I'm a blogger. Right? Right. Not that you could tell from the cricket sounds emanating from this page over the last couple of weeks. I'm fairly certain that's the longest I've ever gone without pressing the publish button. (Since this blog's inception precisely two years ago, anyway. June is my blogiversary, you see.) But sometimes we need a break and more often than not they are unplanned. An unconscious uncoupling from my electronic husband.
I'd begun to notice, in those double digit weeks leading up to The Move, that I'd become restless. Too soon to pack, house on the market, too far away to feel real. So I stopped bringing my laptop into the house. A bold move, I know. But I didn't want that nervous energy spent trolling Facebook, Instagram and other electronic distractions to come through the doors. So my online life was quarantined to the local coffee shop. As I unloaded the car at the end of the day, it stayed tucked away in my trunk. This abandonment proved to be a double-edged sword after I experienced the trauma of my first ever late credit card payment (thank goodness it was forgiven). It turns out ignoring my computer is not such a good thing when 95% of my bills are paid online. The silver lining is that this oops prompted us to attack our budget with new vigor.
Although this blog was always on the edge of my mind, I had no regrets. My mental news ticker was still live, keeping track of topics and noting blogworthy moments. I've had a sudden influx of blogging-related offers in my email recently. Sponsored posts and the opportunity to create unique content for other websites. I also come across writing opportunities on websites I read and like and think about submitting content. I always run them by Mario, my in-house marketing and business guru, and without fail he encourages me to put myself out there. To stretch my legs and explore the idea of writing for money. (Or just for the glory... cue "Eye of the Tiger".) I always take an inordinate amount of time to decide whether or not to give it the green light. Nine times out of ten I turn them down. If years of academic writing have taught me one thing, it's this: external pressure placed on a writing assignment (i.e. a grade, a deadline, expectations, etc.) is the kiss of death for my creativity. I'm so afraid of turning a love into an obligation that I instinctively run the other way. Writing is my happy place, one of the few things I'm good at and enjoy, and I don't want it tarnished. Even self-induced pressure to write here on the blog leads to crappy content. So how do I get past this phobia and explore the idea of writing when I'm unsure, or possibly for profit? What if my calling is to write for, say, Popular Science? It would be a job, yes, but also the perfect format for blending my love of the written word while employing my degree/greatest passion: Biology. Conjecture, all of it. But my visceral fear of turning writing into an obligation needs a cure. It's holding me back personally and perhaps professionally. Simply put, I need to get over it. Maybe it's time to employ the old aversion therapy method of eliminating anxiety and unwanted thoughts: a swift snap! of a rubber band around my wrist. What if they don't like my post? snap! What if I'm not very good? snap! What if I make a mistake or suffer writer's block and become a pariah in the literary world? snap! I kid. Mostly. But dude, it's time to get out of my head already.
Longest explanation for a two week absence ever. Most people start and stop with I was busy.
Our Memorial Day was lovely. We took a drive down to a favorite haunt, Odyssey Bookshop in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Beautiful weather. Quaint New England small town charm. A picnic-y lunch of chicken salad on crackers. Those boys. Any day spent roaming with them is the best kind of day. Abstract plans, good tunes, driving with the windows down. On the way home we stopped by a favorite ice cream stand, our first visit of the year. I have become acutely aware that a visit to a favorite place may be our last with our impending move now just five weeks away. It's bittersweet, but also exciting.