Thursday, April 9, 2015

11/52 :: why blog.

 Here is why I blog: 

This morning, sitting in my little storage-closet-turned-office, I have been at a loss for words. I've got a blog post and a newspaper column to write, and the words -- which so often come without question -- are stuck. If I had to guess, I would imagine they're trapped somewhere behind stress and exhaustion and a pollen-induced haze. 

I make daily decisions for this business I run. Minute by minute decisions, really. Two years ago, back when I was managing a little outpost of a bookstore in my hometown, I signed on as part of a committee to bring a music and literature festival to Tallahassee. Here we are, two marathon years later, and the festival is finally happening. My own little bookstore -- now 45 minutes up the road from the festival site -- is the primary purveyor of books this weekend, and we've got 950 books (and around 30 some-odd invoices) to prove it. 

The rain chance, this weekend, in case you were curious, is at 80 percent. And the festival, wouldn't you know it, is entirely outside.

And I realize I sound like a petulant child when I say this, but: I am tired. I've got nearly 1,000 books boxed up, ready to sell, and the reality is: I might not even get the chance. This festival I've spent hours of time and energy on might be a bit of a bust, and it might be no one's fault but nature's.

Last night, I went to bed absolutely exhausted; it hit me out of nowhere, which makes me think sinuses are to blame. But this morning I've been looking over my calendar, and it's no wonder I hit the pillow and promptly fall fast asleep. 

There is this festival. Sunday, an out-of-town wedding while I leave aforementioned festival in the hands of my two-member staff. There are eight other store events scheduled throughout April, plus the normal, everyday business-owning tasks like paying bills and maintaining an ever-changing staff. 

No one taught me how to run a business, or, for that matter, a life.

I am in the middle of a busy, but lonely, season. And I have come to terms with that. But I also really need a vacation.

So this morning, I sat in my office, and the words wouldn't come. So I scrolled through old blog posts, looking for inspiration. And I read over old comments, and I re-read my own, ancient-seeming words. Words that reminded me why we moved here. Why I own a business. Why we've chosen the church and the house and the life we have. 

Blogging, as they say, isn't quite what it used to be. The comments are slimmer; the posts shorter. I never blogged for money, so the changes don't affect me, not really. But I do wonder sometimes if it's worth writing in this space anymore. If my life is already chock full of emails and bookstore events and novels to be read, is it worth managing and creating here?

I say yes, because as I read through old posts, I was reminded of the whys and hows of getting here. I had barely made it back through the archives before I found glimpses into why we chose a small town, why we bought a tiny house, why I quit my decent-paying corporate job for a high intensity low-paying one, why we don't have children, why we work so hard at our marriage, why we've chosen to tackle a faith journey instead of sticking with the status quo. 

Flannery O'Connor, my own personal patron saint (a description she'd abhor), said she wrote because she didn't know what she really thought until she'd read what she had to say. I've never felt so entirely understood.

I've been writing since I was a really little girl. The reasons I write now might be different, and the posts I publish might appear with less frequency. But I keep posting, because today, when I was feeling a little bit lost and a lot overwhelmed, I finally knew why I'd said -- why I'd written -- all of those things. 

And the rained-out festival, and the weddings and milestones I've had to miss, and the decisions we've had to make? They're still hard to swallow. But at least I know now, in part, why I've chosen this life. There's proof here in the words I've written and in the encouragements you've written right back. So that's why I'll keep going. Because, kind of, Flannery O'Connor told me to.


Alissa said...

I love your posts. They're so real & thus, so encouraging. Thank you for posting. :)

Amber Thomas said...

I say yes because you're a daily (or at least whenever you post-ly) read for me... Blogging has changed, it's different now, but the essence of what we love hasn't. And so, the old favorites (which is the best title ever) remain because they're here and engaging in REAL life and REAL feeling and REALLY bringing me back.

I appreciate your choice to continue because I'd most certainly miss the heart that makes your words.

Rachael L. Anderson said...

This helped remind me why I blog. Thanks. :-)

Feisty Harriet said...

I really love reading non-sponsored non-corporate blogs, the people who write for writing's sake and not for some kind of profit. So, for my own selfish sake, thank you so much for this, today and always.


Audrey said...

I bookmark every post you write and save it in a special folder. You are a thoughtful, insightful writer with important messages that touch me and I think I could be your mother so you are speaking to more than one generation. I know you won't stop writing but please don't stop sharing...I would miss you! I look forward to these essays!

Keri said...

Please continue to write and post it here, for those of us who are normally silent readers (and who secretly feel we would be best friends if we lived close by). I love your posts and find them real and inspiring!

emily ruth said...

I have about 50 blogs in my reader (Bloglovin', if you're interested) & you are absolutely without a doubt in my top 5 (along with A Beautiful Mess, em-i-lie, Victoria Barnes & Posy Gets Cozie, if you're interested).
I adore your voice & your humor & your honesty.

I rarely comment because, like you said: tired, busy (I just opened my own little business, my kids need to be hugged & shuttled to & fro, I'm planning my grandma's 90th birthday party, if you're interested). But your posts always bring me a little squeeze of comfort.

I read my blogs in the morning, in bed between when my husband leaves for work & when my kids wake up. Yours always make me sink a little deeper into the covers & just feel content.

I'm loving your /52 series & the overheard at the bookstore quotes inspired me to do the same every so often on my business Facebook page (it's craft place for kids so there are always lots of amusing things being said, if you're interested).
I have wanted to start a book club at my shop & now I'm totally going to, thanks to this encouragement.

Thanks for sharing & being real & funny.
You are so wonderful to read!
I'm listening & I'm interested.