When I first started blogging, something like four years ago as a college student in desperate need of a creative outlet, I had no idea what bloggers should, must, and do pay attention to in order to have their content reached and read by their target audience. I knew nothing about securing a domain name and establishing a self-hosted blog. I was not familiar with the grueling and ever-changing world of search engine optimization or the importance of securing subscribers to your mailing list. I had no idea of the importance of backlinks and keyword planning and expanding your reach across multiple social media channels and making your website mobile-friendly.
So I devoted months to learning all of those things before the eventual and successful launch (notice how I’ve been trained by my research) of my blog. But truthfully, I am not at all interested in any of these things. Maybe I’ll revisit this post in a few months or years and have an entirely different attitude (I’ll put glasses on, slide them down my nose, and say something like: “What a naive little girl. She could have made an investment, outsourced those tasks, and grown her audience far faster.”) Or maybe I’ll find that I prefer to share the events and intricacies of my life with a smaller audience. Or maybe I’ll decide that I gain nothing from this at all and I prefer to spend less time documenting my life and “more time living it.”
I have no idea what I’m looking for from this blog, other than this: I want to write in order to process the events and intricacies of my life. I want to be honest, unashamed, and open about the thoughts that run through my mind, which may take the form of fear or inspiration or confusion or excitement. I want to write without editing and without feeling the audience’s future perceptions and reaction looming over me and dampening the natural flow of words that build like a lifting chorus inside of me. And most of all, I want to stop starting sentences with “I want.”
For too long, I’ve been putting off populating and launching this blog because I didn’t know how to properly start or when I’d be adequately prepared.
Between you and me (and 0-1,000,000 other readers), I’m not a blogger at all. I’m a writer who has a blog because my hand always hurts when I try to scribble my thoughts into my notebooks fast enough to not miss anything. And sometimes, it is fun to share with an audience and receive positive or constructive feedback. But mostly, it’s just fun to write, uninhibited, without physical limitations, and without any external (i.e. social) forces stopping me.
I’m Megan. I am restless. And I am on one of the most tremendous adventures that life can offer me. I am currently “on a road trip,” driving around the country at my own will and my own speed, reading myself more often than I read maps. And even yet, the fact that I am doing that does not define the adventure I am living.
Being “on a road trip,” as I’ve been describing it since the idea first entered my mind, does not feel like an accurate description of what I’m doing; I feel it’s more appropriate to just say that I live in a state of adventure. I am “on an adventure” and it started when I was born (though I hear I experienced some cool things from within the womb, like attending the 1993 Rose Bowl). I don’t know what tomorrow has in store. I sure as hell have no idea what next week or month or year has in store. Prior to cooking a shitty stir fry today that forced all of my physical energy into my aching stomach and left me sitting on the couch all day, I had no idea that blogging was in store for today.
Put simply: I find every day to be an adventure, regardless of the transportation I have available, the land I’ll be covering, the schedule or agenda I have set for the day, the people I am meeting or working with or exploring with, or the number of things I can check off of a bucket list (this is a new one for me).
I’ve been holding back, and I am not going to waste any more time.
I live on the open road. And I will still spend multiple days a week at home (read: the homes of others that I am house-sitting for), re-watching The Office or contemplating hypothetical situations or walking in and out of the kitchen. I will still spend time feeling angry every time I have to load or unload my car in order to use my bike. I will still spend time driving around aimlessly and trying to pick a song to jam out to instead of pursuing a destination. And I will still spend four hours playing one song on a keyboard or looking at smoothie recipes on my phone or sitting on a bench that’s too close to screaming children for me to really enjoy it.
But what’s amazing about my situation is that I can do these things. I choose to do these things. That’s not “wasted time” to me. I don’t care what I can get out and do on a given day, as long as I am the one making the choice and I am continuing to care for myself.
So, to wrap things up: If I want to write 1,000 words about a fucking blade of grass that I found in a gas station bathroom or 277 words about the smell of cheese, I’m going to do it. I will not spend any more days thinking that what I want to write and what I have to say is not ready, adequate, or worth sharing. That hasn’t made me happy, and it hasn’t felt like a choice.
I’m Megan. I am restless. And I’m ready to write.