August 10th, 2006


My space ship has a compass but no windows

One year ago today I began writing entries in my LiveJournal.
I’m serious about that wow, by the way.

This has become a very good and important part of my life. Where some people might feel a little sheepish about admitting such a thing, I would just as soon shout it from the rooftop. I’ve spent my whole life being a would-be writer. I know that was a clunky sentence, but it said what I wanted to say. The problem with me has always been that I wasn’t writing. I’ve wished and searched (more of the former) for some way of getting myself to write more, and this appears to be doing the trick. In the past year, I have posted over 160 separate entries in this journal. By a wide margin, I have written more words in this year than in any other year of my life.

So what? – That’s what I then have to ask myself. And right on the heels of that, another question – So what have I written? I’ve just finished flipping through that year of entries, and I’m honestly surprised at the range of material I’ve put in here. Some of it has been very mainstream, general entertainment-oriented. Some of it has been long, meandering autobiography in need of a harsh editor – though part of the beauty of this thing is that I’m the editor, which is sometimes no different from having no editor at all.

Some entries have been self-analysis. Some have been my attempt to explain myself on a deeper level to anyone with the patience or devotion to read it. Some have been nothing more than an attempt to get a quick laugh. Some entries have represented my wish to share something I’ve heard, read, or thought that I find fascinating or of some value. It’s been a smorgasbord, and I hope that’s a sign that there’s some depth and range to the person typing these words; it makes me happy to think that might be the case.

The other thing that strikes me is that I entered into this 21st century blogging community knowing that I was driving blind to some extent, and I was all right with that. What I mean is this: As with so many projects we undertake in life, I knew that this process would change me in ways that I could not possibly predict, and I had to embrace that. Because even if I don’t know my destination, I’m traveling in the direction I’ve chosen.

So how has this year changed me? Am I a better writer than I was a year ago? Hmmm… let me start with that one. No, as I look back, I don’t think I’m a discernibly better writer now. In fact, I’m probably a sloppier writer now than I was a year ago, because I’ve fallen in love with getting my thoughts onto paper (or onto screen, to be precise), and I’m not so willing these days to cryogenically freeze my thoughts while I search for the perfect words to express them. Perhaps over time a level of care will begin to creep back in, but that seems to be where my writing needs to go at present.

I can say this for certain: there’s a part of me, deep inside, that is far more nourished when I am writing regularly. There’s something there that is more conscious than it was a year ago, happier, more balanced. I need to remember these lessons. Life can sometimes make me forget to take care of my psyche, with the result that I may suddenly be far less happy and not know why. That’s another aspect of the power of the written word. These entries, these thoughts, remain here for me to rediscover, to remind me of where I’ve been and how I got there. Here’s to another year of writing!

Postscript — I want to thank all of you who have stopped in to visit this rocky outcropping of my brain. It has taken a small amount of quiet courage on my part to put some of these thoughts on public display (some might instead call it “a lot of nerve”). Some delightful and fascinating people have dropped into my life from the firmament of cyberspace and I am the richer for it. I know some of you are not inclined to post comments, and that’s perfectly fine too! All are welcome here (unless they should prove to be rude guests, and I haven’t yet had to ask anyone to leave). I must also give sincerest thanks to meryddian, who introduced me to LJ and who continues to be an inspiration!
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