Sunday, October 30, 2011

Help wanted.

This week I read a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller (thanks for the recommendation, Courtney - I loved it!). The basic gist is this: filmmakers come to Donald to make one of his memoirs into a movie and they realize his "story" is kind of boring. At least for the big screen. So they set out to embellish the heck out of his life to make it more enjoyable for the audience. As they create characters and plot twists and inciting incidents for the Donald in the movie, the real Donald starts to think about how the rest of his "story" will unfold. Not wanting any more of his life to require a re-write, he starts living with intention and dramatically alters the course of his life.

Talk about inspiring!

As a person with a story that may or may not be boring, I appreciated the reminder that it can play out however I choose. (I just have to choose!)

As a writer (who has somehow completely forgotten how to write), I enjoyed the bits of insight about writing (particularly about oneself). The following quote felt like it was written just for me:
But I didn't like thinking about myself anymore. You get tired of thinking about yourself all the time when you're a writer. It gets wearisome, all the bellyaching and feeling and thinking about the world and how you interact with it. Everything's a mirror when you're a writer; the computer monitor is a mirror. Who thinks they are so important that they need to write books about themselves? Who are these people who write about themselves, and how did I become one of them?
I know I'm not cranking out memoirs that people are begging me to make into movies. I know that. And yet, I totally identify with what he's saying. I think it's part of the reason I've been struggling with this blog so much. On the one hand I feel like I can't come up with a single thing to write about. But on the other hand I know that is total he-cow poo (what Liam says instead of BS). Of course I have things to write about. It's a blog. Blogs are built on making something out of nothing. And I have way more than nothing to work with. But I kind of feel like...who cares? And not in a self-depreciating, give me feedback kind of way, I promise. I'm just honestly starting to wonder if all the blog posts and status updates and comments and photos and tweets and whatever else might be teetering on the verge of enough is enough already.

Or maybe I'm just in a bit of a funk. I mean, I really don't want to walk away from my blog. And I definitely don't want to stop writing. But I feel like I've forgotten how to do it. And I have NO IDEA what to write about. So I'm asking for your help. If, for whatever reason, you're still checking in with this somewhat abandoned blog, would you mind telling me what you like to read on here? Maybe if I have a better idea of what you like to read it will help me narrow down what I should try to write.

Or maybe not. But I figure it's worth a shot.
There are certain stories you simply can't make happen by yourself. In order to make the story happen, we have to give it away, we have to ask for help, and when you ask for help, you are asking other people into the story with you, so it's no longer just yours, it belongs to the community that believed in it with you.
- Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years


grabdmother fancy said...

How about Halloween through the years

No Mommy Brain said...

great idea - thanks!

Caddie said...

What I like reading about is just the day-to-day dealing with life & motherhood & trying to balance that with still remembering who YOU are (Britney & clove cigarettes, woo!). I am nowhere as good as you are with putting things into words, but it helps me to see you doing the same things that I am with my family...You know how sometimes you feel like you are the ONLY one who is going through stuff? And then when I see Liam not wanting to eat his food, or do the Super Awesome crafts that you have thoughtfully set up, it makes me feel like my kids doing the same thing are normal after all & it's not a Personal Failing in me as a mom. And when I see you taking time to appreciate the little things in life, it helps me to remember to stop & take a breath & be thankful, too.

And I can't forget Britney! Tommy totally laughs at my taste in music, so I appreciate knowing that someone I respect listens to trashy pop, too!! ;-)

All that to say - I love your blog! Please keep writing it. :-)

No Mommy Brain said...

thank you SO much caddie. that really helps me remember what I love about this blog too (writing it in a way that other people can relate to makes me realize i'm not alone either!).

Delaney Mae said...

This is a friend's blog, and this post was a punch in my gut after many, many months of not writing. It's more applicable to the general concept of writing than to the "why should I blog?" conundrum, but it put a lot of thoughts straight in my head:

Don't stop blogging! I like your unique perspective and insights. And cute pics of your kids :).

Morning Cloak said...

don't stop blogging! I check back at least once a week to see if you've written anything. Your blog is engaging, sweet and funny. I always think its a cute idea for just a quick and easy post if you transcribe a funny conversation between you and Liam. It's fun to hear the interesting ways young people think about the world, and it doesn't involve much leg work on your end, the post writes itself! Not to mention you'll have posts recording what he was like as a little boy.. sort of a digital memory book. You could even have Liam do a guest post.. what does a 5 year old (is he five?) have to say to the world? Otherwise I love reading simply about your daily life up and downs whether it's tackling what to make for dinner or attending a britney concert. Keep at it!

No Mommy Brain said...

thank you all so much! i'm embarrassed to admit that getting a little feedback totally stoked my fire. did you see? i've posted more this week than i have in the past month! guess i just needed to be reminded about some of the things i love about blogging. like the readers.
; )

timshel said...

Maggie, I feel this way too. So often. I think that is the natural cycle of being a writer anyways. You know where you going, you plow ahead into uncharter-ed writing terrain (even if it is just blog words) and then you realize you have to see where you are and stretch your limbs and grow the next inch into wherever and whatever is next. That might sound vague but my point ARE a writer. And even when you might feel like you don;t know what to write or say your voice is strong. And funny. And good. Keep going. You make me smile and laugh and you are carving a path in words. THAT is essential and good and worthy of pursuing forward into the next post, the next book, the next limerick. Plus, I love it. Damn it.

No Mommy Brain said...

timshel, THANK YOU. it means the world to me that you know what i'm talking about even if i can't quite put my finger on it. you inspire me.