“I haven’t felt much like blogging lately….on my personal blog, I mean,” I say to my boss as we head uphill on our way to a meeting across campus.
The afternoon October sky is blindingly blue and randomly highlighted with round, puffy storybook clouds lazily meandering across the sky. The leaves are a kaleidoscope of autumn colors, as vibrant as their going to get this year.
“Sometimes I feel like, what’s the point?,” I continue. “Who cares what I have to say? I’m just another voice, shouting into the void. And sometimes I just think it’s silly navel gazing.”
“You know,” he says before choosing his next words carefully. “People have these…oh, inconsistencies in their personalities,” he says. “We all do. I do, too. And I’ve always thought one of the things that is inconsistent with you is your blog because you have a very hard time doing anything that doesn’t have a purpose, right? You hate doing things just to do them. You think it’s a waste of time. So, I’ve never really understood your blogging.”
“I never check my stats,” I tell him. “Because if I did and I saw that nobody was reading it or that very few were reading it, I know I’d lose all motivation to do it at all.”
And, yet, I’m not writing this blog with the intention of growing some mass audience. In fact, it sort of freaks me out when I find out people actually read it. That’s weird, I know. (More inconsistencies.)
I’m not sure who I write this blog for, or why.
I guess I just have things I want to say and the keyboard is my medium. It’s a chance to be creative, wistful, witty, or wise. Also, I miss writing Features columns and Good Morning columns for the Erie Times-News and this blog lets me itch that scratch.
“Real” journalists hate first-person stuff, by the way. There are some old-school reporters I used to work with who refused to ever write personal columns because they considered them trivial at best, narcissism at worst.
I thrived on first-person columns, which is odd because I’m actually kind of an introvert. (If you’re keeping track, we’re up to three inconsistencies now.) Only through print—or maybe the fog of a lot of vodka—are we ever going to have a deep, meaningful conversation.
But, lately, the deep, meaningful conversations I’ve wanted to have are too deep. Too raw. Too real. Too much to go into. Too confusing. Too convoluted. Too revealing.
And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in. — Jane Austen
So I just don’t go there. And I’ve been finding some sort of peace in silence lately. A friend’s recent blog post “Writing and the Narrative of Suffering” kinda validated that and made me wonder if contemplating, writing, and endlessly examining all these things in my life are actually making them worse. Giving it life. Validating it as “something important.” Giving it more attention than it deserves. Chewing on it for hours and days.
But, then, I’m a writer. Ruminating comes naturally to me. I think too much about everything all of the time. Whether I give it voice by writing about it—and if I want to and if it’s worth my time—is a constant question.
About Just Write “What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”