Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On Writing

Writing for this blog is hard work.  And I've been wondering why.

When I set out to do this, I imagined that writing a blog post would be something like writing in my private journal.  And journaling has never been difficult for me.  I think about something, emotions surface, ideas form, and the words come to the page without too much intervention.  It flows.  But blogging has been a different animal.  I write.  Stop.  Think a long time.  Write some more.  Change what I wrote and start over.  Try to find the right word to convey my thought.  Write.  Attempt to conclude.  It takes a loooong time, especially with the normal interruptions of my daily life.  It reminds me of my college days, where writing was painstaking but necessary (I wrote lots of papers as an English major).  And I dreaded it then.  I don't want to dread it now.  But I haven't hit a stride like I thought I would and that leaves me feeling discouraged.

Why is my blogging different from my journaling?   I was prompted in two conversations today to think that the main differentiator is the fact that I have an audience here.  I want my writing to be meaningful for readers.  So I am still writing for the crowd, still not fully vulnerable in the way I would like to be.  It feels uncomfortable to be in the awkward teenage years of writing a blog.   And to know that others see my awkwardness.  I tell myself that surely all the writing practice of my college years should put me further down the road of experience.


I think writing - or any act of creating - must take lots and lots of practice.  I'm not sure why that revelation surprises me.  I certainly didn't learn to play the piano without spending many hours on the piano bench.  But it seems un-artistic, somehow, to put creativity and work in the same sentence.   I've always pictured the great artists painting or writing with ease.  Maybe my inability to think of those things as two parts of the same whole is part of my problem.

Work has never conjured up pleasant thoughts for me.  I don't like to think of it as drudgery, because having activity for my hands and mind and heart is a concept I want to embrace.  My husband, wise man that he is, has often told me that I need a paradigm shift when it comes to the subject of work.

In some ways, this is where I see what I'm made of.  Where the good feelings end but I keep going and push through the awkwardness because I know this is something I need to do.  Even if it doesn't come together or flow as I thought it would or should.

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