I am in this strange space today, with thoughts running through my head, yet I can’t seem to find a thread that is connected to something large enough to write about. It is as if I am looking at an old sewing basket, where spools of neglected threads have mingled and twisted into knots, creating work for whoever decides to untangle the problem, knowing the result will be some organization, but the threads will have to be thrown away.
Some days, it is like that with writing. I am writing purely for the purpose of untangling thoughts, getting words on a page only to get them out of my head. They don’t make sense, and they aren’t fit for publication, yet the organization that is left is worth the action of writing.
I never realized how much my body needs to write, no matter the quality of the writing. Now that I have a blog and people are reading it, I sometimes feel like what I write has to measure up- I want my writing to have meaning for others, to reach someone other than myself. Oops! That is a cardinal mistake, worrying about what someone else will think of what I have to say.
What did I learn in the hours that I spent behind the keyboard or pen and paper? Was I able to write a chapter for my book or was I frustrated because I didn’t know where to begin a new chapter? Was there any insight into my life? Was there a hint about a new direction to take with my business? Was there joy in the process, or just concern about what the end product would be? Did I write because I felt like it was part of my life purpose? Did I write because I haven’t posted a blog in a week and I better get something posted now? Did I write because my soul cries to be heard, if only by me?
My husband loves to remind me of the saying, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” The same can be said about writing. I have been worried that no one is reading my blogs, no one is interested in what I have to say. Yet when I focus on writing for others, I am not authentic to my own voice. When I am worried about what someone might say about my writing, I am drawn into pretenses, and that doesn’t serve me or anyone who might be reading. When I write about my journey back to health from a lengthy illness, I can see the strength I had to overcome many difficulties and I am amazed at myself.
So today I write for the purpose of writing, pulling out the threads, tracing lines back to the knot of thoughts that is slowly unraveling. I write because I have to clear my head of the web that keeps building unless I am willing to do the work of throwing threads away. I write so that I have the clarity I need to complete my work. Writing to me is a meditation, a time of connecting to something bigger than me and allowing myself to be a conduit of whatever words are meant to take form on the page. When I have finished, I feel more centered and ready to move into action on my daily work.
So writers, how do you feel when you write?