This writing project has almost reached its four month mark.
(I still hate the word blog with all my heart and avoid it as much as possible. Blogging is for Moms and trendy world travelers. Blogging is not for 21 year old dudes who just graduated and have too much time on their hands. I digress.)
And while 4 months isn’t nearly long enough to claim I’m any kind of authority on writing, blogs, world traveling or Moms, I’ve realized how infuriating the process can be.
Inspiration to write usually comes from a recent conversation or story I’m thinking about a lot. As I attempt to flesh out the idea, though, every neuron in my mind decides to simultaneously explode with a million tiny musings begging for my attention. Inspiration begins drowning in a sea of unassociated thought fragments.
Like Harry Potter trying to catch the right flying key in his first year at Hogwarts, the moment I jump on the broomstick, all hell breaks loose.
What did I eat for lunch today?
Man, I screwed up that one conversation today.
What am I going to do if I grow up?
I should travel more, let’s look up cool backpacking destinations.
What happens in the next episode of The Walking Dead?
I should have run today.
Why did I eat Taco Bell three times this week?
After exhausting every possible fleeting question I approach the golden key of inspired writing and a new flurry of criticisms ambushes the whole system, exposing every possible flaw in the idea I’m chasing.
Is my idea entertaining enough?
What will people think about me if I write this?
Is it original?
Is it too serious?
Am I the only one who think this way?
Quit talking about your emotions so much.
Nobody will care what you think about this.
Does anyone read this thing anyway?
(Other than you, Mom. I know you read all of them.)The proverbial headbanging continues as I attempt to muscle through a few words on the page, constantly wondering what people will think should I publish it.
Words I manage to write in these bouts of anxiousness are always excruciatingly safe. They’re boring. Words that couldn’t offend a baked potato because I’m scared of what it might think of me.
Staring at the screen frustrated, I despise the safe sentences I’ve created.
The only way I’ve found to combat my own mind is to keep writing. Get words on the page until some glimmer of honesty begins to take form. Ninety percent of it may be crap, but eventually the voices and criticisms are replaced by something good.
Writing nothing is the other option. In which case my buddy Self-Criticism usually partners with his close friend Shame to remind me how I failed at producing anything meaningful today. I have nothing worth sharing, should probably just give up and go back to sleep.
What an ugly spiral Shame has planned for us.
Now, complaining to you is not why I’m sharing this. Save your pity for someone else. This is a very small, very new blog in an overcrowded mess of blogs and there are much harder things in life than writing.
I write this to declare that I am committed to honest storytelling more today than ever because it matters.
It matters that we share our lives with one another. Crying together when things suck, laughing together when they’re hilarious, and some combination of the two the rest of the time.
I believe we can dream bigger, love better and actually change the world if we so choose. I believe sharing stories together leads to something freaking incredible. We can live differently and along the way realize we’re not all that different.
Naive? Maybe, but I’d rather be an idealist than a cynic.
Mere words will not change who you are (that’s between you and God), but stories and sentences have a unique, influential role in character development. I hope these words force you to examine your own story in a new light, and keep us laughing together at our shared human condition.
I’ve spent hours dreaming about this little writing project lately—about how long it should continue and what purpose it serves—and I’ve decided it’s worth it to keep going. It’s worth banging my head on the table a few (hundred) times to discover meaningful, honest content worth sharing.
While I can’t promise I won’t ever write about my affection for bread again, and some posts will have deeper meaning than others, I hope that you’ll continue to be a part of this project. I know there’s a million-and-one other things you could read on the internet right now and really appreciate you being a part of this one.
As this project continues to take shape, I’m committing to honest storytelling that instigates real change.
I hope you’re on board, it’s just starting to get good.