When I started this blog, I made an effort to write every day, and for a while really enjoyed the discipline of frequent updating. I believed that in order to be a good blogger, I needed to post every day. That was a home-made rule that came out of my head - there are plenty of really good bloggers who only blog when they have something to say (and plenty of good bloggers who have something to say every day). It strengthened my writing skills.
It was intended to be a journal of sorts, of me learning how to fend for myself out in the country. I called it learning to homestead, even though I didn't really know what homesteading means. But I also added personal stuff about my hunt for a partner. When I started this, I didn't know anyone else doing the same thing as I am, live alone with animals, work a full-time off-farm job, try to find a partner. Now I know several; three come to mind immediately - other strong women, making successful lives out of hard work and chutzpah.
The hard life has taken it's toll, and I've made mistakes, too. Aside from the normal mistakes of doing stuff I didn't know how to do, I made the mistake of putting personal things in the blog, and putting the blog out there for potential partners to see. Potential partners have read the blog and have made mistakes themselves. Big ones.
Several (as in more than 3) potential partners have read the blog and thought that it contains the entirety of my life. That people I wrote about are the only people I have met, or dated. It does not. Several folks (as in more than 3, a different 3) read the blog and decided that's as far as they wanted to know me. Several were concerned that they would end up in the blog. Also wrong. The folks I wrote about never even knew that I have a blog, and other not-important and important people in my life will likely never grace these 'pages' (unless they want to). Most read the blog and think that in reading the blog they know who I am, which is also wrong, and the biggest mistake of all. This blog is about less than 1% of my life. The rest is private, between me and my friends and my lovers.
I can say, unqualified, that Every. Single. Time. I have let a potential partner read the blog before we know each other, I have regretted it. It will not happen again. Other female bloggers have made the same mistake, have had the same results and came to the same conclusion.
So when Heather, who writes nagoonberry, wrote about an online journaling program called 750 words, I jumped at it. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. She wrote about it near the end of August, and I've been doing online journaling since then. It's separated the I-need-to-write-about-this personal stuff from the public persona and made it easier to keep my personal stuff to myself or close friends (meaning that the blog contains even less of "me" in it than it did before).
It was even more freeing when I took away the invisible, made-up rule that I needed to post every day. Instead of manufacturing something to write about every day, doing my best to make it amusing, I can wait until I have something meaningful to say, or a point I want to make in a public forum. As I evolve in understanding and separating my needs from my wants and focus on reliably getting the needs met (homesteading is hard and satisfying in some ways, but it is a want, not a need), my life will change more, and this blog will likely change with it. Thanks for coming on the ride with me!
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