Finding focus

Cold rain drips
into dirty black puddles.
Punch down dough!

I’m in a mood.  It has been gray and gloomy for three days, and it is affecting me.  Like a million other bloggers out there, I don’t have a focus.  This isn’t a how-to blog, or a blog about, well, anything.  I chose the name Butterfly Mind deliberately – because my mind is all over the place, and I’m working to embrace my fluttering (See There’s power in that adjective for the story).  When I introduced myself to a local writing group and explained that I blog, but I have no theme, I have no focus, one writer raised his hand and said, “Excuse me?  Do you really need a focus?”  And I fell in love with the group.

But as my “to-write” list grows, the topics ranging from hiking conversations, to housekeeping, to memoir, to haiku, I’m feeling more scattered than even I am comfortable with, and I find myself overwhelmed and wondering “where do I begin?”  Do I write about winter in Maine?  Or continue the Dear Diary, story?  I could write about my adventures in homemaking.  Or courting my husband on the Appalachian Trail.  Or maybe I should write haiku about baking bread today:

Forearms bulge
like Popeye on spinach – Push!
And turn the dough.

I’ve considered starting all over with another blog.  A blog with a focus.  My resolution to learn how to keep house this year has my wheels turning, and I’m thinking about writing a housekeeping blog for beginners.  A blog that traces my journey through learning the basics of keeping house, and of why it’s important to make a house into a home.  I even wrote out a list of domain names and checked into their availability.

My recent post, Would I know how to do this if I had taken Home Ec?, which I thought would be a total flop, stimulated inspiring discussion that has encouraged me.  One reader commented that self-sufficiency at home is “one of the parts of [our son’s] education that I look forward to most.”  Her thoughtful comments have me thinking its time for me to start teaching our kids about housekeeping.  I even wrote “Start teaching kids housekeeping” on my calendar for this summer, once I’ve gotten the hang of it myself.  And boy would that provide fodder for an amateur housekeeper blog.

But I’m still not sure.  It would be an awful lot of work, and I’m not sure I’ve got the personality for it.  My first housekeeping post was the most boring post ever.  And to be honest, I’m not sure if housekeeping is what I want to write about.  Or what you want to read about.

So why don’t you tell me – would you be interested in a homemaking blog?  I would likely still keep this one.  I can’t stand the thought of limiting myself to one topic.  In fact, the thought of having a focus almost makes me balk and not even publish this post.

The Daily Post: Starting Over challenge and today’s Lessons from The Daily Post bloggers, which include asking readers for feedback, convinced me to close my eyes and press “publish.”

14 thoughts on “Finding focus

  1. Hey, Andrea. I love your blog, probably because I can totally relate. My mind, too, flutters about in a1000 different directions and you make me feel like I’m not alone. Plus, I simply love your writing and how you express yourself so naturally. I wouldn’t lock into one thing just because you think you should. Maybe one day some “one thing” will speak to you. Until then, I say follow that butterfly wherever it goes and share the journey with the rest of us!

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  2. Well first of all, let me say that your first blog on housekeeping was not boring at all! IT WAS REALLY EXHAUSTING THOUGH! HAHA!! I felt like I needed a nap after i read it! ;) You are a busy Mama! ….OKAY..I like your flittering butterfly mind. All the different topics. It’s always a fun surprise to read your new posts. I feel like I can relate to the things you blog about – almost always! I also have a mind that is all over the place and as a “butterfly minded” person just like you, I think you would unhappy and bored by limiting yourself. BUT….A housekeeping blog would be fun to read and appeal to me as a stay at home Mom! I’d read it! SO if you have time, go for it…there’d surely be no shortage of readers! Honestly, I think you could write ANYTHING……….and I’m SO with you on this gloomy weather…ALL WEEK. Dark, foggy, rainy. It’s stealing my focus from me and making me want to be very lazy and UNMOTIVATED.

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    • You hit the nail on the head – “I think you would unhappy and bored by limiting yourself.” I love all you butterfly-minded people coming out and telling it like it is. I think you’re absolutely right. The day after I wrote this post, I was already over the thought of a housekeeping blog. No thanks.

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  3. I prefer randomness. I like hearing about your family and simple thoughts about the day. I do enjoy reading about housekeeping – mostly because I wish I had time to do what you are doing. I also think it is a dying art form that should be discussed and taught to our kids. But overall, I just think you should write about what is on your mind – no form what-so-ever. Most of the time, everyone else is as “fluttering” as you are.

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    • “I also think it is a dying art form that should be discussed and taught to our kids.” Exactly! I couldn’t agree more. But I am grateful that you can relate to and enjoy the randomness, because it is what I’m most comfortable with. I’m not sure I’m the one to revive the art of housekeeping.

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  4. I struggle too, thinking I need a focus even though I know I loose interest in too much of any ONE thing in writing. I say keep it relative to whatever moment or thought you’re having. I enjoy your blog because I relate to it – if it were too focused on one thing, I wouldn’t enjoy it so much.

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    • Thank you for your kind words, and I am encouraged that you can relate to the randomness. I wanted to have a look at your blog, but the link above just takes me to your Gravatar. Do you have a link for us?

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  5. I’ll enjoy reading whatever you write, and if you do a housekeeping blog, I’d follow along, but I think you could also just post that stuff here as it suits you, interspersed with whatever else is going on! I liked your first housekeeping post, and I loved your one the other day about your kids’ reaction to “throwing like a girl”. I love the mix!

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    • Thanks, Elle :-) I’m relieved that so many of you feel the same way – that there is fun in the surprise of what each post will be about. I guess that relief should tell me my answer, huh? Blurry and unfocused it is!

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