My Year of Writing (Part 1) – The Hurdle & Why

I actually surpassed this mountainous milestone last year back in middle of December, but I decided against celebrating then. What if the celebration was a gateway into quitting or being less consistent? Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve proved I can do it, now I can quit! “Nope, not me,” I said. I didn’t want that stamina to dissolve. I was in a vulnerable place after all. The holidays were upon us, and I was lazy and overall unmotivated. Plus, covid was still around and barking up every bloody tree. I couldn’t trust myself with any major decision-making. I’m pretty sure I would’ve traded in my valuable possessions for a fresh loaf of sourdough bit of peace and joy. Life was exhausting to say the very least. I couldn’t risk losing the one thing that I had control of and had been consistent with in the last year. I had to keep going. So, I did.

I never set out to write regularly, much less as militant as I have been (new posts dropping every Wednesday at 8am EST)! I just felt like I needed another outlet during the pandemic; the world felt like it was closing in on us and I needed another way to cope. It was as good a time as any to refresh this blog (even if it was for the umpteenth time).

54 posts in 52 weeks

These posts don’t just represent a glimpse into a life. Each one represents a post that I thought I’d never write, a ripple of self-doubt, and a (sometimes) last minute thrilling sprint to the finish line. A line, at times, difficult to see.

My painful blogging journey in a nutshell:
  • I created a WordPress account in early 2015. I posted 8 times that year.
  • Then, in middle of 2016 I dusted off the old laptop and posted 4 times to end the year off.
  • Then 6 times in 2017. The highlight that year was that we became pregnant with Charlotte.
  • In 2018, I apologized to the ether about not writing more. I ended up posting 4 times.
  • In 2019, I swore I would start posting regularly. I posted a whopping total of 5 times.

I think most people have a dream that they’re afraid to share, to say aloud. They secretly hope a lucky break or rare opportunity will appear and lead them on their divine path. Perhaps it’s a dream of becoming an actor, a singer or making art for a living. Mine has always been to write. For me, though, the idea of sharing such a dream would mean having a degree of expectation associated with that. And usually with expectation comes the potential for failure. So, my thinking was if I didn’t share it, there was no chance of failing (at least not publicly).

The Why

When Charlotte was born, I started a baby journal for her. The first page in that journal was a letter I wrote to her.

SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t keep up with that journal, but this blog is somewhat of a love letter to her. One of the reasons why I have such anxiety around death is because I fear not making a memorable impact in this world, not leaving any type of legacy behind, and being completely forgotten. Having a daughter of my own and being able to raise her has relieved a lot of that fear. But more than that, I also want my daughter to know who I really am; I’m not just her mama (although that’s been the greatest role of my life).

When you’re a child, you see your parents sometimes as infallible beings. You trust that they are people who don’t make mistakes, don’t pursue higher callings other than raising you and your siblings, who march on fearlessly without emotions (worry, doubt, or otherwise). And while I want my daughter to see how strong and determined I am, I also want her to see the sides of me that acknowledge fear, seeks challenges, and gets back up after countless fails. I want my daughter to see all of me: the young person I was before her who grew up with a dream, found purpose, and needed so much to express herself that she started to tell the stories of her life. If my words change no one’s perspective, then at the very least I know it will give my daughter a window into my soul. When she does read it, I hope her take-away will be that her mama was a girl who loved bread with many dreams: to write, to have a family, and to follow her passions. I hope she realizes that she, too, can do anything she wants as long as it makes her happy.

Have you encountered any hurdles along your journey? How did you overcome them?

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49 thoughts on “My Year of Writing (Part 1) – The Hurdle & Why

  1. I learnt along the way is
    1. Short and sweet is harder yet easier. Easier cause less words to type. Harder cause you have to synthesize and consolidate
    2. If you dont get more than a few likes over 24 hrs better to change it to a private post and then review it later down the track.
    3. Go broad then find where your audience sits within your interest areas.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing this! I appreciate your perspective! For me, it’s been telling an honest story. I want my personality to show through my words and allow others to either see a different perspective they never saw or find something relatable within my story. I agree, shorter the sweeter! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I haven’t posted since mid February, and I have a bunch of excuses why. It just come down to making it a priority. You have a wonderful blog now that I’m sure Charlotte will enjoy reading with you one day! In the meantime, don’t underestimate the healing power of bread. 🥖 😉. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • hahaha oh Deb, I never underestimate the healing power of yeast, flour and water… I’m obsessed.. 🙂 I’m sure you can’t tell lol..

      Going back to school and starting over in a sense is definitely another tall order- there’s only so much of ourselves we can give away, and you’re doing an amazing thing so don’t be so hard on yourself! 😉

      Like

  3. That dream to write is strong. I had that dream as well. I had that fear of failure and sometimes still do. I started writing in my forties. Partly for my son. Partly for me. It was a long haul. There were many disappointments and rejections. I remember the high of my first honourable mention and my first short story publication. And eventually a short story collection published. I remember the lows of criticism that my low self esteem had trouble dealing with. The many rejections of a novel and an essay collection. Both of which still remain unpublished. But I keep writing. I am now 64. About once a week, I drop a blog post out into the world. I don’t do it for the numbers, the likes or the follows. I do it for me. Last week my son, who is thirty, told me how much he loves that I do this. So yes. I also do it for him. I never want him to stop trying to achieve his dream.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I relate to this so much and I commend you for sharing your story as well! I think the reason why my writing never took hold the several times I tried was because I was focused on the wrong things (like you mentioned, the likes, follows, numbers, etc). Once I started focusing on telling the actual story and thinking about what people would want to read and how others might relate, I started to slowly but surely, break down that wall of mine one brick at a time. So glad you never gave up!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m sure she is going to appreciate this blog and you so much once she is grown up!
    Congratulations (Belated) on sticking around for a year! I know what you mean about not celebrating a milestone in the fear that it may make you complacent. But I am so glad you are here and keep us entertained with you amazing content.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Moksha! You were one of my first followers when I restarted this blogging journey so I really appreciate your support and friendship throughout! It’s been amazing getting to know you! 🙂

      Like

  5. Thank you for sharing your blogging path. I didn’t know this about you and I have a similar path. I started my blog in 2017 but yes only posted a few times a year. Then last year, literally around this time, March 2021, I downloaded Yoast and started sticking to a schedule, and I haven’t really wavered for the most part. Congratulations on your determination as well, I love this! If it’s important, which for you, this obviously is, it comes out on top!!! 🌺

    Liked by 5 people

  6. This is beautiful, BB. So raw and honest. Charlotte is lucky to have you. Raising a child is the most noble art form, so you do get to make art your whole life. 🙂 The fun/sad/wondrous/wonderful thing is, that art keeps growing and changing.

    The crossed out “who loves bread” part cracked me up! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Congratulations on your past 15 months! I think a lot of us go through what you have experienced, and it doesn’t matter! No one is forcing you to post to order, so just do what feels right for you. As others have said, Charlotte will enjoy growing up with what you have written, and you have much to look forward to in that respect.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks so much for this perspective, Clive! You’re right, realistically, no one really expects anything from me. I find it’s always myself that I tend to feel either let down by or project expectations from.. and it’s silly when you break it all down because as long as you’re proud of your work, you should have no self-doubts. The truth is, that little internal deadline I’ve given myself gives me so much satisfaction when I reach it.. it’s almost exhilarating because I know I can do it, I’ve proven myself I can and I just see it as a little friendly push to get myself moving every week. For now, I am enjoying it much more than I am dreading it but I know once I dread that weekly deadline like a curse, I will definitely change my perspective, and that’s okay too! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good (enough). I think of myself as a recovering perfectionist.

        The first line of this comment came from my last boss. Add the second line and you might get an inkling of why I reacted the way I did to one of your turning point posts. I hope you don’t take offense to this comment.

        You are nearly as idealistic as I was probably at a similar point in my life as you are now in yours. My past blogging hiccups were also pretty similar to yours. I also consider my now adult children to be part of my legacy. I hope they won’t be my only ones because I want them and many of their compatriots to know my story and that of many of my compatriots and women who inspired and inspire me. I don’t know if you’ve read the very first post on this new to me blog but it might explain a little more about my attitude. Thanks for your (re)consideration.

        https://hbsuefred.com/2021/01/06/places-of-my-life-2/

        I think if you copy and paste the link in a browser you’ll get there. This old fogy is still trying to learn now tech stuff so your patience is appreciated.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you explaining the reason for your last comment. This whole blogging thing is a learning curve but it also takes a lot of sacrifice.. those who want to continue do so because they find that drive.. I can appreciate stopping and starting over and over again.. Thanks for your comment.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As with many others, I struggle with motivation and self doubt. I’m on second blog and surprisingly both blogs have had regularly irregular posts. The first one was when my kids were much littler and is long forgotten. I write for me, mostly to empty my head and that works. Sometimes I would like to be more focused but it’s not really a goal for me right now.
    Enjoy your consistency, celebrate your writing goals. and write for you (and Charlotte). Be proud of your achievements.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much! I so relate to the struggle of course… just because we want to be writers doesn’t mean it always comes easy or that we could be doing it 24/7… it can be taxing on us just from the second-guessing, self-doubt as we discussed and from the reflection and self-discovering.. lots to consider! I have enjoyed my year of blogging because it’s made me realize I can do it despite how difficult it used to be to break through that writing wall.. And even though some may see my internal deadline of posting exactly once a week a bit rigid and forceful, I see it as determination and a small goal each week that I know I can meet. And it feels great every time I hit that publish button. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, E. 🙂

      Like

  9. I am sure your daughter will really appreciate reading your posts when she’s older. My daughters know that I blog but I don’t think they ever read anything I write. I hope one day they will read my posts.

    I haven’t really experienced any hurdles in my blogging journey, but I have learned a lot! There’s way more that goes into maintaining a blog than just spewing out content.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I hope she will, Michelle! She might not appreciate it until she’s maybe in her mid-20s but that’s the best part about the internet… it’s a forever thing 🙂 There is soooo much that goes into maintaining a blog and I don’t even do more than the minimum so totally get that! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I also started a blog forever ago for health reasons and was able to accomplish helping others in the process. I found that I needed something beyond that and threw myself into my photography work, then our farm, only to realize that I still needed a creative outlet. So back I came with a dream in my heart about expanding our farm (which we accomplished) and a new dream of selling cut flowers and continually writing my way through it. I’m on month 4 of writing almost consistently. Not every post is made equal in value but I love doing it and I find joy in sharing our lives and adventures with others. Not agriculturally but in subsidence. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Okay, you got me with the line about sourdough—my all-time favorite bread.😊 As I’ve told you countless times (excuse the elderly gentleman passing through), your honesty is so refreshing!!!

    Stating a dream aloud takes courage, yet there’s power in that act. Sure, some might ridicule us for chasing something that may never happen. My answer to the naysayers is, “at least I had the courage to try, buddy.” As someone who once didn’t have the heart to try new things and go after his goals with fearlessness (okay, I’m still afraid—just not enough to stop trying), I’m never going back. Pete 1.2 is the better version, and I’m betting you like yourself better finding your courage, BB.

    We are alike in so many ways. I’ve recently started printing my blog posts out, and I plan to give them to my son someday. I hope he passes them on to my future grandchildren (assuming that happens). I want him to know all the sides of his dad. I also want him to know how proud of him and how he has inspired me to be a better man.

    Fabulous post! Sorry about the lengthy response, but that’s what good writers do—they make us feel something. You’re setting an excellent example for your daughter!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oy, Pete! I am so sorry I don’t know how I missed this comment!? So happy to hear that you are saving your posts for your son! I love going through belongings of generations past (I don’t have many in my family but my husband’s aunt has been doing a lot of genealogy research and it’s been so fascinating to sift through all of that history)! I fantasize about this blog being a part of my personal history! 🙂 As always, kindest words always come from you – I am so grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Awesome! I myself started being active around the same time, and prior to that, also had sporadic posts at best. And I guess my biggest obstacle is just myself. I’m the one who doesn’t feel like writing, and I’m the one who always wants to piss away my free time doing something else, but then I always end up regretting not writing, and being happy with having written. So that’s what I try to remind myself when I just can’t seem to get started.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How did I miss this comment! You’re right, the biggest obstacle for me has been myself. I always thought it was because I didn’t have the time but if I want to do something, I know I could make the time and take those baby steps! So true!

      Like

    • Yes, I agree. I’ve had to sacrifice things in order to be able to keep up with my blog… most of it has been inconsequential things and things I am glad I gave up in order to have time to write but other things I hope to work back into my schedule (like reading)! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I liked reading about your blogging/writing journey. I found that I stumbled along for years until my writing caught up with my vision of who I am. That is, I found my voice [as they say] and avoided all niches. Be yourself and you’ll be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well put, Ally! That’s how I felt too… if I compare my writing from the past with the writings of the past year, it’s completely different. I am definitely more honest and less careful about what I say but more thoughtful about how I say it… And that’s been the biggest difference for me. I found my confidence through my stories and words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Well, I started my blog in February 2013 and only told one person for the longest time, then a few friends, but did not interact with others in the Blogosphere for another 4 1/2 years. My first post was long and drawn out, then it was crummy Winter weather that messed up my walking regimen which wasn’t good since my blog was/is about walking. Suddenly I had nothing to say. I used to write more, but when I added pictures, it made the posts longer as they were picture laden, but more work as I had to deal with uploading pics, sorting through them, so less posts (and usually lagging behind in writing about them). Sometimes I wish I’d waited until I was retired to begin blogging to be honest. P.S. – I love your bread references. I love bread and a nice crispy piece of sourdough slathered with peanut butter sounds pretty good right now. After we moved from Canada to the States in 1966, every time we visited my grandmother, we went to a bakery around the corner for kaisers. Nothing like a fresh kaiser! They don’t make them here and unless you get a baguette, you don’t find that crispy-bite-into-it-and-crumbs-go-everywhere-bread or buns here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG I LOVE BREAD, LINDA!!!!! LOL My husband says I single-handedly kept the Cobs bakery around the corner alive during the pandemic! LOL He’s not wrong! Haha Thank you for being a fellow bread lover!!! 😀 hehe… Yes, nothing like a kaiser! When I lived near the beaches as a grade-schooler, my friends and I would go to a local bakery owned by a Jewish family and they had THE BEST fresh baked bagels and we’d get whipped cream cheese on it… it was delightful! I still remember it to this day! Haha that was a long comment response about bread XD Anyway, thank you so much for reading/comment and sharing your story! I am glad you kept writing, it’s a wonderful thing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • This was also a Jewish bakery and my grandmother put in an order to ensure they had enough kaisers for our stay and we’d take some home too! Over here, there was a bakery that made fresh asiago cheese bagels … probably a good thing they went out of business as it was a regular Sunday morning jaunt and they made their own cream cheese that came in jars. Now I’m hungry!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Most people would give anything to have these ‘from the heart’ writings of their parents and grandparents. I certainly would. Charlotte is one lucky little girl, and you are one great mom. I’ve told you I want to clone you as a parent in my class. 🙂 Bloggers who have a schedule for postings? Help me Rhonda! I just can’t do that. I write from the heart. Sigh! So, write when you want to write, and when you feel like writing. That’s usually the best writing of all. I’ll be reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thanks so much Jennie! This was the nicest comment! See, I think I would really appreciate seeing a bit of my mom or grandmother’s world directly from their words so I hope Charlotte comes to a point in her life where she will appreciate it. I think I will probably compile it all and make a book of it for her! 🙂 That will be a fun project! Thanks always for the support! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. That sourdough bread is pretty good. I could go for one, too.
    Oh, and you sound just like me! I’ve slacked off so much in writing in my sons’ journals. :/ Maybe they’ll figure out that I love them without the journal entries.

    Liked by 1 person

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