During high school and college, I tried to keep journals, because that’s what writers are supposed to do, but I never got too much traction writing only for myself.
Far more important were the letters I wrote to several close friends during that time. You could say I learned to write because of them, for they really encouraged me, and an appreciative audience was all it took to turn on an incredible flow of words. I wrote page after page, jotting down ideas as I tried them on for size, and things that just came to me in mid-sentence. What kept me going was the thrill of knowing someone wanted to read what I had to say.
I think you can see where I am going with this…
Fast forward a few decades and in June, 2010, I signed up for a day long blogging workshop because these days, “building a platform,” is what writers are supposed to do. I had and have some fairly cynical thoughts on that proposition (for writers of fiction that is), but that is beside the point. I simply would not have kept at it if blogging was nothing more than a means to an end.
Almost immediately, this endeavor took on a life of its own. It continues to surprise me. If I had to sum up what blogging means to me, I would say, “discovery.” Not only because of all the things I get to research and learn about, but because I continuously surprise myself by finding things in the psyche I don’t know are there until I see them on the screen.
So I want to sincerely thank everyone who stops here and reads a post, and maybe even takes a moment to leave a comment. You keep me going and I appreciate you very much
I’ve learned many things this year, chief among them, the seemingly inexhaustible way the mind generates ideas. I don’t know how many times I’ve posted something and gotten up thinking, “Well, that’s it. It was a nice run while it lasted, but I’m finally out of things to say.” The experience is so common, that I get to see, at least once or twice a week, that if I just go do something else, the next idea will appear in it’s own time.
Ideas are common – they come and go, but once in a while one sinks deep, resonates, and even changes some aspect of your life. Something stated very simply this spring by Edward Espe Brown, who I posted about at the time, had that effect. It crystalizing themes that had been on the back burner for a very long time:
Are you going to be a rule follower or are you just going to be you? – Edward Espe Brown
Brown made the comment in the context of spiritual practice, but it has a much wider scope. It certainly does in the field of writing. Here’s a confession: some two years ago, a critique group buddy said, “I’ve heard that editors don’t like colons.” I am ashamed to admit that I went home and rewrote several sentences. Blogging has sharpened my perception of the absurdity of pronouncements like that, and something else that Brown said cuts at the very motive for heeding “advice” of that sort:
What is precious in us doesn’t come, doesn’t go, and it does not depend on performance.
I am very fortunate indeed to have a forum like this where I get to pass along things of value like that when I come upon them. And as for what’s coming up in the next year – I promise I’ll let you know as soon as I do. Meanwhile, I very much hope you will stay tuned.