Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Opinions, please

I nearly forgot my Blogger login. That's sad.

I've come down with a strain of Unabletowrititis, which is related to, but behaves differently than, it's better known cousin Writer's Block.

Let me sum up.

I love to write but am uncertain about why I do it. My writing is personal, but not of the "dear diary" variety; I put entirely too much effort into it for that. I wonder who would be interested in reading my thoughts because I myself am not at all convinced that they are original, engaging, well-formed, or eloquent. In fact more often than not it seems to me that what I write is more like talk therapy between my laptop and me and, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that kind of thing should be open for public consumption. So I tried for a while to take up a more disciplined approach to it all, working on ideas that didn't focus on something too personal. And that was OK, but it didn't do it for me. It was hard, and I thought my posts were boring, and in the end I don't think it sounded like me, either.

Is any of that important though? Should writing always have to do it for you? Or should it be hard for the sake of being hard (or something like that)?

But still I love to write. And to make matters worse I actually want my writing to connect with other people; it's not enough for me to create something only to turn around and lock it up again because I haven't figured out anything better to do with it. This is not to say that I have delusions about being the next Elizabeth Gilbert or Anne Lamott, but surely there is some in-between place? Some space in the ethernet where writers can connect with readers without having to pimp out Clorox products or maintain a pithy Twitter feed?

So, peeps -- this is my question to you: Does your writing have a point? And if you don't write, do you think that what is written for your consumption must have some sort of objective (entertaining, inspiring, instructive, whatever)?

Or should I just shut it, write what I wanna write, and let the chips fall where they may?


Scott S. Semester said...

Write what you wanna write! And kill the voice of uncertainty and not sure.

Stop "shoulding" all over yourself and just do/be you.

Mollie said...

Can you handle knowing that people WANT you to write? That, no matter how you feel about your writing, people log in to see if you've written anything. That I follow your facebook updates like little "writing snacks?"

Truthfully, I don't care why you write - just that you keep doing it... even if you aren't the next Lamott, your words contribute to my life and others.

Sometimes, and probably most especially, when you are not "trying" to write!

Anonymous said...

Amy, your writing always touches me. If that is a selfish reason for me to want you to write, then so be it. There is something that is so "every-woman" about your insights. So I say, "Write, Amy, write!" What ever, when ever, and I will continue to enjoy where you take me!

Teresa said...

Didn't mean to sign on as Anonymous!

shouldhavezagged said...

Does my writing have a point? No, not other than it is things that I would talk about anyway.

Do I think that what is written for my consumption must have some sort of objective? Yes, if it is a book or newspaper article or something else professionally published. But that's not what blogs are, or at least not what they need to be. Blogs are like journals and journals don't have to have themes or think about the audience.

Should you just shut it, write what you wanna write, and let the chips fall where they may? YES.

I struggle with these same questions. "I should write more often. I should have categories. I should have a point to the blog. I should [blah blah blah]." But what it comes down to is I just want to write *something* and I need to give myself permission (and time) to do that. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be profound. It doesn't have to meet an objective. It just has to be real and from me.

Just cast a piece of your (written) self into the universe and let happen whatever happens.