Where, Oh Where Should My Blogging Go?

I feel lost.

Where once I had goals, dreams, aspirations, directions, and a body weight I could control; I now have exhaustion and confusion. The problem is with writing, with blogging.

Why did you start a blog? I began mine because a very good (talented, beautiful, intelligent) friend recommended I start one. I’d been trying to make TwofaceBook into a salon of sorts. I failed. People on social media want it to be a trash heap -but I digress.

I started writing a blog because I wanted to share my writing with others. I also wanted to complete a book, become world famous, and retire from housework forever.

After 2.5 years and little progress in the book-writing direction, I wonder if my followers have lost interest. I know I have. I imagine everyone’s thoughts:

What is she doing with this blog, anyway?

Why does she keep posting terrible poetry?

Is this a short story or a -oh. It’s yet another piece of that serial story thing. Just END it already!

Since no one’s been blunt enough to tell me these things, I’m taking the liberty of assuming their reactions.

In all seriousness, though, what should I do? I’ve finally finished Wilhelmina Winters. I prematurely ended the life of one my favorite serials because it was going the same, lengthy direction. I’m not certain anyone ever reads my mom blog. I think the bad poetry is hilarious.

I need a re-vamp, or I’m bound to drop the thing entirely. We’re talking a new writing schedule and different posts than what I’ve been doing.

If you have a minute, could you leave a comment about what you actually enjoy reading or would like me to write? I’m open to suggestions.

Thank you.

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Here’s a brief run-down of what I wrote:
Wednesday, October 9: Asked about faves in “What’s Your Favorite Holiday? Why?

Thursday, October 10: Whipped up a (highly condensed) version of Stephen’s writing in “A Tribute to Stephen Black of Fractured Faith Blog.”

Friday, October 11: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Peregrine Arc!

Saturday, October 12: Announced the 47th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is to parody a nursery rhyme. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, October 13: Shared Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Contest, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Children’s Halloweensie Story Contest, and Aurora Jean Alexander’s Halloween Poetry Contest.

Monday, October 14: An inspirational quote by Someone who may have been Winston Churchill.

Tuesday, October 15: “Wilhelmina Winters, Number One Hundred Eight.” The End!!!

Wednesday, October 16: Today.

I also posted a little bit at my motherhood site. I wrote “The Merits of Yelling in the House,” “Top Ten Things to Never Tell a Pregnant Woman,” and “A Parents’ Bedtime Poem.”

 

Photo Credit: Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

“Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like the man who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so he can cross on dry land.

“Today is the day of decision.”

-Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Three Choices,” October 2003

Are We Our Personality Types?

Have you ever taken a personality test? I sat the Myers-Briggs sort when I first registered for college. I’d have to dig to unearth the paperwork, but recall that my middle two scores were very close.

As such, my results of Sensing/Intuition and Thinking/Feeling were not the most accurate. When another blogger wrote about personality tests last February, I took a quick online version that said I was still close on those two. In fact, I was close on the last one (Judging/Perceiving) as well.

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What does this mean?

Am I still the profile of the acronym result I got? Should I read all eight possibilities to be safe? Am I divergent?

Or, maybe we ought to say all these tests are a bogus waste of time. Right?

I can go with any side’s viewpoint on this. If, however, we do decide to throw the assessment out with the bathwater; may I ask why categorizing oneself is so popular? Why do people take the tests for fun, or why do their managers have teams do so? Is it helpful?

Three years ago, my mother showed me another personality test: The Color Code. In true non-fiction book-reading fashion, we skipped right to the test for which the book was named. In true me fashion, I tested high in two categories. According to Taylor Hartman’s measures, I was blue and red.

“The most difficult color combination within one individual is the mixture of Red and Blue. If you are strong in both categories, you will often find yourself stepping on someone’s toes to get a task completed (Red), but feeling guilty afterward for making that person unhappy (Blue).”

When I read that, I felt understood. I felt like a stranger walking through a forest who had just been told the name of all those beautiful purple flowers I’d seen growing on the tree trunks. Further, I’d also been handed a manual about that flower’s use and purposes.

This seems an odd reaction from someone like me, a self-proclaimed anti-categorizee.

But I think it explains the popularity of the practice. If I, skeptical and averse, like being analyzed and advised; maybe everyone does. Maybe we all feel a bit lost in the woods and see these self-help botanists as a glimmer of light.

Do you think so? Have you taken a personality test? If so, what did you think?

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While you’re responding, look into what I posted this past week:
Wednesday, May 1: I learned about the many reasons you all create in “Why Do You Write?

Thursday, May 2: “The Cure for Depression: Don’t Skip What Works,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, May 3: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Ruth!

Saturday, May 4: Announced the 24th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Superheroes. PLEASE ENTER!

Answered Peregrine Arc‘s writing prompt with “The Choice of Three: Roll Your Initiative.

Sunday, May 5: “The Animal Facts of Life,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt, sisu.

Monday, May 6: Promoted Fractured Faith Blog‘s post. They want to reach 10K followers and are almost there!!

Also posted “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Three.”

Tuesday, May 7:  An inspirational quote by Theodore Roosevelt.

Wednesday, May 8: Shared Charles Yallowitz’ excellent advice on spying in “7 Tips From a Reticent Spymaster.

Plus, the post you are currently reading.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Go for Perfection …Sometimes,” “Parenting Is Hard, so Why Still Do It?,” and “Short Mom Rap.”

 

Photo Credits:
By Jake Beech – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30859659
Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

“I urge you to examine your life. Determine where you are and what you need to do to be the kind of person you want to be. Create inspiring, noble, and righteous goals that fire your imagination and create excitement in your heart. And then keep your eye on them. Work consistently towards achieving them.”

-Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Life’s Lessons Learned,” April 2007

Who’s Driving?

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I was supremely confident as a child that I could drive a car. All I needed, I’d say, was the green flag from the government for seven-year-olds to operate a vehicle and I’d be off!

Oh, I had experience: My parents occasionally allowed me sit-on-their-lap steering privileges home from church on Sundays. And at fifteenish, I pulled a few turns unassisted in that same church parking lot.

Man, I was set!

By the age of nearly-sixteen, however, shift got real. My mother may have realized this, as I was enrolled in Driver’s Education at school and had grown tall enough to look her in the eye. One day she took me to a quiet neighborhood side street, steered herself for the worst, and told me we could switch places.

Even on the best of days (as in, post-op heavily-medicated) my mother does not handle other people driving. When my annoyingly patient and meticulous father is navigating the roads at a rate that would put a sloth to sleep, she’s frantically kicking the floor of the passenger side in phantom braking actions.

Turning the wheel fully over to me is on my mother’s list of Bravest Things She’s Ever Done.

For my part, I was counting on my first time driving as heading the list of Epic Life Adventures or Most Awesome Experiences Ever. Right? Instead, as I sat in front of the wheel completely on my own, I was gripped with terror. The awesome power of everything I was now in charge of washed over me and my mind blanked. My foot convulsed at the pedals the same way it did when I tried to navigate a sewing machine. The wheel was strangely hyper-sensitive. All of the cars parked calmly at the sides of the street were trying to leap out in front of me.

“I thought you knew how to drive!” My mother screamed as we jerked along and sashayed from right to left.

I thought I did, too, I told myself. I felt sad, confused, surprised, and hopeless. We pulled over and returned to our former roles. My confident plans of self-dependency and road freedomness dissolved forever. Maybe we should’ve used an automatic.

Luckily, my driving actually improved from there. I throw that out, in case anyone has determined to never set wheels on pavement when I’m out and about.

This morning, however, I was thinking about life. Specifically, if at all, I was pondering on my decades-long feeling of directionless discontent.

I kept thinking, Who’s driving, anyway?

I have been a stay-at-home mother for thirteen years, ever since being fired in the first trimester of my first pregnancy. I have felt motivated some days more than others. Lately, however, my life has felt completely out of my hands. My children cannot legally drive (yet), but I’ve put them and my husband in the front seat, crawled back over Cheerio crumbs and Hot Wheels cars to the dirty back of the car, and wondered why I keep getting car sick.

And yet, I don’t move.

What do I do?

Well… I pretend to be useful. I hand around a few snacks, break up fights, give the pretense of modeling good behavior, and pick up loose wrappers now and then. Oh, and sometimes I tell the person steering exactly what’s wrong with his driving.

As the tension in the car rises, I withdraw to less activity. I tell myself I am not sleepy when the suns sets over our dented hood, intentionally tiring myself to a state of drunken drowsiness when that same sun rises over that same hood. I eat the bad car snacks. I forget to shower at camp sites. I wonder why the floor cannot stay clean even though I’m snapping at everyone to please pick up your garbage!

Who’s driving, anyway?

Shortly after that first, fateful day at fifteen when my mother gave me full control, I attended the driving portion of Driver’s Ed at school. Perhaps because I was the tallest female, our instructor picked me for the first turn. I don’t learn well by going first; I’m an observer.

The rest of our small group piled into the small sedan, buckled for safety, and waited for me to start the engine. I gulped. I adjusted everything I could think to adjust: seatbelt, steering, seat, side mirrors, rearview mirror, headrest. We’d been walked through this in instructional videos during class, and I was determined to get all the steps right. Then, ignition -with foot on brake pedal, of course. My hands flew to 10 and 2 like boot camp soldiers. I looked forward through the windshield, and waited for whatever hell the instructor at my elbow would direct me through.

My turn didn’t last long then, either. Another boy in the class took over after a few blocks and did marvelously. He drove better than the instructor! It turned out that he’d been allowed to man tractors on his grandfather’s farm since thirteen years old. Cheater.

Who’s driving? Floats through my mind when I wake up and get ready for the children’s day. They need to dress for school, eat breakfast, sit up at the table, not punch their brothers, pick up their shoes, do their homework, eat right, not talk back, feel loved, and then understand that I am a person and I love their father and our relationship is the most important of all.

Yeah, we’ve been seeing a marriage counselor. She’s a good driver.

Who’s driving? My mind recalls the sappy Country Song “Jesus Take the Wheel.” That’s a subject for a few pages all its own, so I’ll summarize with: I may not be in a great place discontentedly backseat driving, but I trust that spot a lot more than the places He might take me.

I know others in a similar state. Their reactions have varied from meekly asking for a turn at steering, to pushing the special Eject button James Bond-style and parachuting irresponsibly to a new adventure.

I’d love to end this personal reflection with a determined statement; a wonderful aphorism on life to pass on. Unfortunately, all I’ve got are chocolate almonds, yesterday’s clothing, and criticisms.

Perhaps you know a good solution? Anything’s better than here.

Maybe.