Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Mission Statement

It's official: I forgot how to blog.

I open the draft page almost every day, and then can't think of what to write. Then I write HUGE long posts that are really, really boring and over-the-top that I could never publish. Then I start hundreds of teeny drafts that are just... dumb.

Today I realized what the problem is. This blog has forgotten what it was. Or it maybe never really knew.

It started out in '10 as a blog about ADD. The main goal at that point was to write every single day for a month just to prove to myself that I could do something like that every day for a month. I think I achieved that goal? I can't remember now. Maybe I missed the last day or something, but I got really close at very least. And then after that, it started dying off. I had told a lot of my stories. It just didn't feel right. 

Then, strangely, you get to this post, where I was somehow feeling the winds of change. I was ready to start letting my humorous side show. The thing I love about that post is that you can tell I have no idea whether I'll actually continue blogging or maybe have it crumble into nothingness. Like, I could feel some shift was happening, but I also knew that there was just as good a likelihood that I would get distracted and do something else.

And then the very next post, everything was different. It was connected to the old stuff, but the tone changed. I became more myself. Or at least the light-hearted version of myself. 

Then last year happened and the blog became about gayness. And that was important. But now... I have this feeling like that the aftermath of the coming out post has petered out. It feels like something that happened in the past, as opposed to a hurricane that I am in the middle of. Things feel less urgent. The discussion has shifted. My life has shifted, normalized. 

And now I don't know what I'm doing here anymore. 

I don't know what this thing is supposed to be.

Ideally, it is an extension of myself and my thoughts. But there is such a mish mash in my head that I lack a clear focus. A purpose. Like, when you come to The Weed, what are you going to get? What is the endgame? What am I trying to accomplish? What governing ideas keep this thing going?

(And even right now, my brain is saying "this isn't funny. Shouldn't this be funny? You're being too serious right now. Too bland. People are falling asleep. YOU are falling asleep.")

Sometimes the voice in my head needs to shut up.

I am going to write a mission statement, and then I'm going to press publish, and then I'm going to get ready as fast as humanly possible so I'm not late to work, and I'm not going to over think this.

Mission Statement: Here at The Weed, you will see the thoughts of Josh Weed as he reflects on his day, his life, or on current events. He will try to post daily. Except when he doesn't. And he is going to try really hard to be real and be himself and not try to be anything he is not. Sometimes he is funny. Sometimes he is boring. Sometimes he is angry. And sometimes he's kinda lame. 

But he is pretty real.

So, that's what you get here. 

*Contented sigh*

That feels nice.

(Side-note: It's funny that this post landed on being "real", because one year ago, we decided the tagline for the blog was "all kinds of real". That is serendipity and a signal that all is right in the world and angels just started singing and I can hear the Hallelujah chorus in the background right now at the sheer simplicity and majestic inevitability of that coincidence.)

I'm gonna be so real that I'm leaving that ridiculous parenthetical that the voice in my head is telling me to cut out.

You're welcome. 

You'll be hearing from me again tomorrow. Probably.  

In the meantime, I'd love your thoughts: what do think of the mission statement? Also, what do you enjoy reading here at The Weed?

45 comments:

  1. FFAQ!! Where has that gone? I love the silly stuff, but only when it is bookended by some introspective or serious stuff.

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  2. Yeah, bring back the FAQ, I think we all loved those.

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  3. Ditto. I love it all - deep and shallow. I also love the parenting stories - hilarious! Lightening people's days is a gift you possess in spades.

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  4. I was going to say the same thing as the others. I miss the FFAQs! I'll say the same thing about it that I said once before, though. I think it'd be great if you could have a day just for submitting questions, then a day just for voting, rather than having the questions and the voting on the same day. Otherwise one of the first 3 people to post is almost guaranteed to win, and not everyone has a schedule that allows them to be up at the crack of dawn. ;)

    Anyway. Besides FFAQ's, I love just hearing about what's going on in your life, and the funny little stories about your kids. Usually when I come here, I'm expecting to see something that will either make me think, or will brighten my day a little. And I haven't been disappointed yet, not once. Even if you think you're just rambling, I honestly love reading it. So just be you! And I love the mission statement, by the way. It sounds perfect. :)

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  5. I like that you and your family are every-day Mormons just trying to get thru the day and your life and the next life, just like the rest of us. Bring it ALL on. I love it and miss you when you don't write.

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  6. I love the mission statement!

    But, I would not put so much pressure to write every day (even with your qualifying)--once or twice a week so we don't miss you too much would be good though. Of course, if you post daily, all the better! I just know that I tried a daily challenge and realized I was much happier having a goal of twice a week but would not beat myself up for dropping down to once a week. That way, I never felt like I was writing just to meet the quota.

    I really like "all kinds of real." I don't care what you post about so much, just that it is authentic. This includes the FFAQs referenced in the comments above. If you feel like doing that, great. If not, great. Just go with the flow!

    Also, maybe you lost the joy of blogging somewhat when you became a therapist to us all (I am thinking of giving us space and permission in the check-in posts/comments sections). While that was kind and surely helpful to many, maybe that made it less your space? But, do what you love. If that was a part that you loved about The Weed, by all means, keep it up.

    Glad to see you back here!

    Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living
    and
    Newspaper stories, now from Scotland Neck, NC, in 1880s@Finding Their Stories

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  7. Your mission statement is perfect. I've been reading since before the coming-out post, and have always enjoyed what you write. Another blog I love is http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/; the mission statement there (although not stated) is very similar to yours. So you're in good company.

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  8. SUCH good feedback, you guys. Thank you so much for even thinking about this and sharing your thoughts. I had forgotten about FFAQ--silly as that sounds. Bet you can't guess what's gonna happen this Friday ;-) Actually, I might take Dani's suggestion and have a full day (Thursday) for submitting questions and then have voting be something that happens all day Friday.

    Is it weird that I'm scared what I might be asked next?

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    1. I think it would be more weird if you weren't a little scared :)

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  9. FFAQ is amazing and yes, lots of food for thought/posts there! Also, my favorite posts are your funny kid stories, cute thoughts on marriage and the hard ups and downs of a spousal relationship, AND I particularly enjoy posts about poop.

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  10. I watched your interview on mormonstories.org and was inspired by the testimony you and your wife have about the church, purpose in life, religious issues, etc. I started following you since then and have also enjoyed your funny posts a lot. But wow, your testimony is powerful when you throw that in. My favorite part is how your love for everyone shines through in the things you believe and how perfectly you two can word things. Inspiring!

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  11. Well, my dear, for one thing, I really enjoy that you don't post everyday, making me feel like a bad blogger. You have never made me feel like a bad blogger and for that I thank you.
    I can't remember when I found you but I think it was during the ADD phase. I may have come for ADD but I stayed for your humor and honesty.
    THEN the whole gay thing blew my mind completely and I decided that you and Lolly might just change the world. By then I felt so close to you that I would never leave you.
    Which brings us to now.
    Mainly I come for a sense that no matter how crazy the world may get, there are still plenty of sane people and I don't feel so alone.

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  12. I love the realness of your blog. I wish more people were so real. It helps us all feel like we aren't alone. I have struggled a lot being a daughter of two alcoholics and I felt like everyone in the church was so perfect and would never understand me. I joined the church at 16 and I am so grateful for the friends I had back then. It just made me feel like I was isolated and I became a huge perfectionist. Most blogs present every situation as perfect when that's not really accurate.

    I am grateful for your blog. I like the variety of posts. There are times I laugh and other times I cry. Your family is amazing! Thanks for yours and Lolly's openess! What a gift that truly is!

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  13. Don't try to force yourself to write what you think you should write. When you have something to say, say it. I enjoy your writing style and what you - some random internet person I stumbled across - have to say.

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  14. When I read the first paragraph I thought "Don't overthink it. And just be yourself." And then you pretty much said that later in the post. I think you already know what this is. We're just grateful to be a fly on the wall....

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  15. I think all your most enjoyable posts (to me) have involved a good amount of family story or anecdote, whether as the main topic or as a jumping-off point.

    And I think the least enjoyable ones (again just to me) have been the various "Tuesday This" or "Friday That" series you've had at various points. I realize you were probably doing it to provide a structure, but they could be a bit. . . labored, I guess. It seemed like having that type of weekly deadline was deadening your voice. You're funnier (and more moving) when you write random posts on whatever day of the week the spirit moves you.

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  16. Ditto on the more from Lolly! Assuming she's up for it, hearing her side of the life of Weeds on a somewhat regular basis would be awesome. I love her perspective and style - you guys make a great match :)

    I wonder sometimes if I've forgotten how to blog too. It's like I've made up a crazy list of amorphous ideas about what my blog is supposed to be like that makes it impossible to write anything that complies. Have you heard of Five Minute Fridays? The basic idea is writing for five minutes on a single prompt and then publishing whatever came out - no second guessing, editing, just raw. And then link up with the main site, click on whoever linked up before you and leave them an encouraging comment. It's been a great way to get out of the writer's block rut, not let perfection get in the way of just writing SOMETHING, proof in the comments that even five minutes of effort produces better writing than my head gives me credit for, plus a great way to find other writers who I might never have stumbled upon otherwise. More info can be found at http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/ It's predominantly a lady-writer thing, but I've seen men link up before, so why not?

    Glad you're tackling your blogger block. I've missed your posts :)

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  17. I love every post. I'd like to see the return of the check in day...

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  18. I love every post. I'd like to see the return of the check in day...

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  19. i love your parentheticals! they are very uniquely you :) i like your funny stuff, your serious stuff, your life updates, and your voice! you have a very "you"-ish voice, and i love to read it!

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  20. I love your posts, but particularly the ones about your family life and stories from when you were a kid! :) keep blogging!

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  21. I think everyone should have a mission statement!! AND I love the randomness of your blog - just use it as an outlet for yourself. It is about you and your family. I do miss when you haven't posted but when you do it is like a little gift!

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  22. I love the mission statement. I think a blog should be a safe place to express your thoughts and feelings, insights and goofs. Be you. It's why we are all here.

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  23. LOVE mission statement! Wow. Thank you.

    I like having met you and Lolly and your family through this blog. Even when I don't respond, I'm often deeply moved. We had several painful years when my dad had dementia. It is such a totally different story when it is your parent and not a grandparent or more distant relative.

    I like reading what you write. Even when it's boring. I hope you keep this line of communication open - it is important to me.

    Thanks!

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  24. As a sometime writer, I find your posts about the difficulty of writing posts very encouraging too!

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  25. Hi Josh. You have a unique perspective on things and the ability to talk about the difficult stuff in a non threatening way. Like, I watched Lord of the Ring series recently and thought, "How will this possibly end well with a nice bow around it to really make this story come together for me?" And somehow, the story did just that. You are my version of The Lord of the Rings in blogland. Because of that, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the things happening in the world. There are a lot of important things going on that we are too silent about (anti-gay Russia, Syria, etc) and other things too much spoken of but wonderful topics for humor (Miley Cyrus, Grumpy-Cat, etc). Blogging, like life, ebbs and flows and that's ok. Thanks for asking for our thoughts.

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  26. I enjoy reading your blog, not for the drama and excitement but for the life. Your blog helps me to relax and laugh at life... Because your little ones aren't all that different from my little (and not so little) ones, except that I don't have to clean up after your little ones and therefore can laugh at them and their antics. I like reading about other people and their life. And your life is fun. I have two boys (and possibly a girl) who are ADD and so hearing that you have as normal, productive, adult life gives me hope that they might as well. Sometimes I wish I could just call you up and ask for help... Or understanding, or support... And I wish we were in the same neighborhood or ward so that we could be friends. You are awesome and I like reading about your insights into life.

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  28. My initial reaction was "ohhhh, he's outgrown us." Kind of along the line of a season for everything..... Maybe the blog was a part of your journey to sort out and come to terms with things in your life and to facilitate coming out. Maybe now we're old friends who just run into each other at the proverbial online grocery store once a month and ask "How are the girls? How's Lolly? Did you see XYZ in the news?" And really, you have *3* little girls, a job, and a wife!! This blog shouldn't feel like a chore. Point of my rambling? I think we will all take whatever you have time and inclination to give as long as you don't disappear forever.
    Just find what works for you :-)

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  30. I just enjoy knowing that you are there...really.

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  31. I think all bloggers go through a blogsistential crisis at some point. Kudos to you for coming up with such a defined mission statement to get you through yours. Hopefully the daily post goal doesn't get you bogged down; I'd rather have your quality than your quantity. Best of everything to you, though, and thanks for being an inspiration.

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  32. I like the fact that you're real and have real emotions and such things. I have my own blog and it's hard to keep up on things. I agree with seashmore I like having your quality than quantity though I always look forward to your posts, funny, lame (which there hasn't been one yet), and things about life. It makes you seem more human :) Besides it's your blog, you can do what you want :)

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  33. I've noticed for a while that you've been beating yourself up about not posting. Yes, we all love you and your posts, but blogging shouldn't be a source of stress or something to feel bad that you don't do. What I'd like to see is you letting go of your expectations of yourself. You aren't going to post anywhere close to every day - you and the rest of us know that. So stop worrying about it! I think it would be wonderful if you post when you feel like you (or Lolly) have something you'd like to share. Make your blog a source of joy to you - and not a chore. We'll all be here loving what your write, and hopefully most of us can accept times when you don't feel like you have anything to share for a while. So maybe you might want to rethink the mission statement to something like: "I'll post when I feel like sharing something and the rest of the time, I will give myself a break and not feel bad for not posting on a regular basis". Also, I love your humor. But again, I want you to post what you want to, when you want to, not what you think your audience wants to hear, or when they want to hear it.

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  34. I love to hear about your wonderful marriage with your sweet wife. Positive things like that are so hard to come by.

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  35. More Lolly! Not because I think you're boring, but because I think she's just as hilarious as you. And awesome. And have I mentioned that she's my hero? Also, more of the girls. And more of the gayness. And generally, just more. I love the Weeds! :)

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  36. I had a comment all written out, then google made me sign in to comment and took away everything I typed. Lame. So quickly:

    More Lolly. More girls. More Josh. Simply: I want more Weeds! Whatever you end up talking about, I love it all. Just be you. :)

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  37. I liked the funny stories you pulled out of your memory. (Venezuela, Lolly throwing up, especially the one about your dad not telling you about sex...)

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  38. I'm one of the people who found your blog via your coming-out post, and I've most enjoyed reading about your coming-out journey and seeing your views evolve. But to concur with many of the above comments, what makes this blog lovely is how genuine it is. You should post whatever you wish, whenever you wish; the real you shines through that way.

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  39. I like the variety. One day touching. One day thought-provoking. One day hilarious.
    Just like normal life :)

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  40. Nice to have you back, Weed! I've missed you. So excited for your future funny, boring, angry, and lame posts because those are why I went back and read every single post of yours after coming across Club Unicorn. Because you're real. :) And I've enjoyed everything you've written about. Just be you because it's you that keeps us coming back for more.

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  41. You're so funny. My husband is very smart, often motivated (but who knows by or about what), has ADHD, and if I could count the number of times he has talked about starting a blog (usually about boring computer stuff, which boring computer geeks might enjoy--I really don't know) -- if I could count those times and also have a penny for them, I'd have at least enough money to buy a soda (as long as we're not at Disney or something, cuz everything is crazy expensive there).

    So, hey, at least you *have* that blog you intend to write on. Go you! ;)

    http://muffeeeeeeee.blogspot.com/

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