Sackcloth and ashes


I’ve written a good many posts and added a “writing” tag to it, usually when I was happy with the result and wanted to see what other writers thought. I know that was playing fast-and-loose with the tagging system, and I tell you this because I want you to know that THIS post really is about writing.

I’ve read a lot of words that attempted to answer the question, “Who are we blogging for?” Do you blog for yourself or for your audience? Well, in my own case, I think I do a lot of both, and sometimes there’s a conflict.

A lot of my posts can be melancholic or downright sad — the one yesterday called Old Soul is a case in point. Do we write to entertain, or do we write because we feel something inside that needs to break free?

Many of my posts are intended strictly to entertain, so perhaps it comes as a shock when people seeking entertainment stumble across something serious, but that’s always been the nature of my blog, a hodgepodge of funny, weird, sad and serious. Do you think a blog is better served by a consistent theme?

But let’s talk about sadness.

Yes, I have things to be sad about — who doesn’t? But I think a lot of people believe that because I’m willing to be open about these things, it means that I’m perpetually wearing sackcloth and ashes. Not true!

I like cute and I like funny. I also like vanilla ice cream, but I don’t eat it a gallon at a time! I think there has to be balance between funny and sad, and if I was upset by the felling of a massive oak and came up with a way to tie it in with my 60th birthday, then that is not indicative of anything other than where my thoughts took me that day. It’s not that I’m unaware of my many blessings, it’s that I am willing to acknowledge my human frailty, and reflect with melancholy about getting older, and a step closer to the end of the line.

During the recent A-to-Z Challenge, I wrote a ton about my family and the love I have for them. I also wrote with sadness about loved ones who have passed from this world. And yes, I DID visit a cemetery once a week for a year and wrote about it on my alternate blog site, A Year in the Death of One Man, but that was a special project that is done and gone!

Do we write for ourselves or do we write for others? Do we bear responsibility for the possibility that our words might make someone else feel sad? Should we be concerned that being open about sadness makes people worry that we might suffer from depression? Honestly, if I didn’t write about these things from time to time, I probably WOULD be depressed, but once I write whatever it is I’m thinking, it’s done, gone, over.

I’m fine, people, really! Maybe I’m not as fully appreciative about being 60 as I should be, but really, the idea is starting to grow on me! And besides, what other choice do I have!


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  1. As they say, there’s a lot about growing older that is no fun – but it beats the alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent post that reflects what I have been thinking for quite a while. For a while I used to watch the stats or comments after making a post and realized that a ‘group’ of people must be more interested in my political postings rather than my ‘life’ postings but the converse is also true because there have been time when a ‘life in the woods’ postings would break a record for the number of hits. I have finally, (at 70), decided to just write what moves me to write and ignore the numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent points, Pete. I admit that I pay too much attention to the numbers sometimes. I do so not because I’m vain, but I’m fascinated by what seems to resonate and what doesn’t, and my conclusion is that the more frivolous something is, the better it’s received, generally speaking. But what sparked this particular post was a passing concern that some people might be worried that I’d gone off the deep end. Those who know me better might allay their fears by telling them, “No, he went off the deep end long ago!”


  3. I get the part where you said that if you didn’t write about some of the things you write about, you WOULD be depressed. I do. I’m the same. At the same time, I’m aware when I’ve written 10 sad posts in a row and I’ve to remind myself that there are so many other things in my life that are not sad that I can and should write about. And I don’t think you’ve gone off the deep end, I haven’t known you long enough to think that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sad posts or not – one must write what one must! Besides often it is “how” one writes than what one writes – a comprehensive persuasive piece unveiling a thought-provoking albeit unpalatable one is a writer’s job isnt it? One cannot in any case please everybody – So one should just write – sincerely.
    On a different note, cannot for the life of me understand how this tagging system works 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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