Out of the writing closet
I write because I love to write. I have something to say. For many years though this voice remained silent, restrained and contained in a myriad of diaries, notebooks and computer journal entries. I have boxes and boxes of writing reflecting the stop and start meanderings of my heart, mind and soul.
Back in June 2008 I courageously (to me at least) created this blog and made my first post "Be a dreamer who's down to earth" . It was a momentous occasion, even though no one celebrated except me. Up until then I did not know how to get my words out of me for others to benefit. I also felt a sense of ‘who am I to be a writer?” But I am a writer, at least a closet writer trying to open the door to author in this lifetime.
A celebration party for one
I still remember opening the door. After a bit of editing and reviewing I pushed the publish button. At that moment a surge of energy exploded inside of me. I jumped out of my chair, yelled something and put both my hands in the air.
The whooping excitement and noise got my son to come see what was the matter. I explained that I made my first blog post. In his 11 year-old wisdom he said “what is a blog post”.
So I explained. He still didn’t get it and really couldn’t see why it was such a big deal.
So I tried another tact. He loves playing sport, especially football. I said “imagine that you were kept in your bedroom for 11 years of your 11 year life. Now imagine that you could never play football anywhere other than this bedroom. Then all of the sudden you were taken to a big football stadium with fresh green grass and a sea of faces of people you did not know. Imagine the experience of playing a game there compared to the space between your bed and your bookshelf.” He got it then. (Photo of my son courtesy of www.actionphoto.com.au)
It’s either before or after the grave
Internally I reflected further. If I don't start writing publicly the only time anyone will read what I have to say is when I am gone. What a waste of my life that will be. To take one’s passion and bury it only to have it resurrected when the person herself is buried surely is a tragedy. Seemed to me an illogical outlet for my interest.
Though I may wonder whether I am a writer, I do not want to die guessing. Then why do I have to write? Why do I need to write? Why do I get all wound up in a ball of energy until I take the time to get my words out and express myself.
Ups and downs
Since starting this blog my reasons for writing were exploratory. I had one purpose – to exercise my writing muscles so that I felt better and more confident at being a public writer. I figured if I put the words down I would at least know they were there. I did not need to know that anyone read them.
At first I thought I better be a ‘good blogger’ and write everyday. Well this is the perception I had from comments made by others. So I would get home and rush to get my post out. I even remember coming home late one night, it was five minutes before midnight and I just had to get my latest post up. So I wrote one sentence and pushed the button. Done.
Then life got the better of me and I slowed down. Changing my pace seemed like the more sensible thing to do. My direction then became write when I felt like it, when the spirit moved me. All the sudden I would be sitting or doing something and I would get this urge to write a post. Off I went letting each post emerge like a baby being born. Such effort for one blog post seemed out of balance.
Soon I realized that my style was to write long essays. Instead of short easy to digest posts my efforts were like reading a book. This is not the way people blog I got told. Who cares I said. I just do this to practice writing in public.
Publicity without telling anyone
Every once in a while I would get over my fear enough to actually tell someone about my blog. As if it were not already public knowledge I would send an email or forward a post to a few people. Then I even did the unthinkable and shared the posts on Twitter. Seemed innocent enough for me and not self promotional because of the place I came from was resistance.
I am challenged by the thought of making my words public. There is no turning back once the words are out there. So the easy answer for me was to not make a big deal about the writing. Instead I preferred to let the blog be out there organically growing interest which it slowly is doing (thank you).
I also started to shift in the writing. My topics became more personal and more relevant to the experiences in either my life or those around me. I felt compelled to put my slant on a situation in writing for others to consider. Again I really didn’t think of people actually reading the posts. It seemed more important to just get the words out.
Over time a change took place within me. I started to really love the idea of writing publicly. I now want even more freedom and authentic expression.
So this blog is set to evolve. The blog is to evolve as I evolve. Perhaps I might try one type of post one day and a different type another day. Some may be really short, others long essays. The key is that I want this place to be of value, continue to be authentically aligned to me the author.
The conversation starts now
As my writing has been mostly about me exercising my voice, this blog now needs to also be about readers. I truly want to engage with readers online. Up until now I was not keen to have any comments, didn’t even want a dialogue. I was not ready for the extra scrutiny and attention. It is one thing to hide behind a computer screen and push a button. It is another thing to see that there is a person at the other end reading what you say. For an apprehensive public writer such a I have been, comments would undo me. I secretly wished no one said anything.
But then I am all about the conversation starting. I like to be the person that asks the questions, gets you to go deep and really think. So wouldn't it be interesting and fair to hear the other side of the conversation? Yes.
To keep the conversation going I need to 1) write more regularly, 2) choose more topics and 3) vary the style, length and format. So this place will expand in its coverage and comment.
So with this post I signal to readers out there that from now on things will be different and the same. You will still get my intuitive insight and take on a situation. You will still get my style. You will also get more commentary, topics, variety and currency.
A question for you…
So if you have stumbled on this post and read any of the other posts tell me something. I would really like to know what you want to know. I am interested and curious about what you want. Let me know.
Let's go there...