It happens every time I write an emotionally charged post. I suffer extreme writer’s block for the next two weeks. Maybe it has to do with the amount of energy it takes to get the words just right or fear that the next post won’t inspire the same level of response, but while I can get on a roll and post two, three days in a row, such level of activity is always followed by days, if not weeks, of idea emptiness.
Well, not true emptiness since I have numerous ideas come to me in the middle of the night.
Me (in the middle of the night): I will remember this idea in the morning.
Me (in the morning): I should have written down that idea I had last night.
I understand why some great novelists only write one book.
Over the last few weeks, I have been referred to as a blogger on more than one occasion, but I don’t consider myself a true blogger. A true blogger would write everyday, come hell or high water. A true blogger would have regular columns, a cohesive theme, maybe some drive to post daily. A true blogger would have followers.
For me, the blog is sort of an extended Facebook status update. While blogging started off as a way to divert my attention from a bad situation, it evolved into a way to share a touching story, provide a random rant or style a needed outfit.
And therein lies the problem: do I need to hone in on one major theme?
I like that my blog is part parenting, politics and style, because those are all things that are very much a part of me. But then I get caught up in wondering who reads what columns. At Kaitlan’s engagement party last month, many of her young friends came up to me to say, “oh you’re Chelsea! I love your blog – and your style.” Just as frequently, I got the same comment from their mothers. Apparently the fashion posts have cross-generational appeal. But I know my dad (and most men) hate the fashion posts. Do my fans without children read the parenting pieces? Am I alienating readers of both parties with my snarky (yet bipartisan) admonishments of Congress? Am I writing for myself? Or am I writing for you? Is it possible to do both?
I once overhead on the Senate floor the following conversation between staffer and Senator:
Staffer (responding to question from boss): I think so…
Senator: Well stop thinking and start knowing!
I feel like need to give myself a parallel directive. I need to spend less time thinking about what types of posts will appeal to whom and just write. I need to rediscover the original purpose of the blog, which was to provide me with a creative outlet to distract from those aspects of my life that aren’t as perfect as I’d like them to be.
Namely, politics, fashion and parenting.
You’ll read it and you’ll like it.