Writing has always intimidated me. Even in grade school, weekly journal entries were painful. My mother often recalls reading them and thinking there were lots of “and thens” and “really, reallys” and other nonsensical sentences simply there to fill the required amount of pages. More recently, my intimidation has been concealed by the industry I work in as the first rule of working in politics is never write down anything you don’t have too. Scandals abound and campaigns end because people write down things they shouldn’t. It’s been a fabulous cover!
I’ve also recently discovered the reason writing is difficult for me; the committee upstairs is usually engaged in heavy debate about one thing or another and finding a way to organize those thoughts in a linear fashion has always been complicated. When writing, I jump back and forth through the sentences and paragraphs writing and re-writing. Each time I approach it have a different thought on how I want express myself and settling on the right sentence or the right paragraph becomes challenging.
Then a few months ago, I was listening to Fresh Air and Terry Gross was interviewing an author (forgive me as I’ve forgotten his name…another curse of the committee process is getting someone to agree to be the secretary for the debate) who spoke about the grief he’d gotten over the years as he’s always re-writing his books. Readers were upset he would change sentences, re-work the structure or even change the ending. They wanted his stories to be finalized and static. They wanted the comfort of always being able to re-read the same story and experience the same emotions. He chuckled and revealed that he simply didn’t know how to; “like everything else, my thoughts and opinions are always in a constant state of change.” At any given moment, he has a different perspective on anything and everything and he felt he should bring the reader along. His style celebrates his evolution as a person and more importantly as a thinker and writer.
This conversation has inspired me to try and overcome my intimidation and fears and volunteer to be the secretary for the committee. A few ideas have already percolated to the surface, but besides those, I really don’t know what will come. I hope you’ll follow not only my geographic journey, but also the progression of my writing. Thoughts, ideas, and advice are most welcome!