When I started blogging two years ago I had no idea what I was doing. (I still don’t, to be honest, I’ve just gotten better at pretending I do.) I didn’t even know how to create a blog, much less how to gain readership. Those of you who know me know technology makes my palms sweat so while I’d love to say that the decision to create this space was made in eager confidence, that simply isn’t true. I was terrified that someone would call my bluff, that they’d see me as the wannabe blogger – as the fraud – I really was.
I’d hoped these fears would dissipate over time but the truth is that they’ve only changed. Now, two years later, I find myself straddling the line between keeping my blog current and maintaining its individuality; I want An Adventure Story to “fit in” with other blogs but I don’t want to sacrifice its authenticity in the process. I’m in middle school, guys, and this moody preteen can’t decide whether to hide her pimples or embrace the awkward wonders of puberty. To conform or to let the freak flag fly? That, Shakespeare, is the question.
Let me give you an example. I’ve met a lot of incredible people through blogging and most of them have blogs of their own – sponsored blogs with which they make money. Psh, I’m not jealous (insert rapidly growing nose) … I’m just a twelve-year-old caught in the throes of hormonal angst, remember? Anyway, most of their blogs have unrivaled photos of mini fashion models (aka their children) taken by top of the line cameras and lately I’ve been wishing mine had the same. It’s the usual story: I want that. I need that. Woe is me. Blah, blah, blah. (Why, ego, is your voice so ceaselessly loud?)
Sometimes, though, it shuts up long enough for me to hear the quiet whisperings of my inner self and when that happens the preteen finally washes the makeup from her face. “This is me,” she says proudly, sporting frizzy hair and a geeky grin, “zits and all.”
She’s right, I think. I don’t even like photography.
I like words. Long ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones. Ones that make people laugh and ones that make people cry. Words that set ideas in motion and hearts on fire, that turn thought into action and silence into song. I love words the way a mother loves her children – differently and uniquely but to the same fiercely combustible degree. How can I not? They’re mine, after all.
When I’m green with blog envy I have to remind myself why I created An Adventure Story in the first place – to breathe life into words. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t share my stories because I want to showcase photos or fit in with a certain crowd; I share them because they connect me to you the way only words can – deeply, honestly, and inextricably.
Anything else is merely extra.