Writer’s Block

I feel like I’ve been staring at a blank page for weeks. Words all jumbled together in my head, unable to organize into anything coherent.

Dozens of times I’ve sat down to open the multiple posts that are almost finished. The one on body image, the gentle parenting posts, another post on gender roles. My post on how quiverfull theology is narcissistic, the one on suicide, the post on style and embracing who I am.

I write a few sentences, and stop.

I think about all the drama surrounding the discovery of my blog. People who have read my blog and now think they know me, people who haven’t read any of it but have heard about my blog and now think they know me. As if my blog is somehow the sum of my entire life’s experience, or details every interaction with every person I know. It’s uncomfortable knowing that anything I write will be scrutinized. I think I seriously underestimated the anger my blog would cause, and overestimated my strength to be vulnerable. I’ve been called bitter and hateful and a liar. I’ve been told that I am never to write about certain people again, even though I hardly mentioned them to begin with. It makes me wonder what the reaction will be when my parents find this blog.

Part of me wants to crawl back into my shell, surely I can pretend to be who everyone wants me to be. Wouldn’t it be easier to just be quiet and compliant? Then again, I never was very good at lying. If anyone ever asks me questions straight out, I always answer as truthfully as I can. It’s just no one ever really bothered to ask me about myself, except my husband and my sister. Sometimes I wish I had never blogged at all, then I wouldn’t have people who feel betrayed by me because they don’t really know me that well. I wouldn’t have people acting as though anything they say can and will be used against them on my blog. I could go back to being the fairly quiet person that everyone was OK with, instead of someone who has issues with many Christian teachings and different opinions than the people I’m related too. But I don’t really want that. I would rather be who I am with the flaws and opinions and ideas and beliefs and experiences I have.

It’s too exhausting to be anyone else.

But it has still been hard to write. It’s been hard to write, knowing that people are waiting to find fault.

When I am stressed, I tend to write or cook. And since I haven’t been writing as much, I’ve been in my kitchen more. So we’ve baked pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, zucchini-carrot bread with cranberries in it and chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. I made lemon and garlic salmon, and herbed roasted potato’s. I roasted a Turkey with BBQ spices and then made a soup from the leftovers. We made curried rice, meatloaf and honey roasted butternut squash.

We pile the dishes in the sink. The house smells delicious, the kitchen is a disaster.

The kids lick the beaters and I sit down in front of the computer and stare at the blank screen, my fingers on the keys. I’ve always written whatever is bursting out of me, and I know that’s where I have to start. So I wrote this, letting out all the jumbled thoughts in my head. And now I’m hitting publish, and I’m betting the writer’s block will be gone.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06233321050691782148 Michael Mock

    Heh. I'm frequently amazed by people's capacity to completely understand another person's life – to the point of being able to render certain and absolute judgement on it – just by reading their blog. It shows a degree of unmistakable insight that should be sufficient to make professional psychics blush and look for another line of work. Who needs a counselor when you have an Internet full of people who are perfectly willing to tell you what your problem is – and for free, at that! Their insight goes so far beyond mere mind-reading as to be positively miraculous.

    Or it would, if their conclusions were actually, y'know, even slightly accurate.

  • Anonymous

    YAY!!! Good for you :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03792937108732259684 priest’s wife

    well…you could write a few weeks worth of food posts and bore these people with looooong descriptions of deliciousness ;)

    sorry it has been rough

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00539628551735497651 Rach

    This is a great post, and I applaud your honesty. I hope you are able to work through the writer's block, for your sake and (selfishly) because I enjoy your blog.

    Also, I kind of want to live in your house. It is just before dinner time and the description of your recent cooking extravaganza has me ravenously hungry.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10254315970336710941 CM

    I can't imagine. I don't really want certain people to find my blog, but I don't think it would be particularly controversial if they did. I bet you're right, though, your writer's block will likely get a lot better now!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04738076740941616678 Rebecca

    "If you are what you should be, you'll set the world ablaze." ~St. Catherine of Siena

    Strike the match friend, it will be a beautiful show :) .

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04701078537900767775 K

    I know I don't know you and I'm of the opinion that you're "doing it right" because you're trying. You inspire me to try harder and I thank you for that.

  • Caravelle

    ((((((Melissa)))))

    I'm sorry to hear you've been getting such hateful responses. I guess it's hard being open in the environment you're in. And I'm even more apprehensive knowing your parents don't know about your blog – aren't the odds high that they'll find out about it soon enough ? I want to say there must be a way to prepare for it, either by preparing them, or telling them on your own terms, or preparing yourself mentally in advance… But yeah, dunno.

    I hope things work out for you ! In the meantime, lots of blogs have the occasional cooking or random stuff post :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03117752360285429048 Jessica

    We would also rather you be you just as you are, because the you with your flaws, doubts, opinions, and ideas is the one we love reading.

    There will always be haters, unfortunately. Always. The challenge is looking past them to all of the people who you are inspiring by being yourself.

  • http://nowealthbutlife.com Rae

    Good for you. That is all I have to say. Good for you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05598890631695015818 Pippi

    You have every right to write about how people have affected your life. It's not like you're putting their names out there for strangers to google. "If the shoe fits, wear it." And if they can't prove to your satisfaction that it doesn't fit, they have to deal with the fact that you feel this way.
    I know what you mean about people acting like they know you just because they read your blog. Ugh. It's just human nature though.

  • Alice

    I hope you don't stop writing, but I understand why you would.

    When I was a kid, there was a book entitled "Tried but Untested" that was popular in our uber-orthodox Catholic homeschooling circle. The book was either about sex education or drug education or some other hobby horse, but the title could be applied to a book about the first generation of radical Christian homeschool survivors too. You, your sister, Libby Anne, my sister, I myself, we are all test models that didn't turn out as expected. I am thankful to all of you who have the courage to put your stories on the internet because I no longer feel like an ungrateful whiner or a freak who didn't benefit from the glories of homeschol theory. Instead, I feel fairly normal. For the first time in my life.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09906270936399814711 Women for All Seasons

    I can totally see how it would be hard to pick up your writing again. You approach your blogging with such honesty and vulnerability. I truly admire what you've overcome and the way you write. You have helped me reevaulate many of my beliefs and the way I was raised. If you never write here again, I can honestly say that you have affected my life for the better.

    November

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17825458003284098965 Scott Morizot

    I was concerned about the underestimating/overestimating bit. Even when I'm so swamped I can't sit and type out posts (as I have been for a few months), I still write them in my head. And revise them. ;-)

    I do hope things improve.

    Peace.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17825458003284098965 Scott Morizot

    And just because I forgot to check the 'e-mail followups' check box …

  • Anonymous

    I can relate to just about everything you wrote. And, perhaps selfishly, I am so glad you are back to writing. I am on a similar journey as you and you have been a wonderful inspiration. Thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07676507138237490522 Musical Atheist

    If you can't think of anything to write, you can always share some of those amazing sounding recipes! That's if they're not priceless family secrets…

    I get a lot out of reading your posts, they're always sensitive, compassionate and intelligently formulated. I hope you feel you can keep writing this blog, your readers value it. But if at any point you do decide you have to close this blog for personal reasons, I hope you will keep writing in another format: you have a real talent.

  • Jenny

    I'm sorry people have been so unkind to you as a result of your honesty on this blog. I don't comment much (I'm not sure if I even have before) but I truly enjoy your blog. It speaks to my heart, especially since you articulate so well many of the struggles I have faced and am facing in my own life.

    Thank you for sharing and for speaking so honestly. It helps so much to know I'm not alone in what I'm going through.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X