Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Theater Artist, Creativity Facilitator

Writing, Not Writing, and Writing Again

When I first started blogging, I belonged to a tiny little writing group made up of two friends from the college where I was teaching. I was facing one of those unexpected challenges in life--my husband had tenure stolen from him (long story) and we couldn't afford to live on my salary in the tourist town where we lived. I hadn't been allowed to teach in my official field (theatre) but was doing pretty well teaching for writing, honors, and other departments--but at the lesser salad of a contracted visiting professor rather than a tenured or tenure track professor.

I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't know what would happen next in our lives. So I started writing again.

In some ways, blogging became a lifesaver for me. I made connections with people all around the world. I played with words and forms. I learned new things. I had a following. I found inspiration.

During that time, blogging was an all-consuming adventure. I spent much of my day reading blogs, responding to blogs, interacting with other bloggers, and so on. If I wasn't rehearsing, grading, teaching, or spending time with my family, I was wandering through the blogosphere trying to keep up with all the blogs I was following, and posting myself almost every day.

I felt proud of my work, but deep inside I began to wonder, if I was heading anywhere or simply feeding yet another social media addiction.

So I pulled my focus back to a dream project, to writing a book. When P.O.W.ER came out, I tried to become more professional as an author. I moved to my own website. Somehow (perhaps because I had less access to the WordPress platform) my followers didn't all move with me. Slowly the comments and interactions on my site began to lesson. Although I knew people were reading my novel, interactions with people on the blog seemed to disappear.

Had I done something wrong? Had my "success" in getting published turned people away? Had my decision to look more professional made me seem inaccessible?  Or was it simply that my focus away from the world of blogging had led me to spending less time interacting, less time blogging, less time allowing my thoughts to wander onto a page and a screen and into the notice of the people who had become so important to me, even though I had never met them in real life?

I noticed a lot of other people were slowing down their blogging. Maybe the trend was over. But, that's ridiculous. Even know you can find zillions of people blogging about all the topics under the sun.

Well, whatever happened, I stopped blogging regularly. I wrote another book (an academic one). Another novel (that is gathering dust and will never see the light of day). Several short stories and poems. Pages and pages of journal entries. And started yet another novel and another non-fiction. But, even though I've been writing, I have also not been writing. I seem to have lost my daily practice of putting words to page. I have lost the urgency of trying to make coherent the rambling thoughts in my brain.

I feel like I've lost part of myself.

Today, I sat down at my desk in the campus library. I call this my "faux-fice", the place I locate myself to do work (or sometimes meet with students) as I wait for my classes on a campus that can't bother giving me an office of my own. I had every intent of focusing on work for those classes, but I'm actually all prepped for the week. I responded to a few work emails. I contemplated opening my WIP, a manuscript that I have been working on off-and-on for a long time now. It has eluded me, but I am much closer to completion than ever. Maybe someday. But not today.

Suddenly I had the urge to blog again. I know that I may never get back to that peak, where I had hundreds of followers, many of whom commented regularly. I had discussions and conversations. I loved it. That may not happen again.

But, I hear the call of the blog again. It is a call to inspire myself. It is a call to break down the walls I have put around my fingers, and to begin a new journey into writing practice.

It is a call to begin again, and one I must respond to.

Will you join me here? Will you to answer the call?