When I’m riding my motorcycle, the thoughts that usually flit around in my head become so clear. Sometimes when I’m moving through my everyday non-riding life I have difficulty channeling my ideas in a concise way. They are much more jumbled and murky when I’m say, sitting on my couch, versus when I’m doing 50mph on the back of a Tiger.
Funny how that works. Instinctively you would think that when you’re in a vulnerable position that you couldn’t possibly relax. But, you do.
On Sunday while my husband Kenny was out riding trails, I was holding down the fort. In the early morning, after he’d set off, my dog Lilo and I just sat around staring while the kiddo was still in slumberland.
On Saturday during the ride up to the cabin, I formulated grand plans of spending all day Sunday writing down my thoughts and chipping away at story fragments that will never see the light of day. Not only do I have a mountain of drafts in my blog, but I have other writing that I do outside of the blog that gets tucked away for no one but me.
More and more I’ve come to realize that I have no idea how to be a good motorcycle blogger. I’m not sure that I even write about motorcycles. I mean, I do… but peripherally. That’s the way that they seem to make the most sense to me. Motorcycles enhance or deliver me to experiences but I’m not sure that they are the experience. I recognize that this state of mind has changed over the last 20 years.
Earlier this week I was reading a post from Ara on The Oasis of My Soul called: Adventure vs. a Journey, TX. While I don’t categorically agree with everything that he says in his post, I understand where he’s coming from. I found this particularly interesting:
There is a goal, there are numbers, calendar, a clock or two, there is pushing, overdoing. There is the constant inner flow of pumping information into the Social Media platforms as often the Adventure is not even pursued for oneself but for Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus. It is sharing no doubt but all more on the physical side and a “look at me banner” style of the ongoing.
As a result of reading tomes of blogs over the years, one thing I’ve come to learn is that even though words are shared, photos are posted – we still cannot know the true depth of a person’s mind and heart. Their reasons for doing things are unknown to us until they express them directly. And even then, it’s suspect. And so we apply our biases. We knit together our interpretations of someone’s motivations based on clues from threads in our own mind.
On the surface, maybe it looks like someone’s social sharing is nothing more than look at me banner waving but having never spoken to that person, we don’t know how their adventure truly shapes them. Some people don’t have the wherewithal, the ability or even the wish to show us more than the surface. Sometimes people aren’t even aware of how they feel about a situation until it’s long since passed. We all grow and change and elevate at a different rate.
This brings me back to my feelings about my blog. Sometimes I become frustrated by my inability to adequately share my experiences. I just don’t have that ability. I’m not a writer, I’m just another self-absorbed shlub with a Macbook. But… I try.
Sometimes I miss the mark and don’t round out my thoughts enough. Sometimes it seems like the things I find important enough to write don’t matter to anyone but me. And often, I hold back but I’m not sure why. And then – the most common misstep for me – there are the times when inspiration scuttles away because I waited too long to jot down my ideas. So many words go unsaid. I hate that one the most because at its root it is time wasted.
Though my blog is written first as a clearing house for some of my thoughts it would be untruthful to say that there isn’t a want to connect or to get some virtual high-fives. Perhaps that why it smarts when posts go unread or when you share something that moved you and it falls flat. A blog post is like putting a piece of your mind on display. When it is ignored, you’re ignored. When someone says what you posted is stupid, they’re saying you’re stupid. Of course that is an oversimplification – but that’s what it feels like sometimes.
Like Ara, I often wonder about social media or blog personalities. What makes one stand out from the others? If you look at some of the most popular accounts in the motorcycle niche, they’re highly visual. As it turns out, they aren’t my go-to reads. Yes, I appreciate them for what they are. But the folks who deliver the deep thoughts and the visuals? Those are the ones that I carry in my heart.
On Sunday, though I had grand plans to write and write and write I sat by the fire next to my dog, my kid and even my motorcycle and just… thought. All day. For the first time in as long as I can remember I was able to open my mind like I do when I’m riding. With nowhere to go and nothing to do I just sat there and contemplated a million things. I thought about other bloggers I’d like to meet. I thought about words and pictures and rides in the mountains. I thought about what I want to do with this blog, where I want to travel to, how much I don’t want to be afraid of showing my cards.
Maybe I even thought about you. It happens.