I haven’t been writing. But I’ve been thinking about doing it.
As always, thinking about doing something actually doesn’t produce anything – not a product, not an expectation met, not a sense of accomplishment.
I haven’t written journal entries or blog posts or long Facebook posts or even lengthy emails. Maybe winter inertia set in. Perhaps I haven’t found anything to say. If you know me, that seems highly unlikely; although, it could be that there just isn’t anything profound or even meaningful to cast out into the noise of life. I have nothing that I feel like getting off my chest, nothing compelling me to contributing to the world of ideas, nor even anything amusing to proffer.
Hopefully something will spark soon because not writing leaves me feeling kind of empty. Often the act of writing is cleansing, transformative, and revelatory for me. I don’t really know what I’m thinking until I start taking the time to put my thoughts into words. Then words on the page force me to think. They compel me to make more sense of them by rewriting, rearranging, clarifying, and honing the ideas. Sometimes I begin by writing about something only to discover several paragraphs later that what I thought I was going to write about and what really needed to be expressed aren’t the same thing at all. I’m suddenly writing about a completely different topic or at least looking at it from a perspective that is quite unlike anything I thought was going to be said. Writing is oftentimes my way of thinking.
Writing is also how I best express myself and my world. For all the talking and yammering that I do, that is hardly ever where I make the most sense or get to the real heart of any serious matter. Being able to participate in deep conversation requires a vulnerability that I’m not willing to give myself over to. Sometimes, okay most of the time, I cannot do that with even those closest to me. I’m much better when I can form my thoughts, carefully choose my words, and then put them out into the world as a finished idea. Only then can I defend those thoughts or expand on them. If I begin with a conversation, the right words don’t come and I cannot voice my ideas and beliefs well.
Organizing the thoughts, finding the words, and getting them out there is scary. People comment to me about how brave I am to put my personal thoughts, fears, and issues out onto a blog; however, what isn’t always evident is that I can do it in writing and hit “publish” but can’t bring myself to say some things aloud and in person. I fear the rejection. I fear the backlash. I really fear not getting my thoughts and my heart out coherently and effectively and, thereby, really screwing up and looking inane and incompetent. Somehow the written expression takes less courage than a verbal one – even if I later need to defend the ideas.
As usual it took me more words to complete the idea than I thought. I’ll be back soon – you know, when I have something to say.
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