During the break, I learned more about what it means to be authentic. I am excited to share this with you among all future posts.

In these last couple of months away from Wine and Write, I’ve learned a lot about myself and this blog– particularly in being authentic. With everything life has thrown my way this summer, it was hard not to learn something along the way.

The Break

Wine and Write was an idea in January and a reality in February of this year. When this website went live, I was working part time and had ample time to focus on blogging and learning everything I needed to know. I scheduled posts every Wednesday like clockwork, and for the most part, I was satisfied with them.

Then I was promoted to full time, and my spare time was nowhere to be found. I began publishing posts I wasn’t proud of for the sake of meeting my Wednesday publishing schedule. I knew I needed to take a break– hell, I’ve even published posts about taking breaks— but I thought I could push through it. No.

Good content doesn’t magically appear one day. I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I was publishing and equally embarrassed about taking a break. What will this do to my readers? My reputation? But it was what I knew I needed to do, so I did. I pushed my shame away so I could focus on myself and what I needed to do.

The Realization

I thought by taking a break, I would write more for myself. I didn’t. I wrote once. But what I wrote was so personal that I realized most of what I wrote and published on this website wasn’t at the same level.

I became so focused on my blog being a happy place among all of the heartbreaking news being published that I lost sight of writing with a meaning. Writing without a meaning is merely words on a screen. Writing has always been my way of working through and processing my thoughts, but when I started this blog, that went away.

Writing became another task on my to-do list, and the activity that once made sense of my problems became the root of a problem. I forced myself to stop thinking I was any less of a writer for reacting to writing with stress. I wasn’t less of a writer… Just an unorganized one. As prepared and organized as I thought I was to take on the endeavor of a blog, I wasn’t. Is anyone?

The Plan

Making my way back to blogging, I don’t have room to be unorganized. I will still post tips I find helpful, but I’m going to go deeper than the surface from now on. One of my biggest pet peeves when reading other blogs is how shallow and short the posts are, so I’m not going to let myself fall into the same pattern.

A change I’m trying to make in my life is to wake up an hour earlier to write before I go into work. I want to give myself time alone with my thoughts to write what comes to mind. I’m going to write for myself again.

By doing this, my goal is to be more in touch with myself. More organized. More productive. More authentic. The product of this, I hope, is that I will be able to deliver more content that I’m proud to share, rather than content written for the sake of publishing. With that said, I will publish posts every other week rather than weekly.

There’s no shame in that, either. I don’t blog to brag about how much I write, how many readers I have, or any other statistic. I blog because I enjoy it, and nothing good ever comes from a person doing something they don’t enjoy.

The Challenge

Now that I’m focusing on being authentic, I challenge you to do the same. Everyone has areas in their lives where they aren’t being true to either themselves or someone else. Before you can improve that area, you need to pinpoint why you’re holding back. Is it fear? Apathy?

Finding the answer to that question might not be easy, but if you want to fix that area of your life, you have to find the answer. I didn’t know how important that would be until I found my answer. For me, it was fear.

It scares me to be vulnerable. I tell myself I’m not allowed to be, but I admire it when other people are. When other people write in a personal, deep fashion, I always thought, Why can’t I be like them? I was too scared was why. But not anymore.

This is a new season for me, and I can’t wait to share it with you.