On Sunday I spent a good portion of the afternoon, looking over handwritten notes in an attempt to be able to use them in possible book form.
Or in other words I spent a good portion of the afternoon beating myself over the head with a metaphorical hammer, and wondering why on earth I ever wanted to be a writer. But you get that.
Anyway, as I perused and painstakingly typed up the pages and pages of what I could only describe as complete and utter swill, I came across more than one phrase that made me want to gouge my eyeballs out. I mean it was as if my eleven year old had written it, and I mean no offence to her.
It was just so clumsily put together, that it literally made me wonder if I had missed my calling in life, and instead should perhaps take up brick laying or something. You know, actually be useful.
But self-sabotage aside, as I transitioned those terribly written words (I actually should have been a doctor considering the state of my handwriting), on to the screen, I was a little jealous of the person that wrote them. As a writer I know I have grown in skill over the years (my pink notebook of doom is the proof of that), but I think I’ve grown in cautiousness too. And I’m still deciding if that’s always a good thing.
The words I had thrown across those pages were clumsy in their construction, but my goodness they were right. Even as I read it, I thought, ‘I would never say this now, but oh, how I wish I could!’ So many thoughts written down without a care, but that if put together differently, could hold so much power.
I took to Facebook (as you do when you have a mind-blowing revelation), all prepared to write something along the lines of ‘don’t you wish you could just say everything you wanted, and just the way you wanted to?’ That statement in itself being testament to its meaning.
Yet I stopped myself, because I knew exactly what some would say. “Oh you can Jess! Just say what you want! It’s your space, you can use it as you like.’ The age-old (and by age I mean like 3 years,) generic response we give to bloggers when they have no idea if they can actually write what they think.
There’s something to be said for it. A blog is the writer’s space. It’s born from their ideas, and opinions and heart. It reflects them in a way that others things often don’t. It’s a window into who they are and how they tick. In many ways it’s a stranger inviting you into their home for coffee and to have a chat.
Except that it’s also not. Because if you come to my house for a coffee, I’m not going to spend forty minutes talking AT you, but we will (hopefully) talk to each other. Really, a more accurate way of describing blogging, is standing in a room yelling at people. And when you think of it like that, you have to be cautious about what you’re yelling, unless you really want to upset people. Or alternatively, if voicing your ideas in a strong, opinionated way is exactly what you want to be doing, it’s your call. 🙂
It’s why I don’t talk about my faith as much as some people think that I should. (Yes I’ve been accused of not believing in God enough.) Because let’s face it, if I stood in a room and shouted about Jesus every single week, that wouldn’t go down all that well. Unless of course it was church, and then that would actually be very cool. 🙂
I’m not a niche blogger, per se. This is not like a cooking class where you know to expect delicious recipes, though that happens from time to time. It’s not a drama or music class where I’m singing every week, though that’s also occurred. It’s not all philosophy, or self-deprecation or serious chats about body image, post natal depression and Grey’s Anatomy. If blogging were a University, and you were taking Essentially Jess 101, it would be one of those bludge classes that won’t change your world, but will give you extra credit. (Though credit for what I’m not entirely sure…)
And depending on the topic, it’s either going to be in the lecture hall with an impassioned speech, or I’m going to be channeling Professor Moseby and coming to class dressed like a Hot Dog.
Either way, I’m talking at you, not with you. It’s not a discussion where I can really share my heart and say what I think and we can discuss things on an intimate level. I can share my heart, but the words have to be so carefully constructed, and proof read, and analysed so that it comes out just right, because otherwise it’s not just an opinion that’s dissected, it’s actually me.
And because of that reason, there are so many things that I will never say on my blog. So many words I will never write.
So much of my heart that won’t be shared.
If you were to come to my house for a coffee however, and we had a real friendship, the kind that gives and takes and shares each other’s loads, then there are more things I would say. Then those words could pour out of me, or possibly stumble out in some hard to understand, haphazard manner.
More than likely the latter. Generally, I tend to write better than I speak.
Which is a slightly terrifying prospect really, considering the rubbish I’ve been reading lately.
But anyway…. the point of saying all that, in a terribly long-winded, possibly not entirely coherent fashion, was to say that yes, it is my space, and I can use it how I want to. And for me that means that the cautiousness I’ve learnt, or the wisdom I’ve gained (a much better way of looking at it), says ‘don’t shout everything that comes into your head. Instead shout what’s in your heart in such a way, that even if you’re not understood, you’re not offending those who’ve chosen to listen to it.’
Shout what’s in your heart, so that those who hear it, can’t help but want to have a coffee with you and know you even more.
And for the love of everything ever written, don’t shout swill.