Starting a blog was a crazy idea, at least for me — Let me take you on my blogging journey.
Creating a blog is exciting, a creative process, with lots of moving parts. It also is a challenge. Looking back I can connect the dots.
Step one, fall in love with your blogs name. When the first step drives you nuts maybe it’s a sign; I lost sleep, and my friend said ‘Get a grip, Jenn, your not choosing a babies name’.
I was lucky, it was love at first sight. Lifestyle Precinct sounds like a warehouse district in New York: a defined space, a community with life and style. It rolls off your tongue like a trendy cafe.
It’s my domain. My turf and I can have my say.
My first blush of confidence faded quickly. Before I had time to catch my breath, the next step consumed me with creative agony — the best kind of fear, the one that leaves you raw and sweaty.
Moving on to choose a niche, create an avatar, find my voice and write content.
Oh dear, this part is going to be a bit messy. My ego was front and centre, and I landed with a thud. You get this right; it’s public. That means people are going to read your stuff.
After a few hours of mind mapping and paper everywhere if figured choosing a niche is like picking only one colour to wear – forever, people forever! The next part was the sweetener for me. My avatar, my imaginary friend, my muse. I had no idea she would be the most important part and without her I was stuck.
I’m finding my voice was next ~ I do have one, perhaps not the most helpful – the little negative villain in my head – I’m not sure she should be bought out into the light. But the next step has me by the short and curlies.
Writing content. WTF was I thinking. My heart begins that unmistakable pounding ~ anxiety.
Now for my confession. ‘Bless me, father, for I have sinned. I’ve started a blog, and I can’t write. I’ve lied to myself with impure thoughts that I could fake it. I held my breath and waited for a reply. A long pause from the shadows, a soothing voice said “Don’t give up your day job, learn how, find the courage and Three Hail Mary’s every day.
That was good advice. Surely I must have known I’d have to face the reader one day. The truth is I’ve deluded myself, and now there’s nowhere to hide.
Resistance is exhausting. The dance of fear went on and on, like The Last Tango in Paris and the music played ‘fail harder’.
I am a maker. If you give me something to make I don’t turn myself inside-out in the process. So what gives Jenn?
Well, what I don’t want to tell you is; I grew up with learning difficulties with constant humiliation and shame. But I love my little piece of turf and for now, I’ll embrace my writing flaws and mistakes. So the moving finger writes and moves on. I will rewrite my past story an own it.
Right now I’ve got a secret. My little muse, she keeps me company as I type. She is the child in me, still full of hope.
My sweet little Pickaninny follows me around tugging at my skirt! “ex’use me, Miss, you gunna write today”? I’d look down with sad eyes and say “Sorry honey, the beast is back – imposter syndrome, but don’t worry it will go away”. “You go and play”. She turned and skipped down the hall singing monster go away, go away.
My blog is taking shape with the first steps stretched out. Now I need a theme. This was going to be my strength. In the end, I closed the loop. Playing with the design is like changing my black dress five times for another black dress. I’m still wearing black and I need to get to the party before its over.
Now its time to write and publish my about page. Seriously, When I get to version sixty-four I think its time to stop and just move on. I’m over it before I’ve even begun.
It feels like I’m stretching my blogging journey like a cruise on the Queen Mary. Epic, slow and deluding myself I belong in this space.
“Maybe its time to let go? The villain said, “all you need is to be a lesbian and black to fit in’.
Oh, please don’t take that the wrong way ~ what she means to say is, I know what it’s like to ‘come out’ the courage it takes and how afraid you are to speak when English is your second language. My apologies – I knew it would be trouble giving my villain a voice!
Getting down to business and I write a few basic posts and promise myself I’ll get better. I have to trust the creative process. I’ll figure it out on the way.
But I’m feeling really exposed like opening night on my first one-woman show. The room is full of chatter and when the door closes not one red dot claims my blood, sweat or my tears.
I must be patient and remind myself why I am doing this and ask for courage.
Because courage isn’t just for brave people, we both know I can’t do this alone. It takes two to tango. A writer and a reader and today I’d gladly swap positions. You write I’ll read. But that’s, not the deal here, is it?
So dear, treasured reader it’s time to invite you in, with trust in my heart. I will walk behind you. I write for both you, me, my muse and even for my villain. I trust that grace will follow.
Then like the magic at the very end of Yoda’s party, wearing my best black dress the music changed. Someone asked what I do, and I said ‘I am a ‘maker & storyteller’. I’m ready to get started on this journey, and I’ve got my bags packed. I ask my little villain to get in the back seat. I said ‘Pickaninny’s with me, and “I’m driving” let’s go home.
A Woman’s Life, Stories & Pictures.