Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Work of Blogging

Before I started writing this blog, I remember the blog ideas rushing at me at the strangest times.  Cleaning the bathtub, ironing clothes, making my bed... and they would just come to me.  And I should have written them down.  Because now that I have a blog, I have days where I just sit in front of the computer, logged in and ready at the "New Post" screen, and I've got nothing.  No funny stories.  No hilarious anecdotes.  No thought provoking messages from God himself.  Just blankness.

If you have been reading, then you know that one of my 34 Things to do before my birthday was to write two new blogs and two new songs.  I was confident that I would be able to accomplish both of these.  And here I am, 3 days away, and I have no ideas for either.  (My car isn't cleaned out either, by the way, in case you are following my progress.  And I haven't done yoga in the park and I haven't had a picnic.  The next few days will be busy ones.) My usual course of action for writing would be to look at my life and sort of evaluate and draw from my current situation.  But the last few weeks of my life?  Well, you wouldn't believe it all if I told you anyway.  There have been a hundred brilliantly happy moments, but there have also been an equal number of horrible, tragic moments and they seem to cancel one another out and cause a confusing temporary numbness.  So writing about that would be the written equivalent of Charlie Brown's teacher's voice.  

When I was 9, I wrote a story for a writing contest that Woolworth's was sponsoring.  I don't remember my mom even doing her grocery shopping at Woolworth's when we lived in New Zealand, but somehow I found out about the contest and I went home and wrote a story.  It remember nothing about the plot, but it included a girl and a dog and a doll.  And I am certain that it had a happy ending.  All of my stories have to have happy endings.  It must have been brilliant, or I was the only kid that entered the contest.  Either way, I won first place.  Four 200 gram king size blocks of Cadbury white chocolate that the store manager kindly allowed me to exchange for regular chocolate. (Because seriously, white chocolate is disgusting and people who love it are crazy)   At that point, I was certain that being a writer was the way to go in life.  Write a story, get chocolate.  Worked for me.  I wrote a murder mystery when I was 12, leaving clues around my house, hoping that the next tenants would find the clues and get a little freaked out.  I painted the paper with tea and coffee to make it look old and I burned the edges.  I was a huge weirdo.  But eventually I stopped writing.  Probably because there ceased to be a payoff.  
    
Writing is work.  I don't know when it became work, but it definitely did.  I always envisioned bloggers just sitting down in front of their computers and writing magic taking over their fingers and blogs just writing themselves.  This doesn't happen.  At least not for me.  It's hard to know what to write about and how much to reveal and how much to let people see and how honest to be.  But I have learned that taking the chance and being real pays off.  I have found that we are all so much more alike that we believe.  We struggle with the same kinds of fears and insecurities.  And the payoff for me now is logging into my email or Facebook and seeing a message from someone who has read my blog and is honest enough to admit that they have the same problems I do.  And we can commiserate a little bit and encourage one another and feel a little more comfortable in the fact that we aren't alone in our personal weirdness and hang ups.

So for those of you who check regularly to see new blogs, I am sorry for the lack of updates.  I promise to continue to work through it and write, inspired or not.  And if you would like to see more, feel free to send chocolate.  I do believe that helps.    

1 comment:

  1. You're a brilliant writer! But I'm thinking I may send some chocolate your way. Especially if it inspires you to write a blog entry about how amazingly fantastic your buddy Katie is.;)

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