Writing for nobody in particular
It takes a lot to get words out, when nobody is telling you what to do. It’s a long process. While you’re doing it, it’s damn hard. Let’s get a bit meta here about that last sentence. I decided “damn” would do when an f-bomb would have felt better. But you know, you make decisions. Minute, precise choices with each keystroke, every choice withering away your confidence about the prior decision. That is, until, you just forget it all and try to let it all pour out. Look up quotes about writing and you’ll find a bunch of writers complaining about how hard writing is. Sure, this shows writers are self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing (and oh, self-deprecating), but it also shows that it’s a struggle.
This is sort of apology to myself for not writing more. For leaving The Tumult all calm without a single post for a while. I love blogging because it feels personal. Posts can be diary entries, or an article, or a coda to restlessness—but it’s all yours. If you’re blogging for attention, you’re blogging for the wrong reasons. It’s a place to get things out for me—highly specific, ever-narrowing things. But I’ve written a few pieces just for myself lately. I’ll put a few paragraphs on a word document, minimize it and forget it was ever there. Like writing on a pad, crumpling the paper, but never throwing out the trash.
Blogging can feel like rolling a basketball down a long, empty hallway. You toss out the idea and maybe it clunks around the walls at first, but then it just rolls off, down and into the distance. It’s throwing things out, maybe someone reads it, but that was never the point. I think I’ve got to stop minimizing my paragraphs. I know writing is hard, I know it takes a lot out of me and that it feels like failure in a handful of different, seeping ways. But I love the feeling of working this muscle, the one that makes you backtrack on your first sentence. Eventually, that muscle relents and works in concert with the fingers and my crusted-over keyboard starts acting agreeably. The end result of writing might feel like a failure, after all its hard to make words match your thoughts. This post sure doesn’t resemble my original concept. But that’s why writing is worth all the trouble. You find your thoughts along the way. I wrote this last half-paragraph eyes down, slanted in, almost entirely closed. And I don’t care if you read this. I probably never will.