Writing with the Wrong Hand

January 30, 2009

Yesterday I wrote about why I started this blog.

Today I wanted to say something about why I didn’t blog earlier. I’ve been writing for quite some time now, and I’ve published a decent amount in reasonably high profile places. So why wasn’t I blogging?

Part of it was that starting a blog seemed like a monumental undertaking, and I was doing other things. It also seemed like everyone and their cousin was doing it, so why even bother? I read somewhere that some 120,000 new blogs are launched every day. In a word: buzzkill.

But I think a lot of my hesitation was that for the longest time, I was hung up by what I’d call a legitimacy constraint. Sure, I was a writer. And sure, I was doing OK. But I wasn’t super famous. Or even non-super famous. I was just…me. So how could I dare even presume to write a blog?

Which was ironic, of course, because the whole thing about blogging is that it lets people invent themselves. In becoming, “The Blogger, Delia Lloyd,” you acquire a new identity over night (Ok, perhaps not overnight, if my own technorati stats are telling me anything…but I digress). But somehow it took me a long time to recognize that I could actually create a persona for myself on the internet, rather than wait for the “Writer” identity to emerge, Zeus-like, fully formed, before I started blogging.

I also used to be an academic. This means I tend to analyze things a great deal before I take the plunge. And so when I started reading other people’s blogs and saw all those bells and whistles like Flickr images and trackbacks and RSS feeds and and and… I thought: Do I really have to master all of those before I start blogging? Forget it!

And then I read this  terrific post by Brazen Careerist blogger Penelope Trunk where she talks about The Easiest Instructions for Starting a Blog. And I realized: I don’t need to worry about any of this. I don’t need to be famous. And I don’t need to know everything. All I need is a passion to write, a topic I’m excited about, and a lot of determination. Done.

Which brings us to adulthood. A lot of adulthood is about, to paraphrase Nike, “just doing it.”  Taking risks. Enjoying the Fun of Failure as happiness blogger Gretchen Rubin says.

The metaphor I like to work with is “Writing with the Wrong Hand.” By which I mean, the importance of doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable every once in awhile. It could be wearing low waisted jeans, or experimenting with on-line dating, or daring to…zeut alors!…actually speak French in France.

Whatever. The important thing is to plunge in. And to see where it goes.

Now if I only I knew how to find a Flickr image to match this title….

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Welcome!

January 29, 2009

Welcome to RealDelia.com.

This blog is devoted to the idea that adulthood is not a destination. Growing up, I always thought adulthood was the final frontier – a place you arrived and suddenly everything made sense:  you knew what you wanted to do with your life, you knew what advice to give your kids, you knew which shoes looked right with that jacket. Turns out, it doesn’t work that way. Sure, you make progress and have those “aha” moments every so often, but growing up is all very incremental and you never really arrive anywhere.

And that’s the point.

Why RealDelia?

Well, my name is Delia, for starters.  For a long time, I didn’t think that I could get away with having a blog that had my name in the title. It’s not like I’m Oprah. Or Cher. Or even Charo (remember her? I’m dating myself, aren’t I?)

But when I realized that what I really wanted to write about was that curious journey that is “growing up,” it occurred to me (and some friends who helped me out) that RealDelia was the title I’d been searching for all along. Because, among other things, I’m here to write about what I consider to be the “real deal” when it comes to adulthood – you know, the stuff you won’t necessarily read in a glossy magazine but is true nonetheless. Plus, I think the subtitle – Finding Yourself in Adulthood – pretty much says it all:  it’s about “finding yourself” (literally) in a place where you also need to “find yourself” (figuratively). So the blog could really have any title and RealDelia works for me (one friend suggested “Sanity Fair”…any takers?)

What kinds of things will I be covering?

Loads. That’s one of the things I like about having an umbrella concept like adulthood – lots of stuff fits underneath it: career change, therapy, parenting, yoga, aging (gracefully or otherwise), hangovers, marriage, religion. You get the picture. But it will – I promise – all be germane to the theme of adulthood. And it will also- I promise – not just be about me.

OK, I’ll stop there. Our time is up for today, as my internal therapist is telling me.

Let me add that I’m very happy to finally be writing a blog. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for the longest time.

So, in the immortal words of that famous song from the musical Cabaret, whose lyrics I inexplicably find myself singing all the time:

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome!”