I received an email from WordPress today: “It’s time for your first post.” I signed up for notifications that will keep me on track for posting once a week because frankly, I’m swamped. I thought when I decided to blog that I’d be narrowing my identity from flaky flitter to focused writer. I don’t mean that my subject matter needed to be focused – the blog name Butterfly Mind embraces my tendency to flit – but that I’d finally be able to settle onto a path: a writing path.
Now I realize I’m flitting all over the place with my writing goals too. Do I want to be a blogger? Pursue nature writing? Write motherhood? Be published in literary magazines? I have no idea, and I’m back in that familiar place of feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities while recognizing I cannot immerse in all of them.
In the face of a lack of direction, I’ve dedicated 2014 to craft: to learning how to write. I look back on my very first blog post, One Last Move, and feel both happy and horrified: happy because it was fresh and vulnerable and full of hope, and horrified because each “just” and “so” and double space after a period makes me cringe. That reaction makes me feel good about my resolve to become a better writer; I want my work to read as fresh and vulnerable and full of hope, but I also want it to be polished. I have not yet found the skill to make a finished draft feel raw – my revisions always feel stiff to me – while also being tight and error-free, and I hope that after a year of craft work I will develop that skillset.
Since craft work will take a large portion of my dedicated writing time but will be uninteresting to readers (word lists, unfinished drafts), I worry about losing contact with my blog along the way. I already feel discombobulated and disconnected after only a week without writing, and I had a hard time figuring out how to dive back in. Fortunately, WordPress is running daily assignments in the month of January, Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog, and I signed up to help me get me back into the swing of things. I’m looking to Zero to Hero to keep me connected with my blog; I’m eager to learn more about WordPress and blogging along the way.
The first assignment is an introduction, so for those of you who are just joining me, here goes.
I am Andrea Badgley, and I have been blogging at Butterfly Mind since June 7, 2012. This is my 205th post. My life has been one of seeking – seeking God, seeking self, seeking a path – and though I did not realize it until the past year and a half of blogging, writing has been my tool for discovery in all three of those quests. This blog, along with 31 years of diaries and journals, has been the place where I observe, where I question and answer, where I take my thoughts for a walk across a page. Sometimes I find magic, sometimes I find myself, and sometimes I wander and find nothing at all. But no matter what I find or don’t find, the exercise always feels good.
Take this post, for instance. There’s nothing really here, but it felt good to write it. And it helped me get my first post of 2014 out into the world. Welcome if you’re new, and thanks to all of you for reading. Thank you, too, for your patience while I wander around for a while. I look forward to your company on these walks across the page.