Monday, June 3, 2013

T-minus 2 - Just Write

I learned long ago that the hardest thing about writing is, frequently, putting the first words onto a blank sheet of paper. Or - in this day and age - putting the first pixels onto a screen.

Back in the days when I was teaching writing (a lifetime or three ago), I would tell my students to simply write whatever came to mind, first. That way they would have something in front of them that cut into the vast blank space. Once those first words were on the page, I could pretty much guarantee that the rest would come easy - and that they could then go back and delete the initial crap.

Some nights tossing things onto the screen which I know I'll delete later works for me for blogging. Some nights it doesn't. There are nights (and some days) when I stare at the screen and wonder what the hell I'm going to write. And why I'm doing it.

Honestly, the "why" is usually more difficult than the "what."

So I remind myself that there are two primary reasons that I started this blog:

1) To force myself to write. On an almost-daily basis. Just write.

2) To share what I'm doing in my life with people who will listen - and who will, hopefully, enjoy the stories. Remember, when I started this blog, I was unemployed and spending most of my days in the house with no one to talk to. Which is a hard situation for someone who likes to talk and tell stories and who enjoys the company of other people. (Yes, I fully admit that when I started this blog I had hoped that I'd also have a lot of people reading and responding to my posts. I've learned that very few of the people who read this actually respond on here. Sometimes that makes it a bit like writing into a vacuum - which, at times, is incredibly liberating. It's amazing how much more honest you can be when you're not sure anyone is actually ever going to read what you've written.)

I suspect that I also hoped that, along the way, I'd find the germ of my own Great American Novel. Or get a ton of people following my posts. Or get to meet some of the people I talked about. Or at least hear from some of the people I talked about.

But over the course of nearly 1,000 posts, reality set in, and so these days I try to remind myself to focus on those two original main goals: Writing and communicating. (Which - as a lot of people seem to forget - are not the same things.)

I know I've said that I'm hoping to do some revamping of this blog as I go forward. One thing I hope to never leave behind is that a desire to write and communicate is what got me here.

Who knows? Some day it may even take me somewhere else.

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