Upon Closer Examination

 

It’s been a month since I became nobody.

 

About Me 1 sig

 

The time has come, my online friends, to talk of other things. Like words and life and what I like, of Lemon Sharks and fins! (Sorry, Lewis.)

I must get on with it. A month, you know? I thought a perfect profile would just gradually, you know, appear to me. Like in a dream or something.

It didn’t.

My bio is still blank. My “About Me” page isn’t about me.

Though it’s been a while since I had my writer’s identity crisis, I’m going through a second crisis.

Who am I?

I don’t know.

So I asked my friends and family. It was kind of pathetic. Both that I had to ask them and, also, what they answered.

“A mum.”

“A writer.”

Argh!

I need to get something online already. My own blog is mocking me. WordPress dashboard says:

“Tip: Update your about page so your readers can learn a bit about you.”

*sigh*

I know.

I should have an ‘about’ page on the Reef, change the one I have on Lemon Shark, and completely rewrite my website. Also, I need a bio for Gravatar, Twitter, and Google+.

It should be easy. But it’s not. Not when you know you have a few words to say everything about yourself. Not when you know you will be judged by those words. Not when you don’t even know who you are anymore.

Upon closer examination, I’m still nobody.

 

There’s pressure to have everything just right. People write blog posts and articles with tips on how to make your ‘about’ page, your profile, and your bios just right. It all must be just right.

If you start snooping around ‘about’ pages, you’ll see some with “I like cheese” (instant follow), and others who fill the page with their accomplishments and links to their writing. So we’re getting murky again—with the separating who you are from what you do.

I have an ‘about’ page and a ‘work’ page. Some agree with this, some don’t. Contradictions in the world wide web of writing. I feel like I’ve said that before… Anyhoo.

I guess, when it comes down to it, these are important. They’re the first things a lot of editors and agents look at. They want a quick glimpse at who you are. So there is a certain amount of pressure involved in presenting yourself to the world. You wouldn’t walk into an office for a job without showering, brushing your teeth, and putting on deodorant. (At least I hope you wouldn’t.)

Whether you want to snag an agent, get published, gain followers, or just blog and eat some cheese, your ‘about’ page must be about you. It must be you. Most importantly, whatever it is you choose to write, it must be in your voice. Because that’s what we’re expecting when we click off that page and read your blog.

Bottom line, as I see it, is this: Be Yourself.

 

Do you struggle with bios, profiles, and ‘about’ pages? Do you talk about who you are and what you like? Or do you use this space to promote what you’ve written?

 

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The Scrooge of New Year’s Eve

 

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.

 

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For January 1st, I’ve never quit smoking, gone on a diet, bought a gym membership, or sworn to save money.

 

I live in my head; I think about stuff all the time. Why do I need a day to tell me to think about more stuff? And all at once?

I try to learn new things, better myself, and change what’s not working. When this holiday rolls around, I don’t sit and reflect—I barely give a thought to the past year except to say, “Huh. That sucked. Hope next year is better.”

And it isn’t.

It delivers a whole host of new and different problems. So that’s exciting.

But that’s life, isn’t it?

The thing is, like I said last year, I feel pressured to look back over my year and write something meaningful but I simply don’t want to.

What I’d like to do is drink some wine (or Baileys or beer—I’m not picky), watch It’s a Wonderful Life (I know, the irony is delicious), and eat sushi.

So here’s to sitting in front of a movie, drinking, eating, and writing ‘2015’ on all my documents for a few months.

 

Happy New Year, gentle readers. 🎉

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you stick to them? (Let’s be honest…are they even realistic?)

 

 

I’m Nobody! Who Are You?

 

I’m having a writer’s identity crisis.

 

Nobody - sig

 

I can’t decide what to write.

Social media introduces me to the world as…

 

Who am I?

Articles, books, and blogs stress how important it is to have a niche. A platform. A brand. How crucial it is keep your “About Me” page updated and create a kick-ass profile. What I write defines who I am.

Cue the freak-out.

I don’t have a niche.

My “About Me” page doesn’t reflect who I am anymore.

My profile? That’s not me.

What type of writing should I focus on? Nonfiction? Fiction? What genre? What am I doing? What’s my blog about? Who am I?

I could just change my profile but I don’t want something hastily written in the midst of a crisis. It’s seen by far too many people who judge you by those 10-20 words. (They do.) And I don’t want to tweak it every week on a whim.

So.

I’ve deleted my profile. I know. You can’t do that. It’s so bloody important to have one. But I don’t. Not right now.

I am officially nobody.

I thought that would send me into a panic but, honestly, it feels…

Good.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Have you ever had a WIC (Writer’s Identity Crisis)? What did you do? How did you find your way? Or did you?

 

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Emily Dickinson

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

Ah, my beloved Emily. She’s always there when I need her.
(Poets.org)

 

One Leaf

 

There’s a tree outside my bedroom window with one leaf on it.

 

One Leaf - sig

 

This one leaf will not let go.

I mentioned I was on a journey to find my true colors. No longer hidden by green chlorophyll, this leaf found its color. It’s red.

But it’s not letting go.

Every morning, I see this stubborn autumn leaf. It hangs on, clinging to a thin branch.

I check on it after rain, after heavy winds—and there it is. Still on its tree in mid-December.

I said I was a leaf. I think I’m this one. The one that won’t let go.

Why am I holding on to who I was?

People change. Priorities change. Experiences shape and reshape us. Why do we resist?

Is it difficult to accept? Do we become complacent? Are we uncomfortable admitting we are not who we thought we were?

I’m thinking all of these are rooted in fear.

So, while I’ve found some of my true colors, I’m finding it difficult to let go.

A friend asked me why I continue thinking of myself as a woman I clearly no longer am. I didn’t have an answer.

But now I know that I am afraid.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you have difficulty letting go of who you were? Why? What is stopping you from moving on?  

 

 

 

Introvert Powers…Activate!

 

When someone texts me to get together, my first inclination is to say “no”. My second inclination, which is nicer, says “no” and then gives an excuse.

 

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Here’s the thing: I often wind up saying “yes”.

My mind is screaming “NOOOO!” so I overcompensate, texting loudly (yes, you can do that), something like “That would be great!” or “Sounds fun!”

At that point, my poor brain is crying and shouting like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum: “No! No! NO! I said ‘no’ and you’re NOT LISTENING TO MEEE!”

Why do I agree to go?

Being an extreme introvert, I have to do this occasionally. I have to ignore the whimpering and wailing if I ever want to leave the house again.

Other times, though, I should really listen to myself. It’s the nice thing to do. Also, there are days I’m just not up for a night out and my brain seems to know this. It gloats “I told you so!” at the party as I hide in the bathroom with a bottle of wine.

When do I listen and when do I ignore? I haven’t figured that part out yet.

Have you?

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Are you an introvert? Do you battle with yourself about accepting invitations? Do you ever agree to do something or go somewhere you don’t want to? How does that work out? 


Monochromatic Memories

 

I love black and white photos.

Whenever I found a picture I liked, I’d immediately change it to black and white. Sometimes I’d switch to sepia. They’re gorgeous and kind of artsy.

Sarah B. B&W - sig

Lately, though, I’ve been looking at life (and photos) in a new way.

Last week I wrote about hiding by being covered up, but is removing something a way of hiding, too? Is getting rid of colors just the flip side of covering them?

I still love sepia and black and white but I’m going to give myself a moment to appreciate what the colors have to say before I make the decision whether or not to strip them away.

Now that my children are older, I flip through albums filled with colorless photos of newborns. They’re beautiful but I want to see my babies as they really were—spit up, cradle cap, rosy cheeks…everything.

Sarah B. Color - sig

I found this picture from last autumn. My husband snapped it as I was about to pull wisps of wind-blown hair out of my face. Upon closer examination, I thought it looked cool. So I turned it black and white. Taking away my skin tone and purple streak. Taking away my true colors.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Which image do you like better–the black and white or the color? Which photos do you generally prefer? I still love the B&W and sepia filters. There’s something about them. But I’m being more careful about keeping color in my life and in my photos.