Thursday, April 22, 2010
Lately, I feel like all my best writing is in comments on other people's blogs and in email conversations. I say something and think "Wow, that's good. I should write a blog post." But when I get here, I can't seem to put together a coherent sentence. There seems to be so much going on in my head - so many ideas, thoughts, conversation threads, grocery lists and random song lyrics - that I can't figure out what to say in a post.
I think it's pressure - I'm starting to feel pressure to write here. It's not so much that it turns into a "should" (which, as my readers know, are evil). I love writing. As much as I love talking. And I love talking. Just ask my family. When it gets hard is when I start feeling like the writing has to be more than good (because I always want it to be that), it has to be meaningful. And not just meaningful to me. It has to be meaningful to other people. That's where I get into trouble. Instead of just writing for myself and hoping it helps someone else (which is why I started this blog in the first place), I try to write for recognition. That's when my brain freaks out and freezes. Because my brain knows that getting attached to an outcome is a dangerous thing. It could lead to disappointment. What if I wrote this post that was so full of meaning it could barely stand itself and no one read it? Or worse, people read it and hated it or ignored it. I didn't get the recognition I set out to get. That would mean I failed. Two things I don't particularly like - disappointment and failure. It's not surprising I can't write anything when my brain goes through that analysis.
A bit of this is coming from my new venture. I want to have a writing/web site component to it and I know that in order for that part of it to be successful, the content will need to be meaningful to a certain number of people. And I'll have to come up with new, meaningful content on a regular basis. That's reality. And if I can't deal with that, then maybe the writing part of this business isn't for me. To what extent do I use positive thinking to move forward here ("Of course you'll be able to do it! You're a great writer!") and, if it doesn't work, at what point do I accept that maybe I'm not as good a writer as I hoped? Now we're getting into one of the things I wanted to write about today - my response to Gina's beautiful post over at Embody Grace. But since I don't feel I can do it justice in my current addled state of mind, I'm going to let that percolate until it's ready.
There are going to be times when we do something in order to achieve a particular goal. I'm not saying that it's always bad to do something hoping for a particular outcome. But writing - at least for me, in this space - can't be about an outcome. It can't be about what someone else wants because, let's face it, I'm not smart enough to know what you people want. Or what you'll find meaningful. All I can do is share my story with you and hope something resonates. So I guess I am writing for a goal - I'm writing to connect with other people. But it's the process of doing the writing that connects me. It's putting myself out there. So, hi, who ever is out there! I hope I've connected with you in some way.