After writing my first blog post, I realized how out of practice I was at writing. Aside from the occasional email or letter, I haven’t sat down to write anything halfway creative in DECADES. I have always gotten such pure JOY out of writing. Nothing feels as good as the clicking away of the keyboard as your brain is churning out words faster than you can put them down. Now I’m wondering why I neglected this part of myself for so long. Of course, I had excuses like I do for everything else but no real reason except maybe fear of failure.
I was a weird kid in that I enjoyed writing and it came easily for me. I was guilty of being able to crank out consistent B+ (or higher) papers starting at 11 pm the night before they were due. For fun during ages 11-14 I would type short stories! I was always the type who could just sit down and let it flow out of me. I didn’t plot out a beginning, middle and end. Usually I never wanted the short story to end. I can already see that being a problem with blogging. Several have helpfully told me my first post was too long. I was going to make sure the rest are shorter but in being true to myself, I cannot be brief! Gee whiz, you’ll never hear me sum up a story in real life with just a few sentences (with the exception of my beloved Twitter), so why should my writing be any different?!
A sense of accomplishment washes over me as I neatly tie up a written piece. I know not everyone likes writing, just as not everyone enjoys reading. I grew up in a household where my dad read constantly, my mother not at all. She was too busy doing real work (a career & housework, raising stepchildren, etc) to have any leisure time to devote to reading. She was brought up on a farm where her mother was too busy to read and her father couldn’t read. She had no electric lights at night which was not conducive to reading or schoolwork.
I read a LOT as a child. All my half-siblings were 11-25 years older than me so I had to entertain myself often. I couldn’t get enough of fiction at the time: John Saul, Stephen King, Danielle Steele, etc. I cringe when I think of what I used to read. Now I prefer non-fiction since to me nothing is as interesting as real life/the truth. As an adult I went YEARS without reading a book (shame!) but mostly due to being too busy. I guess it really is about priorities. Now I try to make time to patronize the public library and pick up a new memoir several times a year.
This may not make sense to anyone else but GUILT keeps me from reading the most. Reading seems like such a selfish activity (to me). I feel terribly guilty if I sit and read a book, even for an hour. I don’t have guilt when I watch tv which must be because I’m not alone! When I think of reading a book, I think of everything else I COULD be doing or SHOULD be doing! In my mind, only when everything else that needs to be done IS done, can I enjoy sitting down with a book. Poppycock I say! I know I should look at it as a way to unwind from our hectic world by closing my mind to outside influences and just delving into what’s inside those pages. But I can’t. I don’t know if I can ever get rid of the guilt but I’m willing to work on it.
The same goes for writing. I need to give myself permission to make time for ME and do something I enjoy like writing. Hold on tight as I take you along on my Blog Adventure! NO GUILT ALLOWED.