When I first started blogging, coming up with an idea to write about was the least of my concerns. I had lots of things to say about being a “middle-aged” woman (a title I still cling to despite being sixty-one, partly because I don’t want to be called a senior citizen and partly because it’s too much trouble to change the name of this blog), and I actually had a backlog of posts already written, just waiting for me to hit the “publish” button.
But that was almost five years ago, and there’s only so much anyone can say about sagging skin, aching joints, the empty-nest syndrome, struggling to find clothes that are designed for someone my age, failing eyesight, etc. And I’ve basically covered most of the positive aspects of aging, such as becoming a grandparent, growing more accepting and comfortable with who I really am, and having more time to pursue my own interests.
It doesn’t help that I have a terrible memory, and am sometimes halfway through writing a post before I realize that I’ve already written the exact same post. Then I briefly toy with the idea of posting it anyway, in the hopes that no one would notice, but I always end up hitting the “delete” button and starting over on some other topic.
So the sad fact is that even though I now post only once a week or so, there are still times when I struggle to come up with something new and interesting to say. Part of the problem stems from the nature of blogging. Mine is a public blog, which means that anyone who wants to read it is welcome. But that also means that I can’t write about certain personal topics without giving up my privacy, and I can’t write about some relationship issues without hurting the feelings of the people who would recognize themselves in my posts. I never want to use my blog as a way to attack or hurt anyone else.
More importantly, I firmly believe that if someone is going to take the time to read my writing, they have every right to expect something in return. I see far too many new bloggers who invite their readers to “come along with me as I write down all the crazy, random thoughts in my head,” and my gut reaction is always, “why would I want to do that?” A writer should always have something of value to offer their readers, whether it’s entertainment, information, understanding, inspiration, a call to action, affirmation, or even just a temporary diversion from their everyday life.
The upshot is there are a whole lot of legitimate reasons as to why I’m encountering a bit of writer’s block these days, at least when it comes to my blog. I toyed briefly with the idea of quitting, but I quickly realized that I’d miss my blogging community (which includes both other bloggers and old friends I’ve reconnected with through this blog) far too much to do that. I’d also miss the creative outlet that this blog provides, and I believe I need that in my life, now more than ever.
So for now, I’ll keep on blogging, even when it’s just a little bit hard. I may venture off topic now and then, and I’m quite sure the day will come when my rotten memory means I won’t realize that my wonderful “new” post is really just a repeat of one I’ve already written. I only hope that my readers will either be forgiving or also a bit short in the memory department.
I’ve come to realize that blogging, like so many things in my life that I consider important and worthwhile, isn’t always going to be easy. But for now, at least, it’s worth the effort.