opening up and avoiding the backspace button

Feb 18, 2014

 It's been awhile since I've sat down, opened up, and let the words flow. 

Most posts are written in pieces and edited and I hit the backspace button too frequently. I tweak my eyebrows, doubt my thoughts too much to put them into words, then hit close in defeat. But not today. I think today I'll write with abandon just for once, because I've had too many things on my mind. So I won't care too much about my paragraph order, or if everything looks orderly enough for my picky self. Today, I'll just write, be honest, and leave it at that. 

I am a passionate woman - passionate about marriage, motherhood, parenting, and living a healthy life. I struggle with two things, though. The first is finding things to write about that someone else hasn't already written. Every day I find inspiring posts from inspiring writers/bloggers. Amazing food bloggers write about all the holistic topics I love. Mommy bloggers write about what it feels like to parent a toddler and when to give yourself grace and what it feels like when you need a break. Other moms write about parenting philosophies that I wholeheartedly believe in, and I'm left wondering what I have to offer. Everyone else has "beat me to it" and I'm afraid of being boring or unoriginal. 

 Secondly, I struggle with writing honestly about my opinions because I've gotten a lot of negative feedback from people in my life and sharing my thoughts scares me. I've got so many posts floating around in my head - topics I've really been wanting to write about...things like why we don't believe in spanking or cry-it-out, our overall parenting philosophies, my dreams for our future homestead, what we've learned about traditional foods, just to name a few! As you can see, a few of those aren't easy topics to write about. I've struggled between leaving all of those things in my personal life and not addressing them unless someone asks me questions, and writing about them, because they are such a huge part of our lives right now and that's what this blog is about- sharing my life. When I'm passionate about something, I love sharing it with others, even if all I accomplish is helping them see a different perspective.

I've really been trying to work through this lately. I've been accused of contributing to the  "mommy wars" because I speak out about what I believe and it happens to contradict what someone has chosen to do. I've been told I'm being judgmental and snobby when I share about our lifestyle.  I've apologized my way through different things, and sometimes rightly so. There are times for conversations and times to keep my mouth shut. There are people with whom I can have open conversation and others who don't accept different very well. But sometimes, I get tired of walking on egg shells in both my personal life and my blog. I've thought about the times when it's been the hardest to deal with criticism, and those were times when I was still a little insecure in my own beliefs. But now, over time, I've become confident in what I believe and feel comfortable sharing what I think. 

It's still not easy. It's not easy to think about making bold statements and opening yourself up for criticism and judgement. I want to have a balance. I want to be comfortable being bold and different, but not so bold that all it feels like I'm doing is getting in your face. I wish every reader, and every person I come across, could see my heart. I think that could make the difference. They could see that I share from a place of passion and perspective, not from a place of passing judgement. That's hard to do when you're passionate, and that's what I'm trying to learn- how to write from my heart, be bold enough to write what I believe, soft enough to speak in love, and confident enough to accept the criticism that might come my way without apologizing for who I am.

That being said (with too many run-on sentences...), I've got some questions for you. 

How do you keep original content on your blog? 

Are there topics that scare you to write about? 

Are there topics you think bloggers should avoid altogether, 
or do you think "your blog, your freedom"? 

24 comments:

  1. I totally think your blog your freedom. As long as what you are writing is true to who you are go for it! I follow a lot of different blogs and yes at times some bloggers post things I don't agree with but that doesn't mean I shouldn't follow them or they shouldn't post. We are all different so we are going to share things that are different and that should be ok. I struggle with balancing fun posts and content posts. The content posts are hard to write - they take time and careful thought - and as moms of toddlers how do we find that time? I've got about 10 posts in draft mode that I just jotted down the ideas but haven't formed because usually I don't have enough time to think. :) I say write what you feel and as long as you do that you can ignore the negative comments.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think that as a blogger, you want to your readers. BUT, I also think that it's important to remember that when you started blogging, you were blogging for yourself and that the readers eventually came. With that being said, I don't think that you should censor yourself or apologize for posting about certain topics. If someone doesn't want to read it, we are all adults and should act like adults, they can read something else you've written or move on to another blog and check you out the next day.

    There's always going to be someone with something negative to say-just gotta get to a point where that doesn't matter. And as far as are there certain topics bloggers should stay away from...I think if it's a topic promoting hate or violence or anything like that, then yes. Everyone has freedom of speech, so if you want to express your opinions on your blog about your parenting style, your religion, eating healthy, whatever - then do so. And you're justified, rightly so, in not publishing any negative comments someone leaves because of something you wrote. Your blog is a positive place and you're entitled to keep it that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so true, Keizra! If I run across a post I completely disagree with, it doesn't make want to un-follow them. I read it, consider what they have to say, and then move on. I think it starts with mutual respect and being confident enough in your own thoughts and opinions to let someone else feel something completely opposite and still be okay.

      Delete
  3. I know exactly what you mean! Daniel and I have really strict eating rules and all we hear from people is how strange we are or they want to know what is wrong with us. I haven't yet ventured down that road on my blog but I plan to in the future. There will always be people who don't agree and judge but that shouldn't stop us from sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I understand completely how you feel, I go through the same things - I'll even think of topics to write about and read it on someone else's blog and think - whoa, she really tackled that post way better than I would have written it.

    I just keep trying to write. Sometimes I don't publish right away and I'll come back to it in a few days or a week or a month, I'll re-edit and write more, or sometimes I look at it and think, no, that's how I was feeling at that moment in time but it really isn't reflective of my overall feelings.

    I would love to hear more of your opinions on these things (especially eating traditional foods because I have no clue what you mean!), but you'd be surprised, there are millions of mothers out there against spanking, crying it out, millions! Preach, mama! Tell us why you're against it :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. One thing I tell myself...that I got from the pastor of our hometown church: "I am here to please God, not men."

    If there's a topic that's on my heart...and my words are pleasing to Him...even though it might make some people feel uncomfortable..."I am here to please God, not men."

    That has helped me tremendously with courage! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to hear your thoughts on why you don't spank! I am totally going to spank my kids (I got spanked A LOT. I was kind of a goober.) but I love hearing other points of view. I think it's interesting. As far as how I keep original content on my blog... I have no idea. I kind of just think of things and write them. Who cares if someone else already wrote it? YOU didn't write it, and they're not you. I mean, Nicholas Sparks kind of has the monopoly on tragic cancer love stories, but that doesn't mean people don't still write them. I always enjoy reading your blog and think you have a great perspective! Haters be haters. You can't make everyone happy. I mean, if people can get mad about my "why having a baby is like running a marathon" post, they'll get mad at anything. HELLO. It's called sarcasm, and it's funny. Take a chill pill.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think every blogger has something they are scared to write about. If I were super honest I think some good posts need to be written about Biblical marriage. I feel like gay marriage is pushed to the extreme lately but when I leave one comment on FB about what the Bible says ... holy guacamole, I've had fire coming at me. I thought we were all allowed to express our viewpoint? Apparently not. Those people got hid on facebook.

    I also wrote a blog post in a letter form to Paleo because, once again, to be honest, I freaking hate it! I hope you don't love Paleo because I probably just offended you. I get that people eat that way but I don't think many have done their research. I also am tired of hearing about it everywhere I go. I'm also scared to hit 'publish' for that post =)

    Honestly, I try to write what I'm passionate about - missions, time with Dave, trips I have taken. I'm not sure if people love it or not but I want to write it.

    Plus, if people hate what we write they can just unfollow us.

    ReplyDelete
  8. i completely believe in having freedom on your blog. i completely understand what you mean. it's always fearing as how someone will take it without really knowing you and knowing you mean well.
    even if others have written about it, go for it. your words will not be identical to theirs and we need reminders and encouragement as mothers and wives often. so even if someone wrote about it last week, i'm sure someone out there (me!!) needs to hear it again. :)
    also, your readers, although we don't know you personally, we have come to know a piece of you through what you share, and your words have never been critical or judgemental, so it would be a bit difficult to take what you write passionately about as such.
    hope that helps, and i agree completely with elise. just remember your audience of One ( i read that on someone's post). as long as He is being glorified, then type away!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kelsea, I for one, LOVE your blog, your heart, and so much more!!! I know I would love to read your posts on all the topics that scare you. But, at the same time, the blogging world can be hurtful. I think you need to write about whatever you feel at peace about writing about. If it's a topic someone else has covered that doesn't matter. You don't know if you'll be reaching someone that none of those other bloggers will have reached. And I think that if you write with grace your parenting ideas, real food passion, etc will be taken gracefully by those who think differently than you. It's dumb that as awesome as the blogging world is, people still find ways to hurt one another.

    ReplyDelete
  11. what a refreshing and honest and well-written post; i would read anything you wrote, whether or not the topic had already been discussed, just for the lyricism. but, on the topic of wanting to write what you're passionate about and getting negative feedback, i would look to the the paradoxical commandments: http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/ (always helps me!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Even if it's a similar topic, I love hearing new perspective in a fresh voice. All the topics you mentioned - I'd read! And probably love!

    I've written a few "controversial" pieces that I'm sure could be contrived as being fuel for mommy wars, but like you mentioned, "my space". Come and go as you like :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! Most of the time I take it as something I NEED to understand, when I see it multiple places! I think when your focus is on what you want to write, and you forget about building numbers constantly, you get a little more freedom.

      Delete
  13. I understand your sentiments exactly, that sense of self-censorship is something I am quite familiar with and sometimes I let the doubt interfere with what I really want to say. My only advice is to write. Write it all out. Getting those thoughts out helps narrow down what you really want to say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree- writing it out, and maybe even giving it time to simmer, is so helpful when posting about some issues. Doubt is a big part of why I don't post certain things, but I think a good balance is needed!

      Delete
  14. First of all, I want to tell you how much I respect the amount of thought and research that you seem to put into the decisions that you make regarding your lifestyle choices. I think a lot of people probably don't.

    Personally, I don't read any specifically "mommy blogs" or "natural living blogs," but I have a feeling that I would still be interested in some of the topics that they might cover. I think if you touched on those parts of your life, you would still be introducing something new to a new audience. :)

    Also, I don't know if I'm just getting soft or what, but I have had just about enough of all of the blatant hate that I see all over the internet. Whether it's about politics, religion, or the mommy wars, I feel like our Politically Correct, Equal Rights, Let's Preach Tolerance Society is awfully choosy about what it will tolerate. When did we decide that's it's ok to stop respecting other people's views and decisions? Why do people have such a hard time disagreeing respectfully? You're a braver woman than I am when it comes to putting your beliefs out there! Stand your ground and speak with love and hopefully others will eventually learn to do the same. :)

    Love you Kelsea! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so proud of you for writing this post. I think a blog is first and foremost a place for you. It's your space where you should be able to write whatever you feel without any judgement or fear. That being said, you are going to have people who disagree with you, who call you names, and who bring you down. But you can't let those people control what you write about. I think that your blog should be an expression of who you are as an individual. You should be able to write about your life and your family and not have to worry about what others think. Keep on writing, girl! I love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, friend, for the encouragement. It's sad that there are so many people out there who can't accept different and make an effort to put others down.

      Delete
  16. Kelsea, I can completely relate. I've actually gone back in my blog and deleted a lot of posts that were controversial or too personal, just because I've been scared about the backlash. I love hearing different opinions and ideas, but sometimes others are not as fond. When we don't post about the things on our hearts and minds, sometimes it feels like inwardly, we aren't be true to ourselves. I hope you are able to continue finding the courage to post the things on your heart. I, for one, am always eager and open to hearing your thoughts! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I say keep going with this! This is your space. You should be able to write freely and honestly. I am not a parent (yet!) but I have often thought about my children one day reading my blog - and that I would want them to really be able to see who I am/was -of course, I want them to know who I am in-person, too- but to have this piece of me means something. And I hope that if they choose to read back over my posts, they'll know that everything I wrote reflected who I am and was that very day. I hope this makes sense. I say stay true to yourself. I'd like to think that there are more good and positive people out there than negative and people who hurt others. We positive people just need to speak up more perhaps ;)

    KEEP GOING! XO!

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Authentic" content is hard, how do write something new when it seems like everything's already been said? That's when you write from your heart, something you're passionate about. Chances are something like it has already been said, but not by you, not with your perspective and that's what makes it unique.

    On the issue with controversial/tough topics, I think it's all about balance. You don't want to become preachy but if it's something you're passionate about, then you should talk about it. I know it's easier than done - I struggle with this. There are things I wish I'd write about but I don't know if I should so I don't but that gets old. Our blogs are reflections of who we are and our lives so writing what you're passionate is a must.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey, I read this quote today and thought of this post. Just wanted to share:

    “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    ReplyDelete
  20. Kelsea! We haven't talked in so long and I haven't really read many blog posts since I moved but when I saw this one I wanted to read immediately.

    I struggle with the very same problem. I posted something yesterday that was bold, honest, deep, personal. After a few hours I couldn't stop the regret in my thoughts and deleted the part that was "too personal." Now the thought keeps going through my mind "Why did I do that? Isn't the point of blogging to be honest?"

    Sometimes there just isn't a right answer. But I say share your heart. The people that love you and your heart will keep following along and you'll find real friends. I love hearing your opinions and thoughts :)

    Keep at it girl!

    -Katelyn

    ReplyDelete