Scrolling through all of the blog posts here on WordPress, I am amazed at how many writers/bloggers start their stories with a line something like this, “I have been staring at this screen for hours wondering what to write today.” You see, I myself have done this many times over. I realize now how utterly contrite I feel over this one pattern that seems to run rampant in today’s blogs.
Why is it that we feel such a strong urge to write, we even pick a subject. But we still start off with that line about wondering what to write? I recently read a blog post that talked about all of the different experiences we have on any given day. How as writers we have so much material thrown at us. Yet somehow we still draw blanks refusing to push our inner-selves to connect with those experiences and expose ourselves to others. I wish I could find that blog post again so I could link it here for you to read. It was well worth the time.
We hide our deepest emotions and write with an almost stoic nature which shows in what we write. Is it the fear of judgment that keeps us away from the nitty-gritty? Is it the fear of the feeling of rejection if no one reads what we write or comments and starts a conversation about the subject or the writing? Can we even begin to understand the why of it all?
For me, it is not an issue of showing emotions or connecting with my subject. It is the fear that what I have to say will not be of any value to others. I keep writing because of a deep desire to write. It is part of me just as my hair, nails, arms, and legs are a part of me. I cannot stop writing. It is my calling in life and where I feel most at peace and home. I realized this very young in life. Yet, I refused to do anything about it. Oh sure, once in a while I would write a poem or two, start a short story that I never finish and even start a few novels that never got past the first chapter. Before long life would catch up to me and I would not have time to dedicate to writing.
I was lost. I had no real direction I wanted to go with my writing and could not afford to ever take college courses to become better at my craft. So I floated year after year skipping out on so many missed opportunities to share the stories I had inside of me waiting to get out. Just as so many including myself start out with that dreaded line of not knowing what to write, this was my life. I wanted to write, longed to write… the words just never came. I wonder how many others have dealt with this type of thing? How long it lasts for them? What made them lose their spirit to write? Was it a certain event that caused this? Or am I the only one?
In some ways, I think we start our writing out with the same boring line over and over again because we don’t want to just start with our story. We think that saying we did not know what to write then low and behold we have a lightbulb moment, an epiphany of sorts is more eye-catching than just jumping right in. It suggests that we are good problem solvers and in turn makes us feel good about our writing even if we garner negative responses to it.
Just think of how a book starts its first chapter. It would never start with, “I don’t know what to write?” Do we really want this to be the defining feature of our writing? “OH, Cheynoea.com, yeah, I know that blog. That’s the woman who always claims she does not know what to write before every blog post.” NO WAY! I don’t want to be defined, explained and thought of in that way.
I do realize how often I actually run into problems starting a story. I revert to this method over and over again. So starting today I have decided not to ever use this line in the future. Instead, I will start right into the process of writing the story or post. I will reread it several times. If I do not like the beginning but want to keep what I wrote I will place that beginning in the middle somewhere and keep rewriting the beginning until I am happy with it. I hope that this will improve my writing for all of you to enjoy.
Author’s Note: I have included a cover song titled We are Broken sang by Cibila Ross. Originally by Paramore. I chose this song because while listening to it today during my writing, I came to understand just how well it fits with this very subject. I was moved by it to forge on in my writing of this article. Isn’t it funny how we do that? We take a song and connect with it in a totally different meaning or form than the original artist intended. We latch onto it using it to describe our emotions at the time of listening. Then future listening is forever changed because we have now filed that song away in our memory banks complete with lock and key into a padded compartment for only us to enjoy.