Writing Challenge Day 1

This month I will begin a writing challenge sponsored by WordPress.com.  Today’s prompt is a 20-minute, stream of consciousness.  The twist is that we should post it.  So here we go!

Writing is somewhat new to me. Not writing in terms of putting together sentences and words and letters to communicate with the world. But writing in a way that seems meaningful and important and that others will read and connect with and see themselves in.  I have this notion that blog writing has to be this great incredible thing that inspires a bunch of people. That’s what kept me from getting started.  I didn’t know what to share or how much to share or what people would think about what I shared.  Then finally I got past it and just started putting things out there.

I think that’s one of the ways I hold myself back. Fear is the first word I typed. Then I deleted it and told myself, no this is a free write, just keep going.  So yeah there’s a little bit of fear of putting yourself out there. The written word is more dangerous that the spoken word. For the most part once you say something people may or may not hear you, they may not remember, they may not quite understand.  But the written word. You can reread and analyze and dissect and interpret over and over again. So it’s almost like you have to be more careful with what you write because it doesn’t go away.  Especially with the internet.  Apparently nothing every disappears from the internet even when you hit delete.

So back to this blogging thing.  I’m going to share words with the world that can be reread and interpreted and obsessed over forever. Until someone really breaks the internet or it’s replaced by telepathy or something we’ve never considered that’s somehow more efficient and instantaneous.

Who do I want you to see? Which pieces of me do I show to the world? Do I just lay it all out there for you to judge? Do I only show the broken pieces so that you’ll think oh goodness how tragic she’s so brave for sharing that? Do I show you only the good things so you think I’ve got it all figured out and look how great she’s doing with all that she has going on?  Do I show you a little bit of everything?  The little broken pieces that I’m already working on and the good pieces that I’m proud of because it took a while to think of them as good pieces.  I don’t know.

My closest friends are really following along with this written journey. Or if they are they aren’t subscribed so maybe they catch it once they post to twitter. Hahaha. But they might be the ones to best tell you which side of me you’re getting.  My family doesn’t really do social media to the fullest.  My baby boomer generation parents and my generation X brothers. But perhaps the one brother with a twitter account takes a glimpse. Who knows.  Both are busy dads and husbands and might not have time to read my ramblings.

It’s funny. I feel like for a long time my brothers haven’t really been clued into what I’m doing with my life.  It’s kinda like the person you are with your friends isn’t always exactly the same person you are with your family.  I guess the person I’ve been as a professional “all these years” isn’t the person I am with my family.  Every now and then I’ll try to engage my parents in a social justice related conversation.  That’s kinda fun. My brothers and I only talk about the big events: hey I’m graduating are you coming? Hey I’m moving to Farmville. Hey I’m moving to Clemson. Hey I’m starting my PhD. Hey I’m going to school full time.  That’s about it.

Perhaps I underestimate them though.  Maybe they’re following along through my random posts and pictures and status updates.  Maybe they check in just to make sure I’m ok but don’t want to overburden me with texts and calls.  Maybe they do what I do. Wait for an update from mom since we all chat with her pretty regularly. Haha.

It’s funny. I’ve said that a couple times now I realize. Anyway. Even now as I’m typing this. Knowing that I’m probably gonna post it. I’m telling you things about my family that you might evaluate and reread and judge. But that’s cool. We all do it. We all hold up ourselves and compare to others to try to see if we’re doing better or worse. But I remember this quote, “Comparison is the killer of joy”. Or something like that.

It’s true though. We would never know we were happy or sad or cold or rich if we didn’t know what someone else was feeling or experiencing.  It’s human nature to compare. It’s American nature to compete. We want to be doing better than others and any other attempts are failures. But that’s a whole other post I think.

So, I’m looking at the time and I have about 2 minutes left. Funny. Again. Twenty minutes didn’t take long at all. It was just enough time before I have to leave for class.  Perhaps this time will be blog time every Monday. We’ll see.  There’s the potential for me to be posting daily depending on the prompts and twists of this challenge.  I’m excited though. I think this is somewhat cleansing to put my thoughts out into the world like this.  And I’m getting more comfortable with sharing with those of you that are reading.

Thanks for tuning in!

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6 thoughts on “Writing Challenge Day 1

  1. Fear is the hardest word for me to overcome, but I have reached an age where fear of not being good enough or not being liked or not being perfect is a far second to being me and taking on new challenges. Very inspiring. Keep up the good work!

  2. I, too have a fear of writing– like whether I ha e something worthwhile to say. It took me a long time to stop caring about what others thought and just start blogging when the spirit moved me.i am not as regular as I would like to be, but I’m sharing, and sometimes even getting feedback. I am part of the class because I want to improve. You have inspired me to keep going. The word fear is the hardest to fave. Thanks for sharing that thought.

    • Thank you for commenting! I’m noticing that bloggers have a little bit of a community and we all have different hang ups or things that give us pause. But we keep coming back. We keep sharing. And that’s really cool!

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