As an almost-daily blogger, I have never ever suffered from writer’s block. OK, mostly never ever. You just sit down at the computer and let the fingers type. They say what they want to say. They report your thoughts in the moment, what’s happening outside the back window, perhaps what the photos want to say.
In other words they share of themselves.
There is little pondering, editing, thinking, pontificating, carrying on, wondering, yes, no, maybe so. You simply let the words out of their cages and they express themselves.
No fuss, no hassle.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to fulfill a life-long dream (until June 2oth) and become a temporary (or who knows–permanent?) weekly blogger.
No problemo, right?
The first thing that happened was that my mind now decided it needed a topic worthy of a once a week blog. No more nonsense writing. No more funny-for-the-sake of-being-funny posting. No more blogs simply of photos–the writer part would be sad for the entire week. No more blogs mostly with words–the photographer would be whimpering until Thursday.
One must write an Important Blog.
Fine. OK. (We must try to placate our silly minds, right?) But what’s an “Important Blog”? A philosophical blog. A serious blog. A blog about, say, Trees and their Importance in our World. Fine. Maybe a spiritual blog about Peace and Quiet. Certainly not a blog about cupcakes.
This week, however, appropriate philosophical and spiritual blog topics threatened a veto. I tried a different approach. A scrap paper waited at-the-ready by the computer. Upon its blank page I wrote daily interesting happenings, from which to cull possible blogs. Here is my list:
1. Earth Day–picked up garbage from road.
2. Brother sells childhood cottage, sob, sob.
3. The woods next to the secret morel mushroom spot logged. Devastating.
4. Walker Boy improves three and a half weeks after total knee replacement. Leg straight (extension) and flexion (bend) now over 104 degrees, how exciting, hurray!
5. I took an entire 36 hours off the computer!
6. Wild leek article quoting yours truly now available on Lake Superior Magazine.
All somewhat interesting/sad/amusing topics possibly worthy of a blog post. Each of those posts could have been shared with the world, right? Heck, I could have written 1,354 words about each topic without thinking.
However, if you have a week before writing that blog, guess what you do?
You start thinking about why such-and-such a topic is good, bad or ugly. You think obsessively. You imagine a title during your meditation. How about: Step right up! Six mini-blogs for the price of one! (No. Too many exclamation points. What an idiot you are. You’ve been an idiot before. Yes, but I don’t want to be one for an entire week.) How about: The six blogs you didn’t read. (Is that interesting enough? Would that attract six readers? Never mind. You don’t care about blog numbers any more. Six readers would be lovely.)
By Thursday you’ve abandoned all topics because none of them are right.
On Saturday, after drinking a glass of Chardonnay, your husband begs you for a column idea for his newspaper. (How dare he! You can’t even think of a blog idea for next week.) However the glass of Chardonnay replies, “How about memories of the cottage my brother sold?”
Said husband loves the idea, absolutely loves it, and now requests wife to search through ancient family photos for the beloved cottage. You agree. You think–yes, that would make a good blog. How many people have sold a beloved house, cottage, camp? Everyone could relate. Yes, I’ll blog about the cottage, too.
When the Chardonnay wears off you decide your husband can commando the cottage topic. You’ll do something else…but what?…this is SO HARD. Blogging has never been THIS HARD before. And why? Because you have time to use your noodle. In other words, think.
Writer’s block hath now arrived in full circle. You can’t think of anything to write. But you want to write. You can’t think of anything worthy. OK, you’ll write unworthy. Wait a minute, everything is worthy, what are you talking about? The pressure, the pressure, the blogging pressure! Maybe you will just post photos…? But which photos are appropriate for a blog that will run for a week?
In meditation Sunday morning you suddenly receive a complete topic and title in between thoughts. It’s called “Break the mold, Cupcake.” Oh yes! It’s all about how society and culture attempts to keep us from becoming individuals. We are urged–sometimes shamed–into staying in a mold of copy-cat behavior.
I love it! I rush upstairs toward the computer and begin to type.
It’s OK. You don’t need to be a round sweet cake in a muffin mold pan. You don’t need to be like every other cupcake in the world. Feel free to break out. Sprawl across the baking pan. Swim in the batter. Don’t let the pan determine who you are. Be yourself.
The Eternal Baker
382 words later I am staring at the stupid words, the awful words, what a terrible idea, this isn’t working, I hate weekly blogging, there is too much pressure, writer’s block, writer’s block, writer’s block!
(My daughter calls a couple of hours later with news about cupcakes; I swear this is true. Obviously I channeled cupcake thoughts.)
Finally, thankfully, another blog about blogging (“How original!” a sarcastic commenter once snipped, shame on him) starts to internally write itself. It’s obvious to me now that thinking too much about writing or blogging is the reason so many suffer from blogging block.
The answer is clear! People, we must end unnecessary thinking. End the need to write something “important”. End the propensity of the Mind to yak, yak, yak about what should be shared, what shouldn’t be shared, the price of wheat in China.
I have no idea how next week will go.
But I refuse to let the mind hijack this once-a-week blogging dream with too much thinking. And editing? I am afraid to let the mind edit. It would reduce these words into maybe six paragraphs and then I would be weeping, simply weeping, because I truly LOVE each and every one of these 1,426 words. They are like children. I am an unmolded cupcake and proud of it!
If any of you have a mind that thinks too much and holds you back from sharing yourself fully, you’ll know what I mean. We’ll have to form a support group meeting: Bloggers who Think too much. We’ll say things like “My name is Kathy and I think too much.” Wait a minute. I think I said that in the last blog. Or something like that anyway…perhaps I should just ditch this long-winded blog…
Oh no! It’s starting up again. The mind is already judging that this blog was a) not serious enough–you DARED to put the word “Cupcake” in the headline and you will live to regret this! b) needs editing and c) simply can’t survive a week of viewing without the writer appearing half-baked.
Worse than that, they’ll think that this obsessive thinking REALLY comprised most of my week, when, shhhhh, astute reader, I’ll whisper to anyone still reading 1,452 words later **it only bugged me maybe 8% of the time. The rest of the time I didn’t even think about blogging and never ever thought about cupcakes until this morning, I solemnly swear. (But wasn’t it a good topic?**grin**)
It obviously shouldn’t be written…or should it? I will turn off the computer and think about it. If this appears on Monday morning then it wasn’t hijacked by a calm, thoughtful philosophical blog. Stay tuned, you sweet-toothed dreamers. In the meantime–forget the mold altogether. Be yourself. Break the mold, Cupcake! You won’t regret it…