Last weekend, I read an article by a young fashion blogger named Sarah Ashley Buckley. Her article listed the five reasons why she walked away from her wildly popular blog, The Quirky Martini. I could relate to everything she said, but her definition of blaryngitis resonated with me:
I had lost my blogging voice. I had been so wrapped up constantly creating new design and layout concepts for my blog, for making it this glittery, “look at me” blog, that I had forgotten to take a look at myself. Reading previous posts, I could admit that I had changed drastically in not only my writing style, but also in my attitude. I was no longer “the girl-next-door oddball who helped college students dress a little more professionally while on a budget”. I was “the girl who began with the right motives, but lost her way amidst the glamour of blogging”. I had lost my authenticity, and it wasn’t fair to my readers to be subjected to that.
If I can't say a word, I'll just wave my hands.
When I started this blog, I was still in my twenties.
In. My. Twenties. Hmmm. That left a weird taste in my mouth.
The big 3-0 was looming in the horizon and yet, I felt like I already knew who I was—an encourager. I owed it to the world to wake up every morning and share with them whatever major eye-opener I had received in a way that ignited change in their own lives. I had to pour out the deeply personal moments of my life (e.g., major weight loss, my mother’s death, FEELINGSBOMB posts about relationships and the elusive Mr. Big) and wait for the “me toos” because...that made everything I had gone through somehow worth it.
For a long time, this was my writing style and my voice. Until it wasn’t.
One of my favorite quotes talks about learning how to dance in the rain of life’s storms (“life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning how to dance in the rain”). Not to toot my own horn, but I am really good at dancing in the rain. I know how to praise God when everything seems to be going topsy-turvy in my life. I can smile when I should be crying. And YES, LORD, I can encourage someone else no matter what’s happening in my world.
But life is not always about storms. There are some moments when everything is calm—the birds are chirping, there are no clouds for miles around and the sun is heating up a turkey sausage biscuit in the microwave.
I love that commercial.
There are times when life is so good and so calm that really, you shouldn’t do anything but be grateful. I tend to panic. I am constantly scanning the horizon, looking for the first sign of rain…because we’re always either going into a storm or coming out of storm, right?
How can I encourage someone if I ‘m not going through anything?
If I can’t write about the trials and tribulations, who am I as a writer?
I am still a writer; I’m just not a storm chaser. I am learning how to truly live in the moment. Sometimes, that means storms; other times, it’s all sunny days. I can embrace both situations without immense feelings of guilt, self-imposed or from others’ expectations…which is whole ‘nother blog post and saints, I will surely deal with that!
I’ve never stopped writing. I never will. It’s taken some time and one incredible experience with a group of amazing writers, but I have found my voice again. I hope my dear FBRs will stick with me for this next chapter in my (writing) life.
In case you’re wondering, yes….
I’m still encouraged.