THAN myself, but it seems to be a part of my make-up, and perhaps a part of the human condition, judging by the amount of attention-seekers out there. I don't think I crave approval or applause any more than the average person, at least. I know I write well. I know that people enjoy reading what I write. So why the constant self-doubt? When I sit down to write something, I don't want it to be because I want kudos or a prize for Best Online Essay Ever...I want it to be because I enjoy writing and I enjoy the feeling I get from putting words together well. I want to write the kind of things I want to read, even if it's not perfect every time.

***

Wild and Wonderful Birthday Wishes to wavebreaker!
 productive
mood: productive
music: Paul Simon—That's Where I Belong


Comments
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Honestly, as much as I love the big hitters like Julia and A Little Pregnant who post brilliantly but not very often, I much prefer the daily bloggers. I feel like I know the daily bloggers. I feel like we have some sort of established relationship. I like reading about the funny things their kids did or the struggles at work or whatever. In the end, I sometimes get a little tired of posts that try too hard to be profound or funny. I say write when you want to write and what you want to write. The best writers are aware of their audience but don't write FOR their audience.

Your last line is so true. Thanks for the thoughts.

One of the things I really like about your journal is that it does swing from profound to trivial to poetry to cutesy to chores to meanginful. Every aspect of a multi dimensional person :)

Or a schizophrenic one, haha! :P

(Anonymous)

I know exactly how you feel! It's so easy to get caught up in the "perfection"-trap and start writing for others instead of yourself. I try to keep my blogging my own pleasure. Just like you.

"I want it to be because I enjoy writing and I enjoy the feeling I get from putting words together well. I want to write the kind of things I want to read, even if it's not perfect every time."

Exactly!! :)

/Mia

http://mias.blogg.se

I'm glad you do. I like your blog, too. :)

So that was a little bit creepy how my thoughts magically posted themselves into your journal.

Hey! get out of my brain! :P

(Anonymous)

I think about this every time I write--& here is what I have to say about why I care about what YOU write. Because no matter what you write, you get me to slow down, to see things from a different slant, or perhaps the same slant. I find reassurance, encouragement, humor, & inspiration in reading about the little things--and the big. Your life, put through the lens of your writing, matters to me, because it tosses up reflections of my own that allow me to look deeper. Make sense?

Totally. And you are so right. Thank you :)

oh. common item. I also meet such thoughts often. Disappointed I need to seek some validation, and wanting not to need it, and then wondering if what I am writing is for me or for them or....

As for the quality.

The ordinary lives we lead are often extraordinary - except we don't notice. Your writing is of an ordinary life, with two extraordinary - and scarily photogenic children - in a foreign country, where the parenting issues are overlaid with this insider/outsider perspective. Even more interesting.

Your writing is always clear, and interesting. And even the mundane occurrences illuminate our insight into your world, but more importantly into the ordinary world of our own. Though your writing we discover a universality of experience, from worrying about the quality of teachers, and teaching, to having people to stay (who you so look forward to, and enjoy, and yet still are so thankful when they are gone so your house is YOUR OWN again) and all the elements between.

Cheers. And keep enjoying the writing, so we can keep enjoying the reading.

Thanks for that, all of it.

(Anonymous)

Well, I like what you write, and I hope you keep writing.

~Sprigs

Right back at'cha, babe. I look forward to your return in September, and I hope the issues sort themselves out.

HEY, don't go all meta on us now!
Just write the way you want to whenever you want to.

For my part, I've never been a daily journal keeper, not even when I wrote on paper, but I love different styles - in fact my whole friendslist is vastly varying in styles, and I LOVE that, and that your journal is among them. ;)

For some reason, I found that it was easier to keep an online journal better than one on paper. I was even addicted to Livejournal. That is until a baby, moving and a certain computer game kept me busy. I think I'm starting to go back to before, but one can only hope.

Liz, I think you should write whatever you want, whenever you want. As long as you don't get confused with a BBC News feed, I'll still be reading your journal--when I get the time.

relax, me likes it all




It's wonderful when you have a "scintillating, profound or humorous" post. It's great too to just hear about your ordinary life, your viewpoints and experiences of both the up and the down varieties. A connection occurs. It doesn't take fantastic writing to keep me bound. That is a happy extra at times, but you are, simply put, an interesting and fun person. So relax. Write when you feel like it (often I hope) whether it is a profound musings type of a day or a 'slept in, got new shoes and gawd those cookies were good' kind of a day.
I'll try to comment more. I know it's like m&ms for you, those comments are. I've been a real slacker all summer on posting and commenting.
Your posts are like a check-in with a good friend and buddy. Keep 'em comin'

Re: relax, me likes it all

Comments are TOTALLY M&Ms for me!! You are so right! :D

(Anonymous)

I can identify with all of this!

-chiefbiscuit-

Yeah ... ditto to all of that.

(Anonymous)

let me add to the chorus of people who's brain you apparently share... I totally could have written this!! I think there is always at least a moment of self-doubt, self consiousness when you are attempting anything creative. The important thing is just to do it anyway, any to keep on doing it.

And let me assure you in my best Stuart Smalley voice "You are worthy. You are good! And dog-gone it, people like you!"

Love from one of the people who like you best (yes, Lizard worship is a competitive thang), Wee xox

See, now, I could happily read a whole entry about the joy you felt in the car the other day when playing a game with Martin made you realize how very much he thinks like you. Not mundane at all! That's the stuff of life!

I know my journal tends more to the update of daily events type than anything else so it's easy for me to say your journal is always a worthy read.

It was great, that moment in the car! Hopefully I'll have time to write about it later.

What do we care?

We care about you, Liz, of Flyinge Sweden. And since most of us don't live close enough to stop in for a cuppa, this is as good as it gets.

Liz, I always look forward to what you have to say. It always seems fresh to me, even the pensive stuff--not overthought and planned. I love the journalists that write like magazine writers, but they seem almost less personal, because not every day is like that.

You're more real. :)

That's nice to hear, since I often feel I spend a lot of time reading back over and editing myself.

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