Posted by: canthold | August 15, 2007

Breaking The Rules

I was about to write a post on finding my writing “voice.” I feel that I’ve been floundering lately trying to figure out what I really want to write about.

I started off writing this blog as a way to show how speaking my mind has gotten me in trouble, and how I need to talk because of my personality, but lack of social outlets required a different kind of release. It’s also a way to keep my writing tuned up. I need the practice to hone my craft.

But mostly, I just need to write. It’s who I am. I’m a writer.

I wanted to write about politics and feminism and was quite discouraged by that. Besides the nasty people who disagree, I also felt that I didn’t have anything new to say either. If you were reading, you probably felt the same way, but if you didn’t, I wasn’t going to change your mind. It felt very antagonistic and confrontational. Besides, as any feminist can probably attest, looking too closely at how women are actually treated in this world is very depressing. Not that I want to totally stop writing about this, either, but just not exclusively.

Then I just wrote about random things and my family. So the thing is, I found a writer who inspires me but makes me jealous at the same time. She writes about my life – because we experience the same things or have experienced the same things – better than I do. I get the strange sensation that she’s writing with my voice – the voice I haven’t quite found yet. She’s great. She’s already written a book, which freaks me out for all of our similarities, but is thoroughly enjoyable to read, just to get more of her.

Today, I logged on to find a comment from someone who explained the symbolism of spiders and encouraged my writing. This person went on to compliment my writing and it was just what I needed, right when I needed it. (Thanks Char!) Coincidentally, in the strange parallel universe that I’m living with Barb, she wrote a post about her writing being complimented, too.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m aware that I’m all over the board. Maybe I’m trying too hard to be profound or witty or whatever and I just need to keep on being myself. I’m not the same person all of the time. My perspective changes when I view the world through the eyes of mother, woman, feminist, daughter, American and World Citizen, among others. I have such a variety of interests that even I can’t keep up. What does my love of the Tour de France have to do with being a mother? What does my political viewpoint have to do with spiders?

I think that my feeling of floundering is a by-product of my desire to follow the rules. Blogging “experts” say to find a topic and stick with it to develop an audience. I don’t think I can actually find One Thing to stick to. It’s not my nature. Perhaps I’m not floundering at all, but simply breaking the rules.



  1. Wow, this sounds like something Barb would have written (and I can say that, because I reviewed the book of which you speak two or three or seventeen times before publication).

    Be assured that your feeling of floundering is in no way associated with an APPEARANCE of floundering–from out here it looks like you know exactly what you’re doing (and I can say that, because I make my living as a writer).

    Ignore the experts (and I can say that, because I make my living in Internet marketing).

    LIFE is a topic. So what if your niche is so broad that you can’t see the edges? It’s all in the telling.

  2. Well, *I* keep saying that my blog is about Nothing. Like Seinfeld was about Nothing.

    I will tell you that there can’t just be the two of us who love the Tour de France. there have to be loads of mothers out there wondering if Floyd Landis is getting a fair shake and why George Hincapie has never won Pari Roubaix.

    I never know what I’m doing with my blog either, but whatever happens to me–it’s my guess it will happen to YOU, too!


    PS: thank you for your kind words. I’ve been needing a little encouragement.

  3. After such a stress filled day, to get comments from two of my favorite writers is like eating a bowl of whipped cream. Very dreamy. 🙂

    I can’t even compose a proper response, though, because I have this bottle of wine sitting next to me and I think it’s calling my name. (I’m not going to drink the whole thing, just a glass!)


  4. The funny thing about this post is that I was looking at the statistics of my site and found that in about four days prior, not a single person had visited at all. I had this horrible feeling that I had entirely lost my audience and I was feeling very sorry for myself. On one hand, if I was an utter failure at blogging it’s not the end of the world, but I was thinking that I was on the wrong track and had to rethink my entire philosophy.

    I realized, though, that I’m doing this for myself as much or more than for any audience. Like I said, I write because it’s in my soul. I’m a writer and that’s what we do.

    As it turned out, there was a glitch or something and those four days were filled in the next time I looked. The encouragement is very meaningful and important, and I greatly appreciate it. It’s terrible to live in a vacuum.

    I hope that my writing touches people in the same way that my favorite writers reach me.
    Thank you for reading.

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