Blogging can be a strange thing. It’s demanding of others to read what I write, to take time out of their day to interact with my words and the way I see the world. It’s a selfish things, in so much as writing is a selfish act, to ask for this kind of attention on my thoughts. So I often feel as if my content must make up for such selfishness, an apology for taking up this space. But then I get stuck in my head, caught up in this question of what is interesting and what is worthy of being shared. And then the words that come out feel stilted and hollow, devoid of any resonance, the result of my self-consciousness stripping away their natural power. I get caught up in the artifice of blogging, thinking that if I can just find the BEST café with the BEST wifi and the PERFECT amount of noise that soothes but does not distract, I will be able, at last, to create something worthy. And when nothing comes, I walk away from the task so easily, the discipline of sitting down and completing something suddenly so difficult.
So I stay away from this place, where many things were born, afraid of the discomfort. For every year I’ve been blogging, there has been a stretch of time, usually lasting about a month, when the blog has sat silently waiting for me to come back. Aware of this pattern, however, I wasn’t as concerned about this dry spell as in the past. Like most things, I knew it wouldn’t last forever. Instead, I settled in to see just where I’d come out at the end of this tunnel, having learned in the past that I usually emerge from these periods of drought with a better idea of how I want to proceed. I worked on other writing projects and tried to surrender control, following my instincts and exploring different genres. And to my delight, the words seemed to just spring up simply out of taking the time to let them flow on their own and coming back to those same words, tweaking and rearranging, finding better ways to say what I mean. I’ve been stirring up things within me that I’d previously been oblivious to, touching many nerves that released something else in turn. I am coming to terms with the fact that even as I pursue the art of finding the words, I am still someone who fears saying how I truly feel, saying what I need to say. And this little hiatus has reacquainted me with the beauty of what I do: getting to sit with myself, through the good and the bad, and witnessing the changes that come. If I’m lucky, I capture it in words and put it down on paper. But the moments pass quickly, so we must work in each moment.
To me, blogging is about finding the stories within all the ordinary mess of our days, exposing the beauty and ugliness that exists in everything and everyone. The most marvelous things is to sit down with pen and paper, phone off, and to move your hand across it, not worrying about what comes out. I am finally learning to trust this process in everything else that I write. So why not here? Why spend more time worrying about what to blog about than actually writing? I will no longer worry about how interesting this blog is, curating my writing the way we are apt to do on social media. Like the Moleskines and notebooks I’ve carried around with me for years, this will be the place of unfettered creation, where I write because I can and not because I have to. Where the littlest pieces of life – the simplest joys and the silliest of agonies – can be honored.