Who am I? What is my Purpose? Where do I Fit?

compartmentsBlogging is an interesting activity. I’ve yet to determine what type of blog my blog is, and I feel pressured that I should do so.

I talk a lot about personal experiences , writing, teaching, and feelings about life. Selfishly, I admit I use it as a free-writing exercise to jump start my day of writing, except for Sundays when I give you a short story. (It’s kind of my day off.) But what is it I am creating? What do I offer my readers so they return? Who am I in the blogging world?

I keep pursuing this quest, because I know one elements of a good blog is focus. So far, I admit, I haven’t found it, so I’m asking for help.

I know the world HAS to be compartmentalized in order to process the flood of information we receive each day. In my University Communication theory classes, this was one important concept that was frequently discussed. But the nucleolus of the program was the theory that REALITY IS SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED!  Boiling this theory down simply means that because of our upbringing, socioeconomic status, experiences, and education, we all process the information that hits us daily differently.

Let me give you an example.

In December I posted a piece entitled, “Good By and Good Luck.” Most of my readers thought it was a very positive post about wishing my students a good educational future as they left my class.  I say “most” of my readers, because there was one–Markus–who was very angry with me. Clearly, I meant no disrespect for any of my students, but looking into my crystal ball, I knew they all would not make it through college. Markus blasted me for being a poor teacher.

“Don’t ever underestimate your students. Your just one teacher and this is one class… NOT their future.”

He had a point. From his world, I was an uncaring, untalented bitch who limited my students. NOT TRUE.  But because of my background, I knew his anger was more about him than it was about me, so I posted his comment and came back at him with one of my own.  I wrote several paragraphs taking his criticisms one-by-one with further explanation. (If he had been reading my blog, he would have known how much I cared about the students in my class–but it was clear this was his first time making my acquaintance.) I finished my reply with this:

“So, Markus — take your anger out on someone else. There’s a big, wide world out there that would appreciate comments such as yours. Just get all the facts before you spew your crap.

Luckily, Markus was brave enough to swallow his pride and comment one more time.

Mrs. McCloskey, I applaud your efforts to reach the world through your teachings and your books. I too stand to learn something from you as I periodically browse through. I can’t promise I won’t challenge you or you challenge me, but you won’t receive any angry unwanted rants or replies from me. Fair enough?”

His post did something very important for me. It helped me realize I can’t be everything to everybody. So, I will keep searching for a “category,”  as I post each day and wander through the blogging wilderness to try to find my niche. I’m in for a long journey.  But, I am a woman, and I do stop and ask for directions.

 

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9 thoughts on “Who am I? What is my Purpose? Where do I Fit?

  1. I’ve waited all day to comment on this post. Had to give it some thought. I’m in almost the same spot you are in with regard to direction for the blog. I boxed myself in with each title being “In search of” and it was origonally about recovering from my illness. I’m hitting the three year mark and tired of talking about it since it’s obviously not going away. So how do we open the box and get some free flow going? The things I am most interested in blogging about would send most of my few readers off looking for something else to do. That would be my spiritual journey, not religious, just how struggles in life either grow you or shrivel you. You are a wonderful writer with so many talents. You have a real life challenge as well. Reading about it helps inspire me some days to keep going. I say open the box and let whatever comes out find it’s way to the page. It’s always heartfelt and authentic. You are correct. You can’t be all things to all people. I have to be a bit careful because my kids read my blog. 🙂

    • I wish my kids wanted to read my blog! I don’t know what the answer to this question of “categorization” really is, however, I do think that you’re right. If we keep what we’re writing truthful and sincere–with sprinkles of humor–most people don’t tire of that. They look for it. As a fellow blogger friend, maybe you should “Open the box” too and let your spirit speak. Maybe make a separate category for discussion of your spiritual journey under a “In Search of” Tab. . . like “In Search of Clarity.” I know people are also searching for their “vision quest.” Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a great comment.

  2. Barbara, I like your blog and your writing because it is refreshing, straight-forward, and endearing. We are about the same age, and have shared some similar experiences. You have reminded me of my childhood, the struggles of becoming an independent woman, and the growing pains of motherhood. And I think, as creatives, we are wondering what exactly to do with it! I applaud you, hope that this year you get all your writing endeavors published, and when I need a down-to-earth pick me up, I turn to your blog. Paraphrasing – Don’t try to fit in, stand out! ~Mary

    • Mary — You are such a dear to write such a heartfelt comment. I’d like your permission to use it in the future for an endorsement. Thank you so much for making me know that “fitting in” isn’t always the answer.

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