Monday, July 8, 2013

End of a Bloggerific Week: Thoughts on the Purpose of Avoiding Atrophy

Well, guys, I made it. On Monday night, I made a sweeping declaration to blog every single day this week. It was met with such enthusiasm from you guys, and I've loved reading your comments over the last few days. I may never make good on my promise to learn to play the guitar, but I blogged the crap out of this week.

As a reward, I'm giving myself the gift of this GIF of Kevin Arnold giving me a thumbs up. Thanks, me. You're welcome, me. 
But I will be honest, it was hard sometimes. There are bloggers who churn out posts every day like it's no big deal, and I tip my writer's hat to all of those guys. For me, though, I need ideas to marinate a little bit before getting them out to the world. The same is true of how I express myself verbally. Seriously. Ask me anything. I'll get back to you in two years.

Even though I wasn't always bursting at the seams with creative energy, I really did love this last week of blogging. I feel like writing so consistently really helped me reconnect with my original intentions for Avoiding Atrophy. The more I exposed myself to daily writing, the more I became comfortable with it, and the more I truly loved it (that's called Mere Exposure Effect - look it up). I found myself itching to get cracking on my newest post. I would read and reread all of your awesome comments (shout-out to Claire for making Daniel and I laugh out loud with your comments on zombie technicalities). 

What I really gained from this week is an appreciation for the people who read and follow Avoiding Atrophy. You seriously don't have to do this, guys. You could spend your time in all kinds of great ways. You could make a sandwich. You could watch a hair tutorial. You could do work at your job, I guess. But instead you choose to spend it here listening to me talk about BB Cream, marriage, and my love for Red Lobster's cheese biscuits. I am so humbled by that. 

For you guys, I got this GIF of the incomparable Adele saying "Fanks." Fanks, y'all.
I was thinking about the joy I have for my readers and for writing in general while reading a couple of books given to me by my friend, Matt -- a man so full of wit and wisdom that his words might literally melt your face off (if you don't believe me, go read his blog, and see if you still have a face when you're done). The first is a book titled You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins. This is the book that inspired me to start considering my gift of writing as a vocation rather than a hobby. I even changed my job status on Facebook to "Writer" (but it actually says "works at writer", which is weird). The second book is titled Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. This one is a more practical guide to promoting your message or product to an audience.  Here's an excerpt I've found particularly helpful in a section titled "Connect with the original vision" where he establishes this idea of "wow" as an intangible quality of a great product: 
King Solomon once said, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." This is also true for "wow." Before it exists, it is only an idea. The only place it exists is inside your head. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and once again become present to what it is you are trying to create.
When I read that at the top of this week, I was really inspired to reconnect with that original vision. I sat down with a sketchpad (lined paper is too constricting for me), and just started thinking of all of the reasons why I blog -- reasons that live outside of my own validation.



I ended up writing out something that seemed a lot like a statement of purpose. Maybe one day when I'm feeling brave, I'll post all of it, but here's a small, small snippet for now.

"She's a mess. What is her hope?"

This is the question I want begged of me when people read Avoiding Atrophy. I'm not someone who will ever claim to have it altogether. Ever. I cut my hair once a year, I eat things that I know are terrible for me, and I'm not sure I'll ever know what I want to be when I grow up.

But I am someone with a whole lot of hope, and with very good reason for said hope. Again, feel free to ask me about it.

When I started this blog, even though I knew I would be writing about my own experiences, my vision was to connect with people who, for whatever reason, sometimes feel like giving up. I wanted to make these people all laugh really hard and commiserate with them on how gross life can be sometimes. And then I wanted to remind them of how very valuable they are and encourage them to dream the dreams that they've stopped dreaming.

Dreaming is a hard battle, one with a lot at stake. It's the same battle I fight, and I'd love to not have to fight it alone.

Writing every day this week has inspired me to make Avoiding Atrophy a community experience. I promise to always start the conversation, and I hope you will join me in continuing it.

You'll be hearing more on what this all means for this blog in the next couple of weeks, but stay posted. I will continue to post cat GIFs because that is just how I roll, but every now and then, you might get a nugget of wisdom.

Thanks for being here. You are awesome. 

15 comments:

  1. I am very concerned about Zombie technicalities, because those mo-fos freak the crap outta me and I just know that I may well be the first to die should the zombie apocalypse happen because I'll be too busy shitting myself to run for cover.

    Congrats on completing your one-week blogathon! :D

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    1. Judging by your wit and general preparedness, I have a feeling you will do just fine in the zombie apocalypse. You've got this!

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    2. I am not sure how good wit is as an offensive weapon for fending off Zombies. Were I to stand and be sassy at them, I think I might get eaten. Were I to stand and the back and be sassy whilst other people fight them off, I might get beaten by the other living humans, and then thrown to the zombies to be eaten.

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  2. Hii I just wanted to let you know that I'm giving you a Liebster award! all the details can be found in this post http://budgetsplurgebeauty.blogspot.com/2013/07/liebster-award.html ...You don't have to feel pressured to continue with it, but I just wanted to let you know! :) Xo, Ember Darling

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    Replies
    1. Wow! Thank you so much for this. I just read through your blog and it is super cute! I will definitely be following.

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  3. As I already told you finding your blog was a great surprise. I love the way you write and I feel that we have a lot of the same things in common. Glad to see you keeping up with it and yes, I could be watching a hair tutorial on YouTube but those NEVER work when you try it, do they? Anyway, reading your blog made me want to take mine a bit more seriously. Would love for you to visit it!

    http://seven-year-bitch.blogspot.com/

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    1. Just perused the Seven Year Bitch and had a blast! I love the idea of posts dedicated to complaining about a mix of real and frivolous things. It's one of my favorite pastimes. Good work, Valerie!

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  4. I'm going to keep dreaming because of you. I was about to give up my dreams when I read this so thank you:) so much

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    1. Wow, I hope that's really true, Carly! Dream it up.

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  5. Hello Christy, my name is Anita! I love your statement, "She's a mess. What's her hope?" I feel like that kind-of describes me, too. :) And since you said we could ask, this is me asking. What's your hope?

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