Thoughts trickle onto the page. Ideas do. But feelings, they flow like blood. Sometimes they surge like overflowed creeks. Beware of silt and debris that gets dragged along.
Can you see it, can you see through it?
To anyone who has ever thought about writing – for publication, or just for your own reading, it is the most wonderfully transformative thing you can do for yourself.
When you share your writing with others, few will see it as ego – most will see it as therapeutic for both reader and writer, most will see it as a window into you.
And you will save a fortune on therapy.
I checked my log, and calendar. Today is day #362 of this 11th year writing this column.
Day # 4,114.
Each year, as anniversary of its first day approaches, I navel-gaze about its future (more on that in coming days) and take a backward glance.
On its past, its origin, incredible support, kindness of friends, mentors and complete strangers – from everywhere(while lots are ‘this part of my country’, so many of 7,000 are on every continent except Antarctica), I’ve been often reminded how small this e-world is.
And how large.
What I put out actually lands somewhere.
What I/you/we/writers create actually affects others.
Often asked if I’ve ever thought of giving this up – stopping, or writing less often.
Long term readers will attest to several things which are obvious to me.
Others, I think, are less obvious.
Quality of the writing has grown – as has value of feedback and comments. Sometimes they trickle, sometimes they flood. Always – OK, almost always – genuine, kind in nature and intent. Feedback has led to many e-meetings and face-to-face greetings.
People whose path I never would have crossed.
Some might add that I’ve changed.
In 11 years, who wouldn’t?
If I hadn’t, that would be scary.
To those who might comment, give feedback, offer points of view – PLEASE do so, often if you like. To those who read things they like, feel free to forward, feel free to add your friends or colleagues to the mailing list – the more the merrier.
To KT and FD for your mentorship, to daughter Carla for your unintended inspiration – you started this! … no, seriously, I started it but I couldn’t have made it through those early days without you. When self-doubt creeps in occasionally, I am reminded of your support and assistance. I am reminded of those many spokes on this wheel of daily musing who like to think. It is my privilege to enter your in-box daily and say hello.
My point of this today is one of genuine gratitude. The fragile and sometimes bruised ego of any writer cannot live without knowing what readers think, how they react – stimulated, infuriated, or bored to death . . .
Twelve years ago today, this didn’t exist. Its beginning was still 3 days away – and I had no idea of it at all. No plans, no plans to make plans. No idea I would write that first musing and share it will my daughter and those original 6.
I cannot imagine a day without this, without readers …
Writing is easy – Hemingway said: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
I agree and disagree.
For a miner, discovering a vein of silver would be magical.
For a writer, the metaphorical opening of veins is appropriate I think – because veins bring blood back to the heart, back to the lungs and pump it out again to nourish us.
Writing is selfish. Unless you share. Then it is revealing – but only as revealing as you let it be. Someone who writes with flash and flourish without being transparent isn’t a very interesting read for very long because we see through them . . .
Write your life.
Write first for yourself.
Then write for someone else – anyone at all, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve never met them or know who they are – if the message is for them, they will know. And that, I think, is all the writer needs to know. All he needs to believe.
It is amazing what comes of this . . .
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -2C / 28F, fresh snow in early morning hours … expected to melt today so that will give everything a nice ‘washing’ but I would prefer a spring shower. Walking was incredibly slippery, but mild compared to traffic on 40th Avenue. 3 bus crashes into parked cars within a block, 2-rear-endings and several near misses. Traffic crawls, body-shop owners must be delighted at how many people will need new bumpers today . . .