alexandra wrote waiting rooms

May has been just meh, but it really began to fray in April. I look forward to June after almost two months of Super Pulse that is finally resolving itself in the sort of way it began – unexpectedly and without making much sense.

Tachycardia. My pulse wouldn’t slow down. Blood pressure and all the rest were low – normal and healthy low. But my heart was racing like I was doing cardio 24/7. And it forced me to do make changes I didn’t really want to make. Except I was too tired to fight it.alexandra wrote holter

AND IT SUCKED.

But I’m happy to say sucked, in the past tense, because it’s changing. Most likely because I’m no longer on the asthma inhaler that probably triggered the problem to begin with, which is ironic because when this first began, I thought the flutterings and the chest tightness were asthma. (It seems I should listen carefully to those soft spoken voiceovers on big pharma TV ads, after all.)

There’s a special sort of stir crazy that comes with being too tired to do much of anything mixed with the version of sleep a 24-Hour-Jazzercise-pulse produces. As one cardiologist put it, I wasn’t getting any actual rest, but it was more “like being unconscious, like Michael Jackson.” Um, OK.

(The erudite Jackson observation was only one of several bizarre conversations that took place in that cardio’s office over the course of a few visits. And always while hooked up to monitors or in some state of half-nakedness, where responding would require eye contact. Chit-chatty me tends to be less so when undressed under fluorescent lights in the company of strangers. I’d rather stare at the acoustic ceiling tiles. Maybe restlessly rest or something.)

I worked, but I was balancing it with a lot of time glued to the sofa, you know, unconscious. I had to miss things I really didn’t want to miss, but other things I was so happy to be able to do (including teaching my first TYPE A class, which I can’t wait to write about soon – although in one photo of me at the end of the class I could just see the lack of REM sleep so evident it made me cringe. But it was about the class, not how I looked, right?).

Still, all of this resting offered a bit too much time to consider all the words I wasn’t writing, but also time to discover something I’d long been trying to figure out. Why do I blog?

I began blogging because as a writer working more online, it seemed a natural progression. Find a bit of virtual earth and cultivate it. I’ve never quite felt I fit a niche unless there’s a writers who write about writing instead of writing niche and, if so, that’s totally me.

I was once assured that writing about celebrity or tragedy were sure fire ways to bloggy success. Both have had their place in my life and with rare exception have I ever felt they have any place on this blog. And I’ve stood by that pretty comfortably because I don’t want the web to own all my words, my experiences and my memories. And maybe that meant success couldn’t be mine.

The last few years I’ve unexpectedly found a passion for writing about social media ethics, thanks to blogging, in the same way other things came along to supplement screenwriting in the last decade and a half – film journalism, editing,  working for clients writing copy or doing developmental editing which I love – and TYPE A, writing in just another way.

Everyday is a hustle when you freelance. And that’s OK. Except when you’re feeling stuck.

Being sick amplified it. Made it a bit terrifying because exhaustion makes it so easy, almost too easy, to find yourself in the doldrums. To pick at the scabs that aren’t healing as quickly as you want or need them to.

While the last months hurt, it was some dear friends in the blogosphere who helped me deal most of all. And that’s when I realized my success as a blogger. What I define as my success, my reason for taking up space in the cloud.

Just as in real life, at the end of the day, it’s not the page hits or the followers or sponsors that matter. The reasons I blog are about connection. They were from the very first post I wrote. And they still are.

Only connect…

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15 thoughts on “May Was Meh: A Blogging Success Story

  1. Krishann

    This was beautiful. I am glad that you are feeling better and as always I loved reading your words. Every single one.

    Reply
  2. Kristin Alexander (@SaidKristin)

    A friend sent me this link because she said it made her think of me. I can see why, as I’ve also been asking myself that existential question of blogging a lot lately: Why do I blog? And the answer is always the same as you – for the connection.

    But I can also relate to just not having the energy to do it and then feeling that sense of panic and depression as a result. I love to write but sometimes I don’t want to write, which then leads to feeling like I NEED to write because it’s free therapy and if I don’t write then I’ll start to feel stressed. Except that the thought of writing also makes me feel stressed. And then I just get confused.

    So, yeah… I’ve been turning these things over in my head, trying to make sense of them, and the conclusion that I ultimately reached is that I probably just need to take a step back from it all. Continue blogging and writing, but on my terms, when I want to – not because as a blogger you need to adhere to a set schedule. It’s a move that might alienate some readers, but I think the loyal ones will stick around; the ones with whom I have a connection. And that’s what matters. Right?

    Reply
    1. alexandra Post author

      I’m not the first writer, and definitely not the last, to say that writing is so often about what we don’t write. Which is why blogging is sometimes tough for me. So much of my work comes from time spent not writing – observing, reading, research – yet a blog sits there and says you have this platform, so why aren’t you filling it to the brim with words every day? I think we each have to make a blog what we need it to be. We need to define our own terms of success with it and then follow that path. It sounds like you’ve found yours. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Friday Tapas: Unplugged | What She Said

  4. Nina Badzin

    Your blog is gorgeous! And I so agree on blogging to connect. I read the post you linked to at the bottom and I started the same way you did . . . first as someone who guest posted elsewhere. Eventually I realized I need my own place!

    Reply
    1. alexandra Post author

      Thanks, Nina! I didn’t set out to write to connect but writing has created connections. That’s what I love. Reading has brought people into my life just as writing has, both online and in print. But online it’s just this vast planet of connections to be made and it’s fascinating.

      Reply

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