Writing Your Story

writing quote

Preface: This is one of those posts that you just have to write because you’ve been thinking about it, ruminating over it, and you know that somehow, someone out there knows and feels what you’re trying to say. Thank you, Faulkner, for today’s quote. I think I’m going to make that my reflection for the rest of this month!

+++++++++++++++++

I am somewhat of a story junkie. My brothers will tell you how I was always writing some kind of cheesy story when I was a kid, because I dreamed of one day being a Filipino version of Francine Pascal. In school, I would win writing and poetry contests, which all the more motivated me to write well and read more. In fact, I would take out five books from the library each time, religiously. I especially loved poring over historical biographies, because I was fascinated by the real-life stories of these people. As for TV choices: well, I’ve always had a soft spot for (ahem) documentaries. Yes, people: I like biographical documentaries. I even have my husband download these for me.

I like real life stories. I enjoy reading about what people do and how they did those things.

I suppose this is why I like reading blogs, too. I enjoy reading real life stories of ordinary people. And when I am able to find a connection with the person I’m reading about, then I know it’s because they told their story well. Not eloquently with words, but eloquently through connections, through their experiences.

I started my own blogs in the past because I, too, wanted to tell my stories.

Admittedly though, I eventually got sidetracked, so there was a time when I stopped telling my stories.

How and why? Well, I guess it was because I was trying to be cool, I think. I only ended up being pathetic. I was pushing too hard, trying to “do blogging right” or something, whether I unconsciously wanted to or not. I attended PR events and product launches here and there, to be “involved” in the blogging community or something. I was doing all of the “right” things — or so I thought. Until one day, I looked at my blog entries that I realized: Hold on. Where are my mom stories? Where are my reflections on motherhood? What’s my blog really become?

DaintymomWEB-1022

That’s why this 2013 (which is more than halfway through), I promised myself to write more, to tell stories, to inspire myself with my experiences. As a blogger, I would only go to events I really resonated with, that I felt I would have a real connection with and help me tell my stories. I would only write the stories that I would want to read about ten, 20, 30 years from now, with a wizened brow and a warm smile on my pruny lips.

+++++++++++++++++

Am I coming across as a soapbox girl for “blogging your bliss” or something? Well, that’s because I think I’m somewhat of a bloggy junkie! Haha! (I’ve made some pretty stupid mistakes in this blogging journey, so trust me on this!)

Blogging is my passion: I reflect on it, attend classes about it, research it, enroll in online conferences about it, etc. I know I take it seriously because I’ve made a new small business that helps women writers successfully set up their own, thoughtfully-executed blogs and websites, and helps them write better — a business that God has been blessing, by His grace. (Thank you, Lord.)

But one thing that I hope to never take for granted is telling my story on the blog.

Even though writing and blogging is what I do for a living, I don’t want to stop telling my own stories. After all, writing “realness” and living life blissfully is all about being all there, as missionary Jim Elliot says:

behappyme

I want to “be all there” when I blog my stories here.

Stories are powerful, especially those written from the heart and soul of a mom. I owe it to myself to keep it real. If people want to read these stories, then well and good. I am grateful for them! (Thanks, readers!) But even if they don’t come here, even if they don’t read, I will just keep writing. After all, I write for me, for my family, for my soul. I want to write because I’m compelled, not because I want to be the next power blogger like Jenni Epperson or The Pioneer Woman (whom I both love, by the way).

When I blog, I just want to be Martine. Please do remind me if I’m not!

Have you ever struggled with writing your real-life stories on your blog — like me? What did you do about it?

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for this post. I started blogging because I love to write. I can identify with what you mean by dreaming of being the Filipino version of Francine Pascal. I love to write so much eversince I was I kid. I would write “Sweet Dreams”-esque stories on my free time. But I was convinced that writing is not financially- sustainable, I became a doctor instead. But I would rather trade my profession now to write, so blogging is my outlet. However I do feel so wrapped up ‘trying’ to be a ‘popular blogger’, increasing readership and feel so inggit with superstar bloggers with sponsored posts. I forget that blogging is for my creative soul. Those paid posts are good validations though. But I love blogs how write from their heart rather than 95% pure advertisements that becomes very repetitive & boring. Thanks for the reminder which I started blogging in the first place… This is very inspiring…
    Little Miss Honey recently posted..5 WAYS TO APPROACH DREADFUL MONDAYS WITH A SMILEMy Profile

    • Martine says

      Hi, Honey! You know, after a year with soooo many sponsored posts, contests and giveaways, I realized that I enjoy writing those that aren’t sponsored, or about an event or anything. I realized that I just want to write like 90% of the time about writing, blogging, living, loving. I hope I can do that, and not feel so pressured all the time. People started to read the blog because I wrote about ME, after all! :) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it. :)

  2. says

    What a great reminder to stop being inggit with the wonderful mom bloggers I follow because I know I will never get to that point, hehe! But I just want to share my own stories, sometimes stories that I get from my very vivid dreams. Weird ba? Yes, I do know that I have a small voice in the vast blogosphere, but meeting people like you who are passionate about writing inspires me to just keep writing, writing, writing. Thanks Martine! I wish to consult with you about my blog, I wish I knew where to start. :-)
    ceemee recently posted..Birth Story Number One, Cymplified!My Profile

    • Martine says

      Indeed! Being “inggit” can really slow us down and make us feel pressured to climb up the “ladder” as it were. I think mommy bloggers aren’t in any competition, and we shouldn’t be, right? We should just build up each other through support, through our stories, through our conversations online, through eyeballs of course, and through friendships. We’re all drops in the bucket anyway —— out of 4 million moms blogging out there! (I realize that’s like an entire small country’s population?!) Hope to see you in one of the blogging workshops this year, Cym!

  3. says

    Amen to this! I was trying to reply to this post yesterday evening, but then, for some reason, I lost what I typed using my phone … boo! Anyway, I promise to do the same thing, too. I have my blog to document my memories and experiences with my hubby and daughter and also to teach people about ‘business’, so I will do try to keep it ‘real’. I love this post, Marts! :) Super inspiring… Let’s do this! Hopefully, people see that what makes a blog popular, followed by many and inspiring are because of posts that are from the heart! :)

    • Martine says

      Awwww, thanks, Ginj! You of all people totally “get” me. Your blog, Mommy Ginger, is so YOU because I can almost hear you when you blog your experiences! It’s like we’re just making chikka during one of our meetings, haha! That’s why I love it! You ARE the multi-tasking mompreneur, and I love that I am one of those privileged to know you up close: You are truly living out what you write, and writing what you’re living! :) Hugs!!!

  4. says

    I super get what you mean by this post. I am guilty of wanting to be a Jenni Epperson. She built an empire through her blog and whatever she says, her readers follow. But then, when I took a look at my posts, it doesn’t look like “me” anymore. It’s become like a textbook written by a robot and there’s no more personality there. Now, I just blog for myself and to update people around me. I am slowly making my blog into my happy place and I look forward to writing whenever I have time. No more pressure!:)
    Talia recently posted..The Chosen OneMy Profile

    • Martine says

      That’s EXACTLY my sentiment about blogging, Talia. Of course, nothing wrong with getting professional about things. Jenni actually does an excellent job because she’s a high profile celeb, and she gives us glimpses into her real life, like through Instagram. She’s just “being Jenni”! :) And it’s obvious she’s happy that way. :) When we blog for ourselves, that’s when we’re at our most truthful state… and intriguingly, that’s what people love to read! :)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!

  5. says

    Thank you so much, Martine. I learned so much from this one important post about what it means to be a blogger and writing from the heart. I admire your sincerity and honesty. You’ve inspired me to continue to write with integrity and to keep our little blog real. Sending you a virtual hug : )
    Cyn recently posted..21/23 The Fireplace at Hyatt Regency HotelMy Profile

    • Martine says

      Thanks, Cyn! I’m actually so inspired by your stories with Bianca. I want to capture more moments between me and Vito, the way you do with your restaurant trips and your acts of kindness. I’ve not been doing that enough, and I regret not capturing many memories that could have been awesome stories on my blog! But, I’m always a mom, right? I can always start capturing stories! That’s why there’s a blog! :)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! <3

  6. says

    When I started following other blogs (your blog and other popular mommy blogs here in the Philippines) years ago, I had big dreams for my blog. I wanted to be just as popular as you were. I wanted to increase my readership. But that eventually ate my drive up. It was exhausting to do. And I was getting nowhere. So I was really happy when I attended your first workshop. It reminded me that I started to blog because I wanted to tell stories to my family. To my daughter most especially. So yes, my primary purpose was very personal. I may not have gained a lot of readership but I met women who were just like me and made good friends with them even. So yes, now, I blog more freely. I blog more from my heart. Thanks for the inspiration, Martine!!!
    Faye recently posted..Natural Toys From ViganMy Profile

    • Martine says

      Thanks for sharing that, Faye! I know what you mean about having plans and dreams — I have those, too! But what time has taught me is that I don’t have to force things to happen: What will be will be, as the adage goes. I’m so happy you are part of the Dainty Mom community, and that you have been reading the blog all this time, even through those times when I was “led astray.” It’s because of readers like you that I want to blog more deeply from my heart. Thank you!!!!

  7. says

    thank you for this post… to be honest, lately it is taking a toll in me of what to write, how to write it. Just like you felt the first time, (and since you’ve been honest about it), you tried to be”cool” and all. I guess this is what keeps me “sidetracked” in blogging. Parang there are questions behind my back na who will read all of my stories and all… And after reading this, I know I have stories of my life as well to share, being a mom of 2 pre-teens and a 6 year old, for sure I too have a lot of stories to tell, realizations of being a mom and others. This is why it is so frustrating on my part not to be able to attend any of your workshops, especially this coming August, I could really feel I do need this one… But with this post, I will start to write again and then post it again. Thank you for sharing this post… :)
    Ma. Teresa Grech Quiatchon Racal recently posted..What Would A Parent Will DoMy Profile

    • Martine says

      Dear Grech — thanks for your comment! I know what you’re feeling right now, and I feel that way a LOT more than you think, haha! I just haven’t written about it, though I should. Sometimes I think that no one will care about my daily kwentos, when in fact, those are what people look for in blogs: real life, the realness of our stories. I’m glad you are inspired to write again, and I promise, I will hold the workshop in the South very soon! :)

  8. says

    My first comment (which btw was super long) got lost after I refreshed the page. Huhu. Anywaaaaay, this post really made me realize you’re worth to read. That it’s just right that I’m a fan. That you have hundreds of fans always reading you. Why? Because you’re real and not ashamed of saying “I was trying to be cool”. Thanks for this post, too, Martine. It made me feel “normal”. Hehe. For the past year that I’ve been blogging, I honestly regretted doing a flood of giveaways. It became the focal point of my cyber palace. Sigh. Like Rina of Rina’s Rainbow, I also want a non-giveaway post to be the most popular article I have ever written for the blog. But I know it’s not too late to change gears. That’s why I am dying to attend your upcoming workshop. I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot from you. I have read some blogs who are so trying to “do the right things” that they miss sharing at least a bit about themselves.

    On a lighter note, the hubster could attest to how I like biographical stories, too. Not on the history side of it, but more on the intriguing parts of their lives. And oh, not documentaries but movies! Like Marie Antoinette, The Social Network, Abraham Lincoln, Queen, etc. Hehe.
    Denise recently posted..A Mom’s Life: 26/48My Profile

    • Martine says

      Deniiiiiiiise! Grabe, mare, HIGH FIVE. Gets mo ko, noh?! I know what you mean about the giveaways: Just look at my 2012 posts and you’ll see how obsessed I was, hahaha! Someone said it’s good for gaining readers, but all they did was make me tired really, tapos the only people who would join sometimes were the so-called “contest mafia.” (Yes, meron ganun, said Anton Diaz of ourawesomeplanet.com)

      I’m so excited you’ll be there on the 24th — it’s going to be awesome-sauce! :)

      We’re the same in our appreciation for history and biographies! I find them so intriguing. One of my favorite figures is Catherine the Great of Russia, who was a real mega-woman powerhouse, but led such a scandalous life. Pang blockbuster film! Kaya type ko ang mga movies rin na ganun.

      • says

        Ay, ma-research nga yang Catherine na yan! Russia palang, may kilabot factor na. Uber powerful ang arrive ng label ni mother eh. Sana magkaroon ulit ng movie this year or next year (or next next year) na ganun ang theme no? Date tayo sa Gateway! Para malapit lang. Haha! :)

        I agree with the “contest mafia” na yan. As in sa sobrang konti ng tunay kong readers (hindi lang basta palasali sa contests, as in reader na literal) eh kilala ko na sila pati mga anak nila. Hahaha! I love doing giveaways kaso nakakastress din. :)
        Denise recently posted..Free Classes at MSP’s Play and Learn CenterMy Profile

        • Martine says

          Si Catherine the Great is uber-powerful. Dami pa nyang mga affairs, intriga queen. Tapos if someone didn’t meet her standards, patay (literally). Murder, sex, scandal: Pang teleserye. YES! Movie date minsan!!! :) Malapit lang ako sa Gateway!

  9. says

    Love this part:

    “Stories are powerful, especially those written from the heart and soul of a mom. I owe it to myself to keep it real. If people want to read these stories, then well and good. I am grateful for them! (Thanks, readers!) But even if they don’t come here, even if they don’t read, I will just keep writing. After all, I write for me, for my family, for my soul. I want to write because I’m compelled, not because I want to be the next power blogger like Jenni Epperson or The Pioneer Woman….”

    I SO know what you mean, Marts! :) And I’m so happy that you’re “back on track” — if you don’t mind my saying, I noticed, too, that there were less “real” stories on your blog and I really missed reading them! Admittedly, I got “sidetracked” somewhere along the way too, on the blog, but thank God (and friends like you!), I have found my voice. It may be a small voice compared to others, but it’s MINE. :) Thanks for the wonderful reminder to just be me when it comes to blogging and, well, life. ;) *hugs*
    Truly Rich Mom recently posted..In Honor of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week: Links You Can Look UpMy Profile

    • Martine says

      Thanks, Tina, my dear. I know YOU know what I mean. Haha. This blogging world is kinda crazy in many ways, but we actually make it crazy for ourselves when we stop really writing. We just “do” (events, rakets, etc.) Not that there’s anything bad about them, but sometimes they sidetrack us, right? I attend stuff pa rin, but not like before. Too tiring; too “not me”, especially at this time in my life. Snob ba?! Haha!

      But, seriously, trying to be “in” in this blogging world is tiring. We’re cool on our own, when we don’t seek it. Masyado akong naging try-hard before! I’m happy now that I’m just being “me” now!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge