Sorry for the unoriginal title. I don’t know how to address you yet. “Reader” seemed more true than something like “dear lovelies.” Anytime a writer addresses me as a “love” or “lovely,” I’m always like, “Why?” When these same people see other people at the grocery store do they say “hello lovelies!” or is that just for writing? In any case, that nickname comes off a tad flippant unless the person is truly genuine. And I have experienced the genuine using of the “love” nick name. I don’t mind that. But I don’t know you yet, so “reader” it is. Sorry it isn’t much better.
It’s just that I don’t know what this space is yet and I’m coming to you, and the bank page, and wondering what in the world I have to offer.
For context, and because I’m sure it won’t be super clear later on, this is kind of my first blog post. I wrote five to start my blog site out months ago, sure, but haven’t written anything since. I don’t feel like I have a clear beginning or purpose and I don’t know where to start. When that happens, you are just supposed to start in the middle and work your way out.
This whole process has been very hard for me. It’s hard to explain, but after I bit the bullet and got this page up and running, I joined a writing class that took up a lot of my free time. The assignments were not blog post material, so using my lessons for post-doubles here were not going to work. I’d have to find more time. Then, naturally, I brainstormed a time-sensitive, massive fundraiser project on top of this for me and my family to work on,which was freaking amazing and fun, but a bit of a time suck. If you are interested, I asked my regular-everyday-family to sing Queens Somebody To Love and film a music video. And it is epic. (You can see it here: https://vimeo.com/216322080 )
Then, I had to figure out how to actually work WordPress and get my posts up. I hired someone to show me how, but then somehow I still couldn’t figure it out. Or maybe it was because my friend came ever and was like, “there is a much easier way to do this, I’ll show you,” but then she left town, and then I left town, and then my writing class and fundraising project consumed me again, and I forgot about it.
A few months passed. I started to think, if I can’t figure out how to post and it’s been this long, I’d better just invest in some hosting, so I did. So now, someone will post this for me when I’m finished, but I have no idea how to download my pictures from my camera to even send to her so she can post for me.
You guys: I don’t even know. I had a Canon and I knew how to work everything on it, and then my friend was like, “you need a new camera this one is old,” and so I got a new camera, a Nikon, and two-plus years later I still don’t know how the thing works. I took a class and everything so it’s not for lack of trying. Technology is just not my thing. I plugged it into my computer last night to get my pictures downloaded so I could could just bang out one blog post – THIS blog post, except it wasn’t supposed to be THIS blog post at all.
It was supposed be be a recipe post, but for that you need pictures. A message said “downloading 64 images” and then later it said “upload complete” – except it lied. None of the pictures from my camera were on my computer. I asked a friend to help me because I learned that if you try and can’t do it, you need to ask for help if you want to keep moving. This seems like a no-brainer, but before, I might have just let it go and hoped it worked the next time I tried.
I still don’t know how to get my pictures, but when I laid Ellie down for a nap today, I thought to myself, “just write the damn blog post,” and then I was all, “but you have no pictures,” and then I said, “use some that are already on your computer.” And then I said, “but I don’t have anything to say and this whole process has been frustrating,” and then I said back to myself, “so tell them you have nothing to say and this whole process has been frustrating,” and I was like, “that is not good content.”
But then I remembered something Cheryl Strayed’s said, which is this:
Surrender to your own mediocrity…which sounds kind of sad right? We are supposed to be aspiring to greatness. But humility and strength are connected. What I learned when I was writing my first book; I really felt like ‘okay, I’m going to try and write the Great American Novel. I want to write the best novel that has ever been written.’ Even when I knew I probably wasn’t going to be able to do that, it’s still what I aspired to be. It’s this American idea, right? That you reach for these kinds of heights. And I found that when I was about 2/3 of the way through that endeavor, writing that book? Was that idea of greatness is what was actually keeping me from fulfilling this dream. You know? And what I had to do was that humble thing where I would say ‘guess what, it’s true, I might be writing a mediocre book. I might be writing a book that nobody ever reads…’ and you just have to surrender to the truth of that. I had to surrender to this notion that even if I’m mediocre, what matters more to me than writing a great novel, is writing A novel. And that was a huge lesson.
And that helped me get unstuck. I knew I would not be writing like Hemingway here today. (By the way, I will never write like Hemingway, so let’s keep that bar way down there.) But, I also knew that the hardest part is beginning, and that the only thing keeping me from writing here regularly was the first post. THIS POST.
So, here is what I’m doing: I am sending this post with some pictures that are already on my computer from last month for no other reason than tgat I LIKE THEM and it will give you a peek into my life. And then I will figure out the google drive thing or maybe it’s a drop folder? I don’t know, whatever the medium is that I must send this post to my hosting person is, and then I will proclaim victory. Because you know what? Tom Petty is wrong. The waiting is not the hardest part. Beginning (and beginning again, and again, and as many times as it takes) is the hardest part.
Beginning is hard.
Not beginning is harder.