Soapboxville was born many years ago in 1999. It was there that I wrote really cheesy reviews of Goo Goo Dolls concerts, even worse short stories and it was the home of the Lunchbox Notes. The Lunchbox Notes are in my opinion some of the best writing I’ve ever done. They were conceived when I read a book entitled Notes on the Kitchen Table. As I read I remembered a note my mother left for me the day she went in the hospital in 1991. Inspired by the book and the note and a lunchbox notes product I’d seen in a catalog, I decided to send out daily e-mails to a small group of friends. Each note included an inspirational quote and commentary of some sort from me. I wanted the people who read them to feel just as loved as I did when I read my mother’s note.
The Lunchbox Notes were born before I had the opportunity to actually be paid to write. They were before I knew my writing had flaws and that my grammar and punctuation needed (um, needs) work. I won’t even get into my capitalization issues. But I digress … My point is this, when I was writing the Lunchbox Notes I wrote because I loved to write, I wrote because I wanted people to feel loved, the words came from my heart. The Lunchbox Notes project had my heart.
7 years later the 365 Days of Sunsets project was born out of lingering grief from the death of my grandmother more than 2 years earlier. I felt compelled to document the passing of time and the best way I knew how to do that was to acknowledge each day’s sunset. I started the project with just a point and shoot camera caring only that I got a quick shot of each day’s sunset. As time went by I fell in love with taking pictures and photography became not just a hobby, but instead a passion.
In between the Lunchbox Notes and the 365 Days of Sunsets projects I’ve written about everything and nothing; pop culture, politics, cancer. Lately I find myself floundering. I’m struggling to find my voice again. To be honest, part of the problem is that more often than I’d care to admit I find myself feeling deflated because my humble little Soapboxville is not as popular as other blogs and that my readership is comparatively small. This has been bad for the creative process.
A few months ago I took part in some bloggy type thing on Twitter and someone offered the critique (I asked for it) that Soapboxville lacked focus and that is why I don’t have a larger audience. I just can’t bring myself to narrow my focus. Truth-be-told I’m not of a narrowly focused mindset and this was just one person’s opinion.
As I write this it occurs to me that I actually do not want to be the next Pioneer Woman or Perez Hilton, although the income would be nice. As it turns out I just want to be comfortable with my own writing again. I miss the ease with which my words flowed when I was writing Lunchbox Notes. I also miss the purpose the need to photograph each day’s sunset gave me.
I have a lot to think about in terms of where I want to go with Soapboxville and what I think works and what I think does not. I like the countdown to fall but I’ve heard from a few who do not. I’ve been toying with making the countdowns to each season more like a daily almanac type post than just a daily countdown.
If you’re a daily reader I hope you’ll continue to come back every day. If you’re a new reader please come back again to see where this journey takes me.
Thanks for reading!
~ Carol Anne
Any and all suggestions are most welcome.