Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

Keepin’ It Real


Did you see today’s Daily Prompt? It asks: To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it? I have described my blog before as a hybrid between personal expression and helpful (or at least, interesting) information. Sometimes I feel like I’m veering too much in one direction or like I should be sticking to one topic instead of bouncing all around.

After the Freshly Pressed post I wondered if I should post about grief more because that seemed to resonate with A LOT of people. Since then I’ve wondered if all the people who followed the blog because of that post have been like, Why is she talking about her puppy and job woes? Get back to the grief posts, lady!

The truth is the last couple of weeks I’ve been really emotional, not just because of the interview, not just because of my job and everything else, but because this Friday, May 3, is the two-year anniversary of Kaz’s passing. If I was only interested in attracting readers I suppose I would be mining this ‘opportunity’ but instead I’ve been posting about everything but and took one week off.

Grief is weird. Sometimes we want to face it head on, delve into it like sinking into a warm bath or free falling off the emotional cliff. Other times, we want to avoid it. If I’m honest, this time around I’ve been feeling the latter. I’ve been more focused on the future. I’m impatient to make something of my life. I feel like time is running out, not in a doomsday way but like an I’m-not-getting-any-younger kind of way.

The grief is still there, like an itch that won’t go away. Around anniversaries like this, it’s impossible to escape. Because it’s not just me, it’s all of his family and friends, their texts, emails, calls and facebook posts. Even if I wanted to bury my head in the sand, I can’t. Loss is all around me and I’m trying to navigate it with blinders on. I feel like I haven’t been honoring this impending anniversary to some extent. I’ve been aware of it for weeks but I haven’t been giving it the weight it deserves. I keep thinking I’m past certain things but clearly I’m not. Which brings me back to the blog.

In the About page I say that the blog will be reflective of my life, it’s not just about one thing and will evolve over time. It is certainely not just about grief. I guess you could say it’s about recovering from grief, about trying to pull oneself out of the muck and live again, about trying to reacclimate to the world and reestablish one’s identity after being part of an US, and about persuing one’s dreams and not giving up.

It may not be a straight line, this blog. It may be more like a winding road that has dips and peaks, straight parts and curves, but  is slowly, ever so gradually on an incline. One day maybe we’ll reach the peak and we’ll look back at the road traveled and say, ah, I get it now.

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

16 thoughts on “Keepin’ It Real

  1. I think that as time goes on, and the grief lessens, these things will be reflected in your posts. I appreciate your candor; that is the compelling part of your writing, not the subject. I love motorcycles and puppies, and I am far too acquainted with grieving, so I will read them all — doesn’t matter.
    Grief anniversaries — boy, we could talk about that one awhile. Mark the day however you choose and however you allow yourself. If you have to go somewhere to get away from all the well-meaning calls and emails, do it. Grief is entirely selfish. You do what you need to do, and I hope it goes smoothly for you.
    And, congrats on being Freshly Pressed. It brought me here, and I keep coming back.
    Take good care of yourself.

    • I can picture grief-related posts receding at some point too, especially as things pick up in other areas. Another widow blogger has just started dating again and it’s so refreshing to read her posts! I’m not there yet but maybe one day. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you like the candor and keep coming back. Take care.

  2. Write what you feel and always be honest. Some readers might stray away but you’ll also attract new readers as well. I’ve often wondered about my content as I begin my blog. I’ve received criticism and anger from people who felt I was being too personal. I had to laugh about this, what’s the point of having a blog if I’m not going to be real. Creative people are an eclectic bunch, we’re not one dimensional beings. Write away, I enjoy reading.

    • Thanks. I just checked out your blog and followed you. I’m about to start running too! Not a marathon, just around my neighborhood for now. Glad you enjoy what you read here. We are an eclectic bunch for sure. 🙂

  3. Keep writing what feels right at the time. I always enjoy everything you post, whether those fascinating (to me as an outsider) insights on movies and TV, updates on Ruby or musings on life and death. If you were posting nothing but grief stories, the mom in me would want to sit down with you over a beer (I’m more a beer kind of mom than a hot cup of tea mom) to talk about how we could get you feeling better. The grief is there, always, but it doesn’t always have to be front and center. You are a very gifted writer who has the ability to share a private part of your life and make it relevant and meaningful to other people.

    • You are too kind. I love that you’re a beer kind of mom. 🙂 I once told another blogger friend I wish we could get a beer together. Maybe one day we will!

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  5. Hi, Nivaladiva,

    I love your writing no matter what it is and I truly look forward to the next thing that you have to say. But, to be honest, you grabbed me the very first time that I read about your grief about your hubby. You got me… And, then you twisted my pain around and let me feel yours and then I felt connected. Does that make sense? So, I’m torn, too. I love your words but I feel your grief. Maybe you can write about both from time-to-time? There was a reason that they chose your blog!

    I enjoy hearing about your directing (because I’m not able to do that right now and I’m so very, very envious), I really enjoy your thoughts on life and love that you are open and honest and vulnerable about day-to-day stuff but I also am proud of you (I don’t really know you as a friend or family member to have that right to use that word, “proud”, but I have no other word for it, so, so sorry) that you are excited about what is around the corner. It never means that you are “forgetting” anything. It doesn’t mean you’re leaving anything behind because we take our loved ones that we have lost with us in the breath of a warm Summer breeze, the never-ending, rhythmic lapping of the waves on the seashore, or the soft, mellow, familiarity of a tune from long ago… They will always be there and it’s OK to try something new or get a little tickled about something because they would really want us to have those good moments as well as the long, lingering moments where we sit and stare and drift off…to yesterday with them.

    Sometimes, I feel guilty for moving forward (if that’s what you call it, moving forward) and sometimes I catch myself laughing or enjoying a moment and I feel bad and some of those old, familiar, raw feelings of grief come back. But, Elizabeth Kubler Ross tells us that we can move forward-and-back through the stages of grief (death & dying) and that it’s O.K., it’s normal. It’s O.K. to feel something positive without bashing ourselves or feeling guilty all of the time.

    So, I tend to try and think of life as “moments”, so that I don’t feel regret and so I don’t hold back. Because right now, in this moment, you shouldn’t hold back about anything. You will have moments later this evening to have a glass of wine and think of him and then you will have moments tomorrow to get up and get going again and then… moments to maybe read a book or sit by a fire or visit family and think of him again. You’re not forgetting, you’re just moving slowly back-and-forth and through life. I don’t think of it as “forward”, per se, just moving. It makes it all much easier.

    I hope that I helped answer your question about whether your freshly-pressed was because of your blog about grief and your relationship. I believe that it was your inviting attitude and impeccable writing that drew us in and keeps us there, so Write On! I look forward to your next blog.

    Keep in touch!

    • Thanks for that thoughtful comment, Shawn. Grief is a constant ebb and flow, you’re right. And I prefer the phrase “moving forward” to “moving on” because the latter sounds like you’re leaving something behind, when in fact, as you beautifully described, the opposite is true. Take care.

  6. I started reading your posts … partly because of grief, but mostly because of the way you write. I have to confess to not reading some of your more professional posts (the directing / TV posts) only because I enjoyed reading about YOUR life and your explorations of it. I am so very, very proud of you for moving forward and for being Freshly Pressed. It’s not just the grief … it’s life and that you continue to live it … no matter how hard! Congratulations!

  7. You are one remarkable woman. Every word you write resonates with me. I just came across your blog and hope you’re feeling the love and light that is all around you, as you experience the anniversary of your wonderful beloved. I love what you said about not wanting to dwell on grief; but talk about a whole host of other things — moving on, your dog, facing the future, feeling gratitude and rebuilding your life. I wish you every possible success and happiness now in the future. Sure Kaz feels that and much more for you. Peace and be very blessed. Michele

  8. I enjoy reading your blog for many reasons – grief is just a tiny portion. I can relate to your grief in a very unique way, because I lost someone, too. Your writing reflects your spirit and your heart, as well as, how you are trying to overcome challenges and, well, live your life. Please keep doing what you do – and what you want to do – this is why I – we follow you:)

    Kimberly xx

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