Thursday, December 29, 2005

Write-Aid

Writing daily, in front of an audience, is much harder than I expected. I am finding myself with no shortage of material to write about, and, frankly, I tend to think my initial thoughts and initial mental drafting are wonderful. Ideas tend to come to me at somewhat inopportune times, such as when I am vacuuming or on hold on the phone. I usually jot my ideas down in a notebook as soon as I can, and then I am excited to sit down and begin drafting the post.

This is where the trouble begins.

No matter how detailed my notes are, I inevitably find that all the wonderful things I planned to say have left my mind, and I can never make the writing as articulate as it seemed to me. I think that part of this is due to the imperfection of language, and that words can never fully express the things we think and feel. To me, this is the reason why beautiful writing is truly awe-inspiring; it is unbelievable that someone would be able to express the intangible with the written word. Whatever the reason, when I sit down to write, I become frustrated, and disappointment sets in.

Then, of course, there's the self-censorship. There are so many things I want to say--about my work, my friends, my view of my self, my goals. Some things I avoid saying because I don't want to risk alienating my few readers. Some things I can't say because they're just too personal; some things I can't say because I don't want to embarrass my family (although I probably do anyway); some things I can't say because I'm a professional. Some things I don't say because I feel stupid saying them. Of course, it's these latter things that typically provoke the best response when I actually do get up the courage to write about them. I have trouble striking a balance between what is entertaining and what is appropriate, and between what I want to say and what I am capable of articulating.

In the midst of all this, of course, the phone is ringing, the bell signaling the end of the dryer cycle goes off, I must eat breakfast, and I notice the lint all over the carpet. I have an important meeting; I must remember to buy more ibuprofen; I need to make an appointment to have my teeth cleaned. Life intervenes, and sometimes I have to put my writing aside and take care of things.

I don't know where I'll go with any of this. It's good to know, in spite of all the sturm und drang that surrounds the writing process, that with this blog, I have something each day in my life that I have complete control over, something that helps me understand and improve myself in many ways, and something that allows me to share some laughs with people in far-flung locations. As C.S. said to me, "At the very least, you're learning."

5 Comments:

Anonymous TB said...

"Some things I don't say because I feel stupid saying them. Of course, it's these latter things that typically provoke the best response when I actually do get up the courage to write about them."

Exactly. That is the best part of the experience and the times when I've grown the most. To me, that's what this experience is all about. Sometimes, I just have to hold my breath and hit the save button. And it's not always a win, but I feel good knowing I've taken a step out of my comfort zone and maybe even connected with someone. I think you're doing some wonderful things here.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

First off... "Personal" and "Stupid" need to go out the window. We're all people. We all pick our noses and fart. There's an undeniable common bond in that. It BEGS to be blogged lol. Although I feel your posts are always creative and thoughtful without the aid of it.

Second off... Life always comes before blogging. We understand.

Third off... I often forget what I wanted to say. It'll come back and leave a dozen times before you get a chance to write it. Just know when you do, it'll be fabulous. ;)

10:36 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I think it's impressive that you really do post almost every day - it seems to be a discipline for you, and I can tell that you have planned out what you're going to write (but it's still fresh, just well-considered).

Iwrite great blog posts in my head right before I'm going to sleep. I guess I should try the notebook idea ...

10:46 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love the meta-blogging that you do, Arabella, because it almost always resonates with me.

Here's to expressing the intangible! (Which you do!)

And I think you're less inappropriate than you think you are. :-)

1:43 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

You people are nice. Thank you.

10:08 AM  

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