18:30, Friday 14 Jan., 2011 Link
The last time I wrote on my blog with any kind of regularity was early 2008. January 2008 was pretty good. I had an easy fluidity.
I've tried to write since. It's not come. I was finding myself over-thinking my words. They'd seem to me try-hard poetic, and I prefer to write the way I speak. Or I didn't have anything to say. Anything I said was obvious. Or I'd over-explain. Everything I tried to say, I'd step back and back and back, and suddenly I'd have written a wall of backstory without getting to any kind of point. Mainly, I was scared of being boring.
I've not been writing anywhere else much. I've kept a few notes, written a few letters to myself as ways to structure strategy or life decisions, and I don't believe I've written many emails of any substance. I've also not been reading much, or browsing much new on the web. These things are possibly connected.
So far in 2011, I've written consecutively for 14 days. That's the most I've done for three years. What happened? I'm trying to not care about being boring.
For me, writing seems to be a muscle. Without doing it regularly, I feel I've lost my ability to express cogently complex ideas in interesting ways.
And, because I haven't been regularly talking about the ideas that interest me, I've not given myself the time to reduce down those ideas into pithy, understandable statements.
Writing seems to be associated with my sense of pattern recognition. I'm missing the structures of abstraction it gives me, and the room for wiggly play I get while I do it.
So I'm trying to start writing regularly again. It's frustrating and a bloody pain. I feel incapable of expressing what I mean to say. There's no glitter to my words, and I have to force them out. I can see everything that's wrong with what I write. I don't like the structure, but improving it doesn't come naturally because I don't know what to do. I can't figure out how to vary the sentence length or increase variety and rhythm without it sounding like I'm doing rubbish teenage spoken word poetry. There are no insights. I can't start or end things. I don't even sound like me. I'm boring. Okay, fine, do it anyway.