Living Out Loud volume 29: On Writing

I'm not going to BlogHer this year. I've gone to every BlogHer except the first one but I'm not going this year. I thought I would be more upset about it, but I'm strangely at peace. First, I am going to the EVO conference in just a few more weeks. I've never been to that before and it's in Utah, which I've also never been to so I'm double-excited. After making all those plans, though, and realizing I'm going to a conference for work mere days before BlogHer, I just couldn't justify the extra expense and stress of another conference that soon. Our summer is already jam-packed as it is. I'm trying not to over-schedule myself, monetarily or emotionally. My therapist would be proud.

Taking a pass on BlogHer has made me put a lot of thought into why I go and my relationship with this blog. There are many aspects of BlogHer that don't speak to me. I'm not trying to monetize my blog. I'm not worried about SEO. I've made a whopping $50 on all my writing thus far (thank you, BlogHer!) and that wouldn't even cover a fraction of my web hosting fees. But when I talked with Rich about the $1000+ it will cost me to get to Utah this summer, he shrugged. "You don't buy hockey equipment. You're not going to Pennsic. This is your big thing. It's important to you."

But why is it important to me? Am I blogger? Am I a writer? Am I an artist? Am I an armchair historian? Is this an electronic scrapbook?

That got me to thinking about all of us. My parents will occasionally tell me "you should write down the words that Ian can say now." They're unaware of my monthly newsletters to Ian or all the images I'm chronicling. So how much of any of this do we do for others versus ourselves? Do we write things down like a virtual grocery list to be discarded as irrelevant in a few weeks or are we crafting paper boats to set out into the night hoping that others will find them?

I lost a month recently. I tried doing a post ever day in May to get my writing fingers nimble again but ran out of steam before Memorial Day weekend. My in box at work is insane, I have lost a large number of toddler socks somewhere in the house, I'm being overcome by yellow summer squash in my back yard and I still haven't a picked a date for when we'll have Bunco at my house. But I'm carving out time to sit down at this keyboard.

So let's spend some time ruminating on all that in our latest volume of Living Out Loud. Tell me if you're writer. Is it important to you? What got you started writing (or have you not yet started, though you keep meaning to)? Do you think you'll be writing in 5, 10 or 20 years? What does that mean to you? Who do yo think will be reading it all then?

Details include:

  • Write something personal about yourself using the previous paragraphs as a guideline. Do not feel that you have to address each prompt above. The spirit of this project is to share something about yourself; I'm just throwing out ideas.
  • Once you have completed your entry and posted it, please email me the link at genie [at] inabottle [dot] org. Remember, if you don't email me, I'm likely to forget to include you in the recap!
  • If you do not have a blog to host your story, you can email me the story directly and I will add it here as a guest post giving you credit. The more the merrier!
  • The due date for entries is Sunday, July 3rd (the first Sunday of the month and a holiday weekend so plan accordingly) at 5pm Eastern.
  • Once I have collected all the entries, I will post a wrap-up to list them all and announce a winner. The winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card but all participants will receive fame and glory and a link on our Living Out Loud blogroll.

Note that this gives you about three weeks to collect your thoughts. If you're going out of town, drag yourself to the computer mid-week. If you've pondered what you might say for so many previous LOLs, here's your chance to let us have it! I'm super excited about this topic and can't wait to see what you all have to share. Let us know why you ever pondered putting electronic pen to virtual paper, as it were.