Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WRITING THROUGH LIFE

Lately, I think I've gone soft and conservative in my blogging. I can't remember the last time I live blogged (what I'm doing right now), that is, written directly to a post, not crafting something more carefully elsewhere and then pasting it into my blog.  I guess I'm more aware that a few more people are looking over my shoulder at what I write.  I intend that to be the case, but that's not how I started out e-journaling.

Time was when I would write, careless of who might read.  I wrote more for my own entertainment, for spiritual exploration, and for creative expression than anything else.  I still do that, but not as often, and I don't post such to Indy Bikehiker blog as much. Maybe I should return to that.

Remember the song "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool?"  Well, I was blogging when blogging wasn't cool.  I was e-journaling before blogs became an available format.  Some of my friends have been receiving "Grace Notes" (what I now call "Grace Between the Lines") via email since 1996.  I think there was a moment when blogging was quite cool.  But, alas, its cool factor came and went, surpassed by Facebook and Twitter.  And, surely, something else will take the place of these formats.

Still, I blog. It suits me.  It helps me.  And, occasionally, what I write or quote or share helps somebody else.  So, I keep writing.

One of my reasons for writing often and publicly is to work at the craft, to stay current, to exercise the part of my soul from which writing flows, to overcome errors in writing, to try to become more clear and direct when necessary, or less direct and veiled when that would serve well.  Over time, I've lost some of my bluntness.  I've shed some of my excessive verbiage.  I've shortened sentences, reduced adjectives, and intentionally and pointedly broken rules.

I still get lost in the woods when I write--more often than I usually want to recognize.  But working my way out or through a thought is part of the journey.  I don't expect my writing to always be readable or logical or presentable.  But my lost-in-the-woods writing is still vital, at least to me.  In some of those meanderings, I happen onto an insight or phrase or perspective that helps me see differently, to understand more fully, or to appreciate something or someone or some situation better.

By far, not everything I write is worth reading.  But, somehow, it seems important to me to write in a way that isn't just to sell or for an audience.  There's a faithfulness factor.  There's a "find out what's going on inside you" factor.  There's a factor of reflecting what's going on in the world and my reactions and responses to it in the moment.  There's a value (at least to me) in recollecting and contemplating openly and frequently.

So, for those who sometimes read what I write, what you read is not always camera-ready and it is not intended to be.  It's a bit like watching someone work out--not a pretty sight.  Most of what I blog is something in the process, something of an unfinished work, something of an experiment, something I hope to come back to when I have more time.

But will that time ever come?  Whether or not, I'm enjoying writing in these moments and hope to continue to do so.

3 comments:

  1. Funny that you say you were blogging when blogging wasn't cool, because that's how I describe your writing sometimes. I've been reading it off and on for most of those years, I think!

    Keep at it, John. It becomes you. I am inspired by your persistence as I tend to go witht he prevailing winds a bit more than is probably good for me.

    But at any rate, I enjoy reading, and I enjoy knowing that you are staying with the craft.

    Blessings, Jan

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  2. Thanks, Jan. And you, too, keep clearing the clutter at the creek (though, after the flooding, you may not want to go there for a while...)

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  3. Thank you for this post, John. I usually "live blog" but with a plan in my head. It is unusual for me to have too many drafts actually typed out. I blog for fun, and to cultivate the writing craft, something I hadn't really done since college. My first lesson: I had to stop writing in my medical chart passive voice! :) How long have I gotten your posts? Since the early 2000s I think, maybe before! Don't stop--you bless me and challenge me every time! Blessings, Liz

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