Friday, June 8, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

I don't even know where to start really.

So  many post beginnings have flashed through my head lately. So many times I've thought "That's it! That's what the ultimate point of my next post will be".

The thing is though, that's not how I used to write this blog. It used to be all extemporaneous. I would see something or talk to someone and I would tell that story. Usually I'd pull something out of that interaction to remind you and me that we're really OK. That if we just remember each other it would all work out. For whatever reason I'd think of a song while I was writing and it just naturally fit with what I was doing. As a friend and I discussed at one point it was mostly unplanned (not the word we used) writing. By that I mean that it just happened that way. I never consciously started a certain way or tried to wend my way to certain points. It just worked out that way.

Something's happened somewhere along the way.

I used to write just about any time a thought struck me. I'd whip out my trusty phone and get to work. I'd get to the section of Blogger where I could start or edit posts and write away. After a while though Google changed their format a bit - well a lot - and I found it next to impossible to write on my phone. I found a blog editing app that was pretty easy to use and I was off again. This app even allowed me to start attaching videos to posts as I wrote. I thought that was pretty cool. It seemed kinda hard to edit things once they were published though. I always miss something when I proofread and just have to change it if I see something wrong on the live blog.

Then a laptop wandered it's way into my life. I could use Blogger to my hearts content. I could change fonts if I wanted to. I could spell check if the fancy struck me. There were so many things I could do that I couldn't on my phone.

So far so good, right?

 Well, yes. And of course, no.

I don't really consider myself a writer. I'm just a person who likes to write. I'm sure my punctuation is greatly lacking. I don't write drafts and rewrite them until things are perfect. I don't set a time to write every day. In other words I don't work at it. When I got a laptop it suddenly started to feel different. Flipping up the screen and turning on the computer was a concrete decision to write. Not that I avoid commitment, but turning on that computer was committing to writing. Suddenly it wasn't so spontaneous and fun.

The traffic to my blog is really fairly modest. I average, mmmm, about 250 pageviews a month. That's nothing compared to some that get thousands of hits a day. I'm not complaining, just making a comparison. I am actually always amazed and thankful for the reach of this blog. I suppose because I feel a loyalty to whatever audience might read this regularly I got too tied up with how I wrote my posts. I started trying to write things in a way that people had come to expect. I was trying to write the end before I had even stared the beginning. Almost like telling the punchline without telling the joke.

So there's a bunch of kinda internal stuff that you're probably wondering why I shared.

I'm not really sure except that I had a chance to show somebody this blog one day. There we were waiting to go to the Big Gig at the Comcast. I was talk with some one I had just met. We seemed to see eye to eye on a lot of things so I suggested he might like some of the stuff in here. I happened to glance at the archive list as he was reading and was shocked to see that I had hardly written anything this year. Never mind the post per week I had promised myself. I was barely writing one a month.

It was pretty easy to get to that point. A shrug of the shoulder over not writing one day. An unkept promise to myself to do it another day. Too much time spent watching TV. Tons of little things that I allowed to get in the way.

I'm sure you've found yourself in kinda the same situation over something. You know, going to the gym say. Some how you skip the gym one day. Suddenly it's six months since you've been.

It's so easy to forget. Forget that we are imperfect. That we are human. That making mistakes is what we're best at. Don't let it stop you though. If you stumble, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself and move on. You've gotta love yourself enough to get on with it already. You're not a failure for being here with everybody else struggling to make it through.

It's hard though isn't it? Sometime it's hard to forgive others. A lot of times it's hard to give ourselves a break. Sometimes we cling to the past and mistakes we may have made.

How can you expect to love and live a full life if your life doesn't include forgiveness. And of course it starts with you. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. To paraphrase a quote I've seen from the Dalai Lama; of all the people on earth you are the person most deserving of your love. The best way to start that is by a simple act of forgiveness.

I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together


  1. You always get me, right there, kid. Tonight I'm reading and thinking, "I used to blog, until I didn't. I should do something about that." But of course, I just got in from work and it's late and I'm eating wings and don't want to get the keyboard all sticky. Maybe tomorrow... or the next day. Or maybe I won't manage it for a while again because I always seem to be busy with diapers or helping a kid study for exams or entertaining my pals or making plans for the next thing. But I'll get back to it. Eventually. I'm cool with that. Maybe you can forgive me.

    1. If you're ok with the situation it's all good right? I'm sure when you're not saddled with those diapers, or making sure exams are passed (good luck btw) you'll get back to it. Until then, enjoy every sandwich and be happy that your blog is waiting patiently for you.

  2. A friend who is a published writer (small press, pretty limited audience but at least he's doing it) introduces me as a writer. Need to get writing. Tough when the emotion is too close to the surface, but that's also what makes it worthwhile.

    1. Indeed it is always worthwhile to work through something while writing. Plus it'll probably be two fold results. You'll feel better for having written and you can begin sloughing off the ill effects of those emotions. Starting is the hardest part.

  3. Sounds like you had `writer`s block`, which comes in phases in a person`s life, like the ocean tides and lunar phases, where you just can`t seem to be able to write a story.

    1. Could've been Maria. It's funny how things work some times. Gotta just keep pluggin' away though.

  4. I know many wanna-be writers - and then there are the few I consider actual writers - and Eric you are def in the second category. It's the WHO you are - not so much the WHAT you do IMO.

  5. Thanks Dave. I really appreciate your constant support.