Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Thoughts on Writing My Blog

I was reading the Widow Chick blog the other week and she mentioned that when she started she was worried that in a few months she would run out of things to write. Since my blog is supposedly a travel blog and I am still travelling I never worried about that but it did get me thinking on how my blog has acquired a life of its own. It’s not really a travel blog, it's more my life in type. I never thought much about how it would be structured I just started typing and let it evolve which is how we ended up two distinct types of posts: the where I am and what I’m doing posts and the ‘thoughts’ posts like this one. In the last few months though I’ve started to question this. I can’t even articulate what this is: the layout; the content; my audience; the existence of the blog itself?

I write for myself. I have ‘posts’ typed that I will never publish because they are too personal and often to incoherent as I try to work through my thoughts and feelings without going quietly insane in when the thoughts go round and round my head like a dog chasing its tail. The where I am and what I’m doing posts are for my family and friends back home. It’s the easiest way for everyone who cares about me to keep in touch with my life and it acts as a journal that I can look back on and remember my travels. I love to look back at old travel posts and remember when I visited that winery or museum or gallery and who I was with and who I met. Then there are the thoughts from my head that I do post and it's these post that I have really been questioning recently. I know that some of my friends find them useful and that the ones about grief (as many of them are) resonate with many of you who read this but we’re all getting on a bit in the grief stakes. I am starting to wonder if my posts are helpful or are they self indulgent? I've kept them up because they are the ones I know are most read (also perhaps because they are the easiest to write?) but I'm starting to worry if they are doing more harm than good. When my family read them do they worry more? I write and publish my thoughts in a way that I would never speak them out loud. In fact if you met me and tried to quiz me on them I would most likely become shy and uncomfortable. This leads me to wonder who am I really writing for? I read a quote recently on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation FB page that said ‎"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." -William James and I think that’s why I keep writing these posts. I suppose that deep down I hope they make a difference. I had so much help and support from unknown people in those early days who have since become well known faces and names and support me still that I really wish to make a difference. The thing is do I? I am no longer part of the widdahood as I once was. It’s been over a year since I last met a new widow. I don’t accept friend requests from people I don’t know. I don’t use the sites I used to use. I am no longer a member of the WAY foundation. When I first came over here I needed to break away from that life, in a way it had become my life and I needed to build my new life away from it. Now I have done that are my ramblings really helpful to anyone but me and if they’re not then why publish them if they only cause pain and worry?

In five weeks I’ll be heading back to the UK. Do I keep writing my blog, do I take a break, do I decide that it’s served its purpose and quit or do I take the opportunity to restructure it so it satisfies its original purpose as a travel blog? Honestly right now I don’t know. I stated earlier that I know my ‘thoughts’ post are the most read yet the purpose is meant to be keeping my friends and family informed about where I am and what I’m doing. I think my blog is having an identity crisis. Am I writing this for the ego boost of knowing that other people think my words are worth reading or is it for my friends and family to keep track of me? Maybe it has been a bit of both and maybe it’s time for that to change.

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