When I began this blog a couple months ago, I was conscious of the need to be consistent. My goal was to post three to five times a week. In order to keep to that schedule (which I have not) I would have to do something that is difficult for me: I would have to learn to let go.
I tend to get stuck when I write. I come up with an idea. I dive into the idea. Somewhere around paragraph three, I get stuck. I got stuck in the previous post, High Frontier Revisited, and it took me over a week to finish.
I lost focus. Perhaps I knew when I began what my point was, but a little way in, I seemed to be saying not much of anything. Part of my goal with writing a blog is to order my own thoughts; perhaps I should be content to learn my thoughts on a topic have not yet reached an ordered state. Perhaps I should not be hesitate to foist my lack of ordered thought upon the world. Lord knows there are many many writers out there who have not fully thought through the implications of what they are saying.
But I don’t want to be one of them. I want too badly for what I post to be absolutely the finest, most smartest, bestest piece of gosh-darn writing ever. I want it to win hearts and minds; I want it to change lives.
Okay that’s going too far, but I also recognize it’s at the heart of my urge to write. It also is absurd, and it takes only a moment’s reflection to realize that I don’t want my writing to have that kind of power, because that kind of power is evil. What I really want is for readers to consider what I say, and respond honestly.
Do I really want people to tell me what they think? I guess it depends on the kind of day I’m having.
I am attempting to do this blog in a kind of public anonymity. I am shocked to have received comments. To those who have commented, thank you. You are special. To date, I have not invited my family or friends to read this. Eventually, I will. In the meantime, you are reading this, and they have not.
Here are the reasons I began this blog:
- Gives me an online presence, essential for a 21st century writer
- Is an achievable task, something I can keep up with at least, um, once or twice a week
- Is a terrific exercise in writing-to-let-go as opposed to doing 27 drafts of everything before anyone sees it
- Helps me organize my thoughts–so I know what I believe and what I want
It has done this for me so far.
The novelty of blogging has worn off, but that is not a bad thing. Rather, it is the point at which I decide what I want to do next, the point at which I begin to discover what value an activity really has for me. I must continue the activity to earn that discovery.