May 20, 2016

Writing Then vs. Writing Now

I've been digging through my old writings a lot lately, and honestly they send me through a whole range of emotions.

First I'm embarrassed about how I wrote because honestly, I didn't think anyone would really read it so it's riddled with spelling and grammar issues.  I'm a bit embarrassed when I reread the post about applying for welfare and how stigmatizing that was for me.  And then I'm amazed and proud of how much I was willing to share. And then I doubt my current writings because they are not as raw and emotional as I used to be.

There was a very mean blog post circulating around the internet this week, attacking bloggers like me.  Mom bloggers who came out of the wood work, monetizing with sponsors and writing about products, calling us sell outs.  For a few minutes I believed her.  I mean, where are all those emotional posts I used to write?  Where is the day to day update on my feelings and what my kid ate that day? I really started to become upset, afraid that I had become this new sell-out writer.

As I tucked my kids into bed, it struck me that I did change as a writer, and more than that, I changed as a person. When I started writing 5 years ago, I was newly married, having a baby, and was out of work for a few weeks.  My jobs were managing a restaurant and nannying children.  I had time to sit and write and lacked the contact of real people so I used my blog to connect. I was unsure of myself and where my life was going.  Writing was my escape from the uncertainty of my life.

That's not who I am now. After last year, I am more reserved.  I don't trust people as much on the computer.  Also, I teach high schoolers who can easily google and find this page and my every day thoughts aren't exactly something I want them to read. I work as a teacher. I literally can not write about work. I can't share the frustrations of particular students or anecdotes from the day. Would it jeopardize my job if I did?

When I did monthly updates for Emmalee, I literally only had one baby who didn't do much. Photo shoots and page long updates were enjoyable and easy to make time for.  Now instead of writing about my kids, I'm playing with them. Or we're watching a movie. Or we're outside, away from technology.  I can't give up that time to blog. I am so thankful for the amazing opportunities we've had through blogging and the great toys we get to play with together though.  It's a different type of play because we have photos and sometimes I make them wait to get just the right shot, but it's still playtime.  Sometimes, the toy just isn't what we expect and it never gets to the reader; I won't share anything I don't actually like, but it's still playtime for us.

That very mean blogger tried to shame me for how I've changed as a writer but if anything, she made me more aware of why my writing has changed.

My writing went from emotional and scattered to organized and concentrated because unlike before, now my blog isn't my main source of emotional stability.  I work with amazing people who build me up and make me laugh on the phone at night.  I have two kids who hang on to me and want to do everything with me.  I have an amazing husband who works his butt off for us and when he's home I want to do nothing but wrap my arms around him. I have a job that keeps me so busy but so fulfilled.
I have a blog that brings me joy, rather than comfort. And if my writing changed because I am in a better place financially and emotionally, then I'm okay with not sharing the way I used to.

I am still an authentic voice, it's just my newer authentic voice.



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