Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hi honey, I'm home!

I'm going to start this post the way I'm not supposed to. I'm sorry I've been gone for so long. I hit a wall composed of self-doubt, political malaise, and busy-ness; something needed to go and apparently, this was it. That isn't to say I didn't miss you and writing here, but I needed a break.

I'm back! I've been thinking about what purpose this blog serves, what I want to do with it, what I hope to offer and get out of it, so I think it may change shape a little, but here I am.

I started True Stories, Honest Lies as a simple way to write to an audience. It evolved into a storytelling and personal blog pretty quickly, then took a left turn when Kevin was diagnosed. Soon this blog was dedicated to his illness and then my grief over his death. All of this was exactly what I needed it to be, and some of you needed that, too.

It's no coincidence that I took my blogging break just over three years after Kevin's death. Let me be clear: I am never going to be "over" him. I still love him and I always will. I still miss him and I always will. There will be times when I laugh more easily and other times when I just curl up and cry. That's the way loss is. You get used to it. You learn to live with it. If you're lucky, you eventually feel the love and gratitude at least as much as the absence and pain. I will always mourn him.

All that being said, I was starting to feel a little trapped into writing about grief and loss as if that was what was expected of me, as if it was all I experienced or thought about. No one expressed such expectations, of course, but I did notice that posts about loss vastly eclipsed anything else in terms of readership. I had to ask myself if I was still being authentic to my own emotional state. What did I really want to write about? Mind you, the loss posts were and are still genuine (I'm not very good at being inauthentic, certainly not here) but what do I want to write about now?

My life now continues to evolve and I want this blog to reflect that. We all evolve throughout our whole lives so I hope my evolution will be of interest and use to you.

I will, of course, encounter walls. It's not as though the self-doubt, political malaise, and busy-ness have gone away. But I missed you, missed the writing and decided that I could open a door in that wall to see what was on the other side.

So now what? It's going to take me a little while to re-establish a blogging rhythm. I'd love to know what might be of interest to you. I write a blog because I want people to read it. What would be fun for you? In the past I have:

  • Written extensively about storytelling, including my personal experiences as a teller, how-to pieces, tips and tricks.
  • Written about my life, personal essays and memoir that cover a broad range of topics.
  • Posted stories from other cultures that I thought might be of interest.
  • Shared my experiences as a widow. I'm sure this will continue, but I may not write about it as frequently.
  • Shared my observations of the world, often the whimsical or unusual things I notice.
  • Posted photo essays.
  • Shared videos, poems and other art that moved me.
  • Run contests with a variety of prizes.
  • Other stuff I'm undoubtedly forgetting.

What did you like or find helpful in the past? What would you like to see more of? Please let me know (you can comment below or email me).

It's good to be back. I am looking forward to seeing what we create together.
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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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