Sometimes I have to admit that I hate this. I hate putting my life on display and debate the possibility of scrubbing clean my entire social media presence. I get these waves of panic that in offering everything on the internet and making myself so easily google-able, I’m compromising something – my career, my integrity, my street cred – and I get scared. I fear that I’ll put all of this out there and no one will care. I’ll have confirmation that I’ve tried and I’ve failed. I’ve talked about this before in a previous post but it’s something I want to revisit.
In what will become my second reference to Julie and Julia this week, there’s a scene in the movie where Julie, played by Amy Adams, contemplates whether or not anyone other than her mother is reading her blog, only to be notified by her husband Eric (Chris Messina aka Danny from the Mindy Project!) that yes, in fact there are readers, and lots of them. With this boost in confidence, Julie continues on with her project renewed with a sense of purpose. I can say with confidence that will not happen to me, mostly because WordPress makes it devastatingly easy to track your numbers so that you know who, regardless of their location, is looking at your stuff at any given moment. I know what my numbers are and though I don’t have any grand expectations, I still have unmet goals. Compounding this feeling of ineptitude is the fact that each time I press “publish” there is a secret and brief hope that this will the one that brings you closer to others in the community. While I’m getting there slowly, there’s still the aspect of managing expectations each time I find that my numbers are modest.
I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and for all I say about wanting to maintain this blog for myself, the truth is that I do care what others think and writing is as much for others as it is for me, if not more. If I really didn’t care, I wouldn’t mention it so frequently. I can spend the better part of my time rationalizing why I have a full life and don’t need the approval of strangers but both my behaviour and gut would suggest otherwise.
Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time re-reading my old entries and some of them are cringe-worthy but still they represent me as I was during that time, so I don’t revise but if I could, I would. With a bit of space and distance I realize that some lines aren’t quite as poetic as I thought them to be, that many posts could benefit from heavy revisions, and that my photography skills are severely lacking. Maybe I haven’t given myself enough time to work on each post, maybe I am not taking this seriously enough and not writing and editing as thoroughly as I should, or maybe I’m simply not as good as I thought. Perhaps I’ll start to work more seriously and my content will become more polished, my header photos more relevant (if the lead photo doesn’t clearly pertain to the content, there’s a good chance I chose it because I couldn’t think of anything else), and work on promoting it properly. For now though, I’m finally admitting that I care a lot more than I was willing to let myself believe and also that I want to work for success, whatever that may be. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t really know what I want or want to do, only that I want to stop being such a whiner.