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6.28.2012

inspiration thru living.

Lately I've been getting down on myself about not keeping up with the blogging the way I feel I should. I worry about not posting on a daily basis or even on a bi-daily basis, and I stress like mad mamas when my blog-lovin' account starts shouting at me, "145 UNREAD POSTS!!!!" I stress, and then sometimes (lately), I laugh and wonder if maybe I'm taking this whole blogging thing a wee bit too seriously. After all, I started this thing for fun--I'm not even getting paid for any this, and while I do eventually hope to make a career out of writing (dare I say blogging itself?), for the time being, this space is a hobbie. A cubbie. A cubbie for my nonsense, my thoughts, my sometimes formal ramblings, and all the beautiful people that inspire me to share my heart and my ideas. Whether I post every day or once a week or two days in a row and then eight days later, I don't think it really matters, so long as I'm posting when I feel the most genuinely inspired to do so. Of course, if I was getting paid to do this, I think it would be a different story, I'd definitely have to come up with some sort of set schedule, but until that day comes, I'm not going to bite my finger nails over the fact that I haven't hit publish in a few days. Or that I'm a week behind in replying to comments.

The fact is this: We blog to talk about life. To record our happenings. To exchange our experiences. To showcase our ideas.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's pretty hard to do this if we're not taking the time to go outside and pick some cherries with our real-life neighbors...iphones excluded. (I don't pick cherries with my real-life neighbors. But I would if I knew of some cherry trees. Actually, there was one right outside the Russian's apartment last week, and he did in fact pick a cherry and eat it, and I was scared because I read some old fables where that wasn't a smart idea. He didn't die, thankfully. And thus it became a rather cool moment in time, standing beside some handsome and very random Russian man beneath a giant cherry tree.)

While I gather much of my inspiration from experiences of my past, and even more inspiration from the many blogs I quietly stalk (many thanks to Erin for inspiring this very post), much of my inspiration comes in the moments when I am away from my computer. Away from my phone. It comes while I am driving or sweating it out on the stair master. It comes while I am in the company of others laughing and enjoying life in real time.

I believe that as humans, we are the most inspired through living.

And not just inspired, but experienced and matured.

The very last class I took in college for my degree was an intermediate acting course. My teacher was a pretty intense dude, 36, intimidating and at first glance a bit pretentious-seeming. Like maybe he was better at thinking he was all that, then actually being all that. Turns out, he was everything previously mentioned and also ALL THAT. The guy knew his shit and when he wasn't screaming at me to find stronger connections to my characters, he was sharing with all of us students, facts about life. Facts about his own life, stories of how he has found inspiration in his acting and how he has matured as an actor. He shared one personal story in particular that has really stuck with me.

When a drama student is approaching his or her's bachelor degree, there's this huge thing called URTA's that take place. It's basically like a giant audition conference, where undergrads come to audition for multiple grad programs looking to recruit new grad actors. Not every drama student attends URTA's. I didn't. It's mostly for those interested in getting their master's in Acting, though it has said to be a great experience to audition anyway, just to receive feedback and also see if there are any school's that woulda/coulda/shoulda been interested in you.

Anyway, my drama teacher shared with us his first experience of attending URTA's. Having done pretty well as an undergrad with getting casted in shows and what not, he felt pretty confident that there would be a handful of schools interested in having him. To his surprise, he received not a single a call back. Not one. The experience left him feeling so defeated, that he ended up taking an extended break from acting all together. He simply just lived his life without attending a single acting class or performing in a single production. Even though it had been his passion all his life, and the thing he had just received his college degree in, he separated himself form the acting world, describing it as a period in which he didn't just "give up", but rather "focused on other things." It wasn't until two years later, that he came back to URTA's for a second audition and with the SAME EXACT SET OF MONOLOGUES that he used two years prior, got SEVEN callbacks.

Naturally, in the movement of our teacher telling us this story we all looked at him in a very puzzling manner.... seven callbacks? After taking a two year break? Not a single acting class in between.. really?

"Yes," he replied, "Not a single acting class in between."

In a nutshell, he had taken time to LIVE. To experience things. Instead of study the creation of characters besides himself, he studied HIMSELF. He matured. And all of those things helped him become a better actor. It helped him have a better connection to those monologues that he didn't quite connect with in the past. They made his acting more believable, more real, and more raw.

Now, I'm not sure how perfectly this story parallels to blogging and taking time away from the computer, but it's a great story and I wanted to share it anyway! HA.

And still, I feel like it does connect in ways to these strange and modern times where we are living in a world that revolves heavily around technology and social media. A world where there is this constant pressure to feel organically inspired day in and day out, and share it with every FEED we know. But the problem is, organic inspiration isn't a consistent thing. In my opinion, it is not.  It isn't something that can be forced, put on a tight schedule, or pulled out of a hat. A lot of the time you gatta give it a break and come back to it after you've spent some time doing other things... i.e. LIVING (!!) This is not to say there aren't bloggers out there executing brilliant material on a daily basis (btw how the f do they do that, with like their husbands and babies and crafts and stuff?????), but I think the greatest of inspiration is sporadic, and most of all, it's personal. It comes not from another web link, or someone else's words, but rather, our own stories. Our own adventures in nature. Our own unique paths.

Which means it's up to us to take the time to step away every now and then, if not often, and go outside... and pick them cherries. Or go on a nature walk. Shit, do you guys remember those?! #naturewalkswereawesome

Basically, I'm sorry I don't post like everyday. But also, I'm not sorry. Haha, why am I apologizing?! Why does anyone apologize ever when it comes to posting? I'm still trying to find my groove in all of this while keeping my own personal priorities straight. To those who do post everyday, high five. You guys are impressive. Like seriously, I wanna go cherry pickin' with you... and steal all your tricks.

How do you guys work out balance between life and blogging? Where do you draw your daily inspiration from? Also, I'm curious, do you guys have posting schedules? If so, how did you determine those? Is it ever a struggle to keep up? As a new blogger, I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of this bibiddy bobbidy. #100questionIknow 

15 comments:

  1. i so dont post every day.
    my blog is a journal for me and my life that just happens to be read by notsomany bloggers.
    i get most inspiration from other bloggers.
    i love your blog. :)

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  2. I think each of us have a different perception of what blogging is about. I think that you have to do what you want to do. The people that love you will keep coming back! Great post friend!

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  3. LOL I wrote this post on Wednesday on my blog too because I felt so guilty about not having a whole photoshopped entry for a Tuesday blog. Then I ended up spending 3 hours proofreading my reasonings for why I didn't have a blog entry, which turned into a full blog entry. SIGH. You put it so much more eloquently than I did Punky!! :)

    Evani

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  4. i love that acting story. i totally don't post everyday because it just takes too much damn time. my life is more important to me than my blog. i just blog when i feel like it. i know that my blog hasn't grown very much because of this, but to be frank, my give-a-damn's busted.

    so more power to ya. blog when you want to and that's it.

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  5. ahh..the balance of life, work, blogging..throw a baby in there ( me raising my hand) and you get a mess of not measuring up..that is, unless you take moments, lots of them, to realize exactly what you already realized. Blogging is a space for your life...so..go out an live it sister..the rest will fall in to place exactly how it is meant to :)

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  6. OMIGOSH. Wow friend, such a great post!! I obvi completely agree with everything you said. You've completely blown my much smaller attempt at covering these issues out of the water ;) I've had to tell myself "I started blogging for fun, this is supposed to be fun" several times in the past few weeks, sometimes like a mantra ha! When I get to that point, I know I've derailed and I need to step away from the computer. Why blog if it's a source of stress and pressure? That's just silly. Plus it shows. You can always tell the genuinely inspired posts from the I-have-to-post-something posts. Thank you for expanding on this topic so beautifully :)

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  7. Great post Jen! I think you're right, and that's pretty much how I run my blog. I don't want to post, just to post. I want to click the publish button feeling like I've really captured something- whether it's a light This & That post to showcase cool things I've found, or a really heartfelt message. I want to be able to look back and take something away from what I've written. I don't think you should ever feel obligated to write a post everyday- I mean, who has time to read all the blogs they love EVERYDAY? I try, but I do get frustrated when I do, and the posts are about silly things, and not very entertaining. I feel like it shows when people are posting...just to post. I always look forward to your posts- you are funny, and you've got some really great perspective on things. I'll keep coming back, even if you don't post every day :)

    xo Kayla

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  8. Oh gosh, I feel like every day I wake up and throw some drabble out to the internet and hope something sticks. The posts I take forever writing and editing and agonize over getting "just right" almost always flop. Inevitably it's the posts where I sit down and just write whatever I'm thinking/feeling at the moment and put (what I feel is) zero effort into that are the most popular. There are no rules, you can't predict it. Never apologize, just do your thing!

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  9. Can I tell you: I drank up every word here.

    If you can put together your thoughts at your age now....you have got a future in saying what people want to read.

    This balance thing: this MYTH of balance thing.

    It's this myth that has people questioning what they're doing and if it's enough.

    There is no balance: there is only the best we got.

    I know that if I kill myself on either side: I go down, feeling pushed to the limit and with the feeling that 'no no no this is soooo not good for anyone.'

    There is no balance, there is only the moments in the sun that we're blessed with and grab and roll around in, if we're smart enough.

    There are only the gifts presented to us that we recognize as the opportunity to not pass up at that moment, if we've got the right glasses on.

    Living helps, being in the moment helps, opportunities help: but also documenting and writing and working their our shit--like you've done here in this post--help to bring us into who we are.

    Working through our shit is what clarifies and sharply begins to outline in black magic marker like a tintin character what we grow into.

    Clarification of our being, from nebulous to delineated form. This is the product and priceless gift of feedback from our words, from reading our own words back to ourselves: the gift of blogging.

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  10. Oh, preach sista preach! I swear I've had this same chain of thought many, many times. I struggle with this, too.

    I'm no expert. But, I used to think that I was being "successful" at blogging if I blogged EVERY DAY AT SEVEN O'CLOCK. AM. (It was in my mind in caps like that. THAT. IMPORTANT.) But then I realized that after two weeks of five-days-a-week posts...I was deflated. And my readers weren't as engaged! Those cherry-tree moments (sans hot Russian) were far more moving + inspiring, even if they were twice a week, than any canned-planned projects or experiences that could fill up content five days a week.

    But, I still have this silly, innate fear that there are so many other words flying around the blogosphere...and if I'm not saying "something" everyday, I'm therefore saying "nothing". And people will forget me.

    Silence isn't saying nothing, I know. It's just illustrating one's ability to sit in silence until you're appropriately inspired or moved. To know the difference between a "really, really meh" and "yay" post. (Not that I don't still have "meh". I do! It happens.) For me, I'd rather turn out two posts that feel heartfelt than any five half-assed posts I can write.

    All that being said...I do try to post a minimum of twice a week. Otherwise I feel rusty and disconnected. Mostly because blogging keeps my depression at bay.

    Clearly you'e got writing chops. ;) You have to do what feels right for you. And even if that means one post a week...you know we're all gonna be right here waiting for it. :)

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  11. Hi! I'm following you from the GFC Blog Hop! Look forward to reading more! I would appreciate the follow back! :)
    Have a great rest of the weekend!
    -Kat

    http://mom-uncensored.blogspot.com

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  12. Hi,
    I hear you !! most definitely!! As a "newbie" myself I have constantly the feeling I need to come up with something just to be not forgotten. I started my blog as merely a workout diary but want to take it a step further with just daily or weekly thoughts on my workouts and life but sometimes there are no words - you know - no new ideas to blog about. If I don't have any new ideas I am just writing about my workout routine just to keep my accountable for my fitness. But its much more - I know. Also I am kinda scared sometimes to just write about my feelings - don't want to ramble and be depressing for my readers - if there are any.
    So enough about me! love your blog and if you ever find the time - check out mine - would be really appreciated!!
    xo
    http://ninasmetamorphosis.blogspot.co.at/

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  13. Oh this post just spoke right to my heart!! My blog is about finding inspiration and sharing real life ways to celebrate the everyday, and sometimes the best way to do that is to get out from behind the computer and just LIVE!! Loved your words. :) Thanks for sharing.

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Your comments make my day! I read each and every one of them and try to deliver a response to as many as I can! Unless there's a discussion going, I will usually reach back to you via e-mail. Thank you for your willingness to speak and share your thoughts :) You is dope.