I'm Thinking of Just You

Last week we celebrated the first birthday for the blog. I'm still a bit shocked that it has already been that long, or surprised that it has ONLY been a year - because with so many of the people I've met through sharing my posts, it feels like we've known each other for far longer. 

During the time I have been keeping this blog I've also been fielding questions each week for the Fracture Free Friday Q&A column. Most of the questions have to do with something medically related or has something to do with my experience as a young adult with O.I. However, one of the most common questions I've gotten has nothing to do with O.I. or being disabled. Here it is: "How do you keep writing blog posts? Where do the ideas come from?"

This is when I wish I had an actual camera of my own to use because I would snap a picture of the unlined notebook pages I use to plan entries. Since that's not a possibility you'll have to bear with my descriptions of the writing process instead: at the start of each month I have a massive brainstorm where I list any and all ideas that may serve as blog post fodder. Then on the next page I create a terrible hand-drawn calendar. This calendar is complete with crooked horizontal and vertical lines to create the numerical grid, I fill in the numbers and often I mess up doing this part.. (like forgetting that February has 28 days etc). I then take the blog post ideas that I brainstormed and attempt to schedule it into this calendar, doing my best to make sure that there is a variety in topics for each week. Voila! Now we have ourselves a blog editorial calendar!!

But still that doesn't really answer the question. That's, honestly, just the simple stuff to how this process works. The tough part is actually sitting down in front of my computer and thinking about the content behind those topic ideas. Here is my secret: I'm often thinking about just one person in my head. 
Sometimes that one person is a first-time mom or dad who is worried, sometimes that person is a classroom aide uncertain of what to do, maybe it's a doctor, a friend, a passersby on the street, a young teenager, a college student excited for new independence, a 20-something partying away... sometimes it's the person next to me in an elevator, sometimes it's the roll of toilet paper, or sometimes it's my wheelchair, sometimes it's to myself at a younger age, sometimes it's the conductor of the subway. Just one person (or thing) is all it takes.

According to my blogger data my readers span from ages 13 to those who are 55+! You are representing 20 countries around the world and speak more than 10 different languages! Those statistics alone can make writing a blog entry overwhelming and intimidating; it's easy to quickly fall into the trap of oh my god what do these people want to hear about? What would be most helpful for all of them? How can I make all of their lives easier? (I have discovered that no answer exists for any of those questions).
I'll be the first to admit that there are many days when I feel like I am grasping at empty thought bubbles, clumsily and blindly popping all of them hoping for something truly awesome and meaningful to splatter onto the computer screen for me. That rarely happens, actually it has never happened.

But then I remind myself of how this all began in the first place. Perfectly Imperfecta didn't set out to try to rid the world of all its problems with its first entry. I would be a total fool to think I could destroy all the barriers anyone has ever faced, and I'm not writing for the masses to peruse while standing in grocery check-out lines. This crazy adventure began because I'm trying to break barriers one post at a time, by speaking to just one person at a time, about one issue at a time. I want to talk to you because I believe that you matter. It's just that simple. 

Back to the idea of thinking about you - the clearer the image of that one person I have in my mind, the 'stronger' the blog post tends to be. This is also the general strategy for how I tackle other projects or problems: when I can clearly see just one piece of the final end-product, or the final solution in my mind -- I have a better sense of how to get there. Otherwise when I try to tackle the whole shebang it becomes too daunting and I get this paralyzing sense of I can't do this.
Just one piece at a time, we'll see it together and when our visions align we'll break just one more barrier together. 

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