Before I begin what is my first blog post in nearly four months, never mind it was post from a guest-blogger and not even me, I want to say that nearly everyday since that last post I have thought about writing. Like running or a daily kiss from Cindy (yup, I went there), when I am not writing I want to be writing more than ever. So I have been thinking about what drives this behavior. Scratch that, I decided to write about this behavior.
WHAT CAUSES ONE TO NOT DO THE THINGS ONE LOVES?
I spend a great deal of time thinking about this on my ever-lengthening commute to work. That’s the same distance commute that I had 15 years ago when I moved here. I can assure you I spent 50% less time analyzing the mundane 15 years ago. This might be a good time to give a shout-out to my local York County Councilman Michael Johnson (Twitter Handle: @rmjohnsonjr1) who hold immense hope that he’s the savior that will not just admire the problem but help address the growth and infrastructure problem in my beloved town (moratorium said while clearing my throat…). But I digress which is exactly what people who teach about good writing habits say NOT to do.
Back to my question: What causes one to not do the things one loves? My first thought is a fear of failure. But this just seems like too easy of an answer. What failure is there in writing other than not writing? Not exactly scary to write or to not write. So, in an unexpected twist, I am ruling out fear of failure.
Lack of motivation? I don’t think so. While there are endless priorities in life, doing the things you love should be easy to put first. I like to write, therefore, I should write, right?
SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER ALREADY?
My take on the answer is (drumroll, please – by the way, this is EXACTLY where HGTV would put a commercial before they reveal whether people will love it or list it – don’t judge me): I believe it stems from not clearly knowing what I get back from writing. Not a great answer because if you love doing it and it isn’t harming anyone shouldn’t I just be doing it? As my 12 year old would answer: “I know, right?” So, with this dose of self-therapy, I think that’s what I’ll start to do. Write. Write here. On this blog. To my 3 readers (not including my parents – you do read this Mom and Dad? Right?). I have this deep down desire to write and have people read what I write. More than just writing, I would like for it to turn into an exchange. Two-way communications, you know like in the days of the pen pal. This will help me improve in another area I secretly want to fix – to be a better listener. I know, right Cindy? Probe, prompt and engage others. Listen actively. Participate no more than equally. Get good at saying stuff like “that’s interesting, tell me more.” This is not natural for me. I come by it honestly via genetics (sorry Dad). Let’s do this.
SO WHAT IS MY PLAN?
- Aim for a reasonable target. Weekly. One morning a week to write, one to edit/publish. Certainly more than quarterly.
- Start small – couple of paragraphs.
- Don’t preach – I used to carry a soap box with me. I don’t anymore but sometimes find myself on something tall and just can’t help letting it come out. I’m a work in progress.
- Set few boundaries – all topics are in scope. Don’t be scared – most won’t hold “what’s the meaning of life” inputs.
- Ask for input – who knows, over time I might even get some.
- Write about stuff that is interesting to others, not just me. This is hard – takes an outside-in view. Clearly not on top of this objective in this entry.
- Get better at writing – the goal is to one day understand what it takes to write well. Honestly, I don’t know this.
- Maybe, just maybe, get more than 3 people to read on the basis that I’m writing stuff people find interesting or enjoyable to read. Who knows, maybe someone will even say “that’s interesting, tell me more” or “here’s what I think about your words.”
The byproduct of doing this is to leave a part of who I am with my kids. They don’t know I do this. At this stage, it actually may mortify them that I do this. It won’t when they are 42. The mutant teenager types will thank me later…when I reach one of my biggest goals in life: to have a friendship with my adult kids.
I hope you, my three readers, will read on and engage with me here. I’m not making any money from this – your clicks don’t matter here. Anything goes. Extra credit if you write and you have cracked the nut on what “good writing” is and share.
BONUS: For reading this far you might as well catch up on what we’ve been doing in our lives. Links to our pictures from Feb 2015-today are below.