Not In The Past

Looking forward from 30

Where are my words?

What really frustrates me more than anything when it comes to writing is noticing myself drifting into vague generalities with my posts.   I get a little depressed when I notice a group of blog posts that have that same open-ended “try to sound like I’m going somewhere” posts that could have been written by anyone.

What bothers me about them?  I feel like I’m holding back whenever I write things like that, as if my entire purpose of writing a blog is to get people to like me.  There’s a line you have to straddle to be appealing without seeming desperate for accolades or recognition, and whenever I find myself deliberately trying to make myself veer into narratives about growth and discovery (instead of letting them emerge out of the details of the post), I kind of feel like it’s forced and ingratiating.  Whenever I go through one of my rough patches, I still wonder if I’m being too self-indulgent, coming across as whiny.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how much detail helps writing.  I find there’s a lot of beauty in specificity, and what actually draws me to writing is the way they capture a specific mind or world through the use of language.  I’m worried that I’m so afraid of revealing too much of myself that it’s watering me down, and I either become mute or too strident.

What also bugs me?  Those moments where I can’t find the words that do justice to what I want to say.  No matter how on-point or honest it sounds in my head, by the time the words are staring back at me in the WordPress text box, they become just another sentence or paragraph: mere words instead of an accurate representation of the idea I’m trying to get across.  There are days when I want to make sure I’m still piping up from time to time, but sometimes I decide it’s better to fall silent than to go through the motions.

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3 thoughts on “Where are my words?

  1. Regarding your last paragraph: I absolutely understand. I feel like this constantly. When I’m writing, I see everything happening in my head, like a movie. I feel the emotions of the character I’m writing. All of my senses are tuned to the scene. Then when I’ve written it…well it’s just words then, and I can’t help but think about how when other people read it they’re not going to see it how I saw it, feel it how I felt it, and that annoys me. While I feel I have a pretty good grasp on language, I always felt I would be able to better express myself if I could just have actors act my books out for me. :\

  2. Hi, I just came across your blog quite by accident but I read this post and know exactly that feeling of being frustrated by the disconnect between the genuine feelings/thoughts/ideas in my head and what comes out in my writing. It’s almost as if some key piece to making it all come together is missing and you just can’t find it so your writing ends up being a shell of some sorts of what you were trying to say.

  3. I think those of us who blog worry about the things you mention. Writing like life, (I know but, really it is:-) Is about working through it, sometimes making it, sometimes messing it up, sometimes being boring, sometimes delightful. When you write in a public way, you worry that people will like you, that’s human, but, really we write for ourselves, with blogs, I think it’s easier and trickier, combination public journal and opinion column. Fascinating, we really do live in interesting times:-)

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