Back in my school days of legwarmers and MTV, I did a lot of free-writing. It was in English classes most days as a way to get started writing. And like the nerd I was and still am, I loved that kind of writing. It was supposed to not be read by anyone but I always assumed the teacher would take a look at it so I never wrote anything really revealing. But I liked the idea of just sitting down and writing without stopping.
When I re-started this blog I had the idea of doing a weekly series on a given topic. But that petered out as I thought my writing wasn’t where I wanted it to be on that given topic. I was writing about the past and I didn’t want it to be just a re-hash or just a straight compare/contrast. I felt like I needed some framework or way of explaining why I’m writing like I am. So I pulled back and let my mind go to work on this and eventually a thought came to my mind:
We weren’t having the conversations back then like we are now.
Then a couple of days ago, this thought came to me:
Writing is a conversation.
I have never thought of writing as being a conversation but I realize when a writer puts their words out into the world for anyone to read, they’re starting a conversation. I used to think writing was just my way of telling my story but not having a conversation that is a give-and-take kind of thing. Now I haven’t really heard from a lot of people who have read my work over the years and those that have given me feedback have been very kind and generous and thoughtful.
I have come to realize I need to face something else that I don’t think really think I’ve talked about before. I call it ‘push-back’. It’s a term from my former call-center days that I dealt with on a daily basis because it wasn’t someone just ranting and raving to you on the phones. It was being told I didn’t know what I was talking about when I did have the knowledge and experience to back me up, and it was also being told my communication skills were essentially crap. Push-back was done to wear me down, to undermine my confidence and doubt my abilities, and to make me doubt my own knowledge and experience.
This is in turn has led to a fear that still lives inside of me, the fear that if I go too far in some way, shape, or form, my world will be kicked out from under me. I used to fear losing my job all the time for any mistake I made or if I found the courage to speak out against something. I still have to work with the fear I’ll lose what little I have though I keep coming up with backup plans because that’s just what I’ve done all my life. I’ve written a lot of this off to anxiety and over-imagination but I think a lot of it was fueled by my past. I’ve had a fear that if I ever pursued my writing all the way I’d be exiled and hated.
I’m already an exile and I honestly don’t think I’m hated. I think I’m mostly forgotten and thought of as an anti-social hermit who is probably a real snooty bitch on occasion. I’m honestly not anti-social but I’ve been called a bitch when I’ve just stood up for myself and pushed back at people who were being thoughtless and cruel to me.
So do these lifelong fears and anxieties have to do with this blog?
Over the last few years, my writing has led me down some long and sometimes dark and scary paths in my mind and my heart and soul. It’s led me to go through the storage unit of my mind and open up and deal with things I’d put aside for so many years. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer or write constantly to pull myself off that dark path. I want to have fun and not feel guilty about that like I have in the past, too.
So I may or not write a blog series though I will if I want to. Mostly, it’ll be whatever is on my mind after I start my second cup of coffee. I may write about politics, social issues, or anything deemed ‘controversial’ though I’ll do my best to put a warning label on those pieces for those with delicate sensibilities. If you do want to respond and try to undermine my confidence in myself and my writing abilities, take that and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine At almost forty-seven years on this planet I’ve probably heard every variation of that bullshit and I’m still alive and kicking. Besides, I’m not writing for bullies or people who think they have the right to dictate what my life should be, or who just want me to shut the fuck up.
No, I’m writing for anyone who wants to read what I have to say. And I hope to connect with people who have been through things like I have and dealt with thoughts and feelings like I have. I want to give people something to think about, and hold on to in need. And I’d like to give out a few laughs or nail a really good piece of sarcasm.