I think that as a person I have the tendency to over analyse things a bit. Not so much in the sense of every time my kids get sick I feel the need to track down patient zero, and I haven’t yet felt the urge to write a chart to work out which food gives them such stinky gas (though that would be helpful), and I still don’t know why the red gloves were so important in the movie Shine. (Sorry Mr Oakman but 15 years later I’m still lost about that English lesson.) But I do think a lot.
Sometimes I wonder if I think too much.
Take blogging for instance.
Usually when I blog, my creative process goes like this. ‘Oooh an idea! Let’s write it!”
Occasionally it’s more like this. ‘What should I write about? I have to write something, because it’s Tuesday and it would be bad form to not have something for your own linky, but what to write….
‘It should be a good post. Not some random, hastily thrown together piece of whatever….
‘It should have meaning, because let’s not go clogging the interwebz up with pointless dribble now.
‘It has to be interesting. Hmm… that might not go with the meaning thing. Interesting and purposeful. Well that’s going to be hard! And I’ve tried that a lot, (hopefully with success), so maybe people are bored with it.
‘But I’ve done stupid and pointless a lot too so maybe I’m just useless. Useless and a hypocrite who can’t write anything decent, and has to write because tomorrow is Tuesday, and what am I going to say? Clearly I suck as a writer and a blogger, and I should probably quit whilst I’m ahead.
‘Also I’m a terrible, horrible person and I think I’ll just sit on the couch and cry! And can someone please pass the wine?!!!’
Which, creatively, and in all the other ways too, is much less helpful.
Can you guess what mood I was in this week? 😉
I blame it on the world really. And FB. Or FB showing me what’s going on in the world because sitting down to watch the news is just a luxury that doesn’t happen in this place.
There is just so much sadness happening right now. So many heartbreaking things going on, and I feel like I should be doing something to help. Which of course I can’t do very well, so instead I feel like I should be writing something that somehow helps. Which also feels kind of impossible, so maybe it’s easier just to forget about it? Pour a cup of tea and cut up some cake and pretend everything is coming up roses.
Then I go and read things like this:
Which is inspiring yes, but also makes me feel bad. Because sticking our head in the sand and saying it’s all too hard, is never helpful. But then what exactly is? Is writing about it going to change a thing?
Imagine if I had set an essay style topic for this week’s IBOT, along the lines of, ‘Write a blog post about an event you read about in the media this week, and how we could change it.’
Can you imagine the variation we would have then? We would have posts about Robin Williams and the devastating effects of mental illness. (Of which this one was excellent). We would have arguments over whether Hamas or Israel is the bad guy, and is the number of civilian fatalities proportional to the evil intent with which they were inflicted. Someone would surely write about why our national treasurer feels the need to speak to the public in a way that most people wouldn’t even talk after a few beers at a barbecue with close friends. I would probably write about the tragedies being inflicted by ISIS on anyone in Iraq who dares to have a different belief system.
And that’s just the big stuff. There are a hundred other things that made the news last week, that could be shared, as well as a thousand that didn’t, but have stories worth telling anyway.
All these stories that deserve being shared to not just raise awareness, but because anything that affects humanity should catch our attention.
Which is why sometimes, I over analyse and think ‘I need to write something with meaning. Because the world is going to pot, and this is not the time for tea and cakes.’
Except that it is. Apart from if you were being forced to evacuate because of a bomb in the building, or some equally catastrophic event, it is always time for tea and cakes.
One thing I’ve learnt from writing, is that when your heart is heard, your words can do a lot more than you imagine. And what seems trivial and pointless can in fact be the exact thing that shines some light on someone’s day, that helps them walk through a bad situation, and let’s them find the way out.
The other day a friend told me she found my book and downloaded it. This was the day that Robin Williams passed away, and the event was quite triggering for her. My book is about being a Christian mum who tries to find God in poo (and other things.) It’s not what I would recommend to someone who was struggling with those kind of circumstances. And yet she said it was exactly what she needed to read. It helped her through those days and kept her safe.
There’s meaning when we highlight the atrocities of war, or the reality of human trafficking, or the terrifying statistics of depression. But there’s also meaning when we write about coffee, and doughnuts and floor pie. Life goes on hard and horrid and we have a responsibility to humanity to make sure we don’t ignore the pain, just as we have a responsibility to each other to encourage, to elevate and to share the happy, funny silly things that make life wonderful.
And so yes, I have a tendency to over analyse things. But I also have a
slight lean towards sheer stupidity and fun and games, and writing about fluff for the sake of it. And I think that both are ok and have their place.
After all, there’s always room for tea and cakes.