I haven’t written anything in weeks. There have been lots and lots of very plausible and valid reasons not to write; many times when putting it off for another hour or another day was the reasonable thing to do. Writing is work, after all, requiring concentration and intention, and it’s very easy to find a reason to put off work for a little while. It’s always just for a little while after all. Well, this little while is getting pretty close to a month now. Today, as I was thinking about writing and thinking about putting it off for a better time, a time when I’d be inspired and the words would just flow out and they would be meaningful and and well chosen and resonate with the reader, I was finally able to face the most basic reason I haven’t written lately.
I haven’t written lately because I haven’t been trying to write honestly. I haven’t been willing to share where I am and what I’m feeling in my writing. I’ve been trying to find wisdom to share and inspiration to give; to write something that would cause the reader to think “what a great and wise and clever man he is to have written down this thing that causes me to understand this great principle and blah, blah, blah”. (Not a real quote, as hopefully demonstrated by the blah, blah, blah.) I have long been a believer in the idea that the best writing is honest. It exposes the writer and allows the writer to share personal things, and, in doing so, might allow the reader to feel a connection, one person to another. Writing is communication and communication is about connection, right? Any other writing is hack writing.
Hack writing is what I’ve been trying to force myself to do. I’ve been worrying more about the audience and how many people might read it and if they do will they like it than I have with writing honestly. Truthfully, life has been rough lately. I am absolutely not where I want to be nor am I anywhere close to where I thought I’d be at this point in my life. I feel like I’m right in the deepest, darkest part of the storm these days. I haven’t wanted to write that because that’s not how I want to be seen. Who would? (I guess some would because they enjoy being the “poor guy, he doesn’t deserve this” kind of object of attention. I don’t.)
The thing is, I want to write. So, I’m going to write. It will be honest (which is not necessarily the same as good, no promises there). No-one is required to read any of it. I’ll write for me for a while and hopefully I’ll process it and maybe honest writing will take on a different tone.