WordPress hosts a Bloganuary challenge wherein they email a daily prompt and you’re supposed to write, as the title implies, daily for the entirety of January. As you can see, it is January 11th and this is my first (last?) Bloganuary post.
I am not a fan of these one-month long challenges. I like the idea of them, but for me it’s too much pressure. I am not a once-a-day blogger nor do I aim to be. I also do not do yoga once a day every day or drink a green juice once a day every day nor any other of the other once a day every day challenges that are out there other than eat, sleep, breathe, and be. That alone is a daily challenge in and of itself.
Then why do I sign up for these things, you may be asking and that’s a legit question- I sign up because I enjoy the inspiration! I know myself well enough to know that I cannot commit to 31 days straight of writing/ yoga/ juicing yet I enjoy the daily prompts and the motivation to create they provide.
Of the eleven prompts WordPress has sent thus far, I have kept four. Some of the prompts just don’t do it for me, a couple I have already written enough about, and those few I found compelling enough to save because they get my mind churning even if I choose not to put those thoughts to paper.
My blog, my choice and today, I choose to write! And writing about writing is a topic I certainly enjoy…
Expression, for me, is a necessity. In all aspects of my life, I aim to make sure to fully articulate that which I hold inside. Whether it is writing, relating to others, teaching yoga, cooking, or dancing to my favorite song, I have always held forms of expression as necessary in order to live fully.
It is difficult to put into words (hence the Bloganuary prompt, Laura, duh) how creative expression has guided my life. As a child, I took drawing, painting, flute, bass, organ, ballet, tap dance, and singing lessons and classes. As a teenager, I was lucky enough to attend a performing arts high school (cue the Fame! theme), continued dancing and singing, and added on acting. In college, I stuck with acting until life funneled me from the stage towards earning a living wage instead.
Throughout this entire timeline, I wrote. Alongside those other forms of self expression, writing was merely another extension of myself, something I could turn to purely when I felt moved. Rehearsals are scheduled, you gotta show up whether you feel like it or not whereas I write when a notion has been building up so much so that it’s about to explode- I do not write for writing’s sake alone.
I returned to writing post-kids with a blog called Running4theReason in 2010 to document training for my first marathon. The more I ran, the more I wrote, the more my audience grew. Many races and running companies approached, offering free stuff galore in exchange for a blog post. I said yes to them all. Great for my web traffic, not so great for my motivation- writing became something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do, and capturing every single run in some sort of social-media-perfect way only to hawk a product I received for $0.00 steadily took the joy out of writing as well as running.
Last year, I found my way back to writing and started this blog. My motivation initially being to express my thoughts and feelings around quitting drinking but, in just about 6 months, ForTheReason has turned into an outlet for so much more! That’s because I only write what I know, what I go through, what I see, feel, think and learn and I don’t just have opinions about one topic- imagine that! This new blog, as generic as the title I chose implies, can be about anything and everything all at once.
So far, so good.
I found that in my last blog, while sticking to topics only as they related to the act/ disciple/ lifestyle of running, I was still able to embrace and express things completely honestly. In person, my honesty can be jarring but on my blog I am able to craft my point eloquently and with it, bring several supporting arguments and links to others’ who agree.
Let’s say I was given a race entry for free, ran the race, and it was horrible (few and far between but it happens)- I am still going to write a negative review that includes, in detail, the things that went wrong and why, and once complete I will post that sucker to all the outlets and tag the promoters as promised. My loyalty was never to the companies who only wanted my free advertising but to my truth and commitment to the running community at large.
Blogging gives me a voice to tell my truth to anyone who will listen, and even if no one does, I am still incredibly fulfilled by the act of being completely honest. Like this post: I just told WordPress that I signed up for their damn challenge but I don’t like it, further, I am not going to do it the way they tell me to. See?! Blogs are awesome like that!
Easy enough to tell one’s truth when it’s about races and products but when it’s about relationships and feelings, that’s tricky. I don’t know if my friends read my blog and I don’t know how my former drinking buddies will react to a little something I’m working on titled, “Former Drinking Buddies”. But do I care? Not one bit. I created this space to express my truth and if someone doesn’t like my words, remember: it is a choice to read them.
Just like yoga, I write because it makes me feel good. It’s really that simple. The mind and body are inseparable and the moment I click “publish” and put my voice out into the ether, I feel freaking fantastic! Any day I create is a very good day.
I’ve mentioned prior that Sanksrit word svadharma that we talk about in Yoga Teacher Training, exploring what is your life’s purpose. Even with this post I feel closer to an answer for that- expression of my truth through the written word just may be a role I am meant to play in this life… hmmm… I don’t know that yet, but I do know this: the only way I’ll know for sure is if I continue to write. My way.
I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.”
– Anaïs Nin