Writing And Not Writing.
Wednesday August 14th 2013, 12:41 am
Filed under: Me, Myself, and Reid, Word Nerd

I started writing this on Saturday, but ran into a self-imposed deadline. I decided to finish it tonight.

1) When something impacts my life in any sort of meaningful way, one of my first instincts is to write about it. Recording important moments and events through writing is a way for me to preserve my state of mind, something that wouldn’t necessarily be the case if I looked back at my calendar to help me recall things that happened. Even a video of such moments only captures so much. There’s a very important extra dimension to all noteworthy things in life that I know, if not preserved in writing, I would surely forget.

2) I find writing very therapeutic. Editing and rewriting contains happy moments when various ideas come together, things I didn’t realize had any connection in my first draft. Building these connections, snapping them into place by moving a sentence around or by adding a word or two is very rewarding.

3) By the third or fourth edit, my writing is almost pure anxiety. My constant need to fix and change and add and better every detail is overwhelming. Even though my anxiety manifests itself physically, causing me to sweat and tremble and growl and bang my head, it’s been very difficult for me, over the past few years, to stop myself from over-editing and rewriting entire pieces over and over again.

4) All of that anxious rewriting is to blame for several years of only a trickle of my writing appearing here. I’ve written volumes, entire epics that I’ve torn to shreds and written over and over again. I have nearly as many unseen drafts from the past three years as I have posts from the past six years.

5) I’m not under the impression that anything I write here will launch a career or vault me to superstardom. That’s not why I write in my blog. Why then, the need for perfection? There are not many things I’ve felt I could control in my life over the past several years. My blog is one thing over which I have complete control, even if I can’t control the OCD that overtakes me once I start editing and rewriting. I’ve had help coming to this realization.

6) Since I’ve started back up again, I’ve set rules for myself. They’re definitely helping me not go insane to finish writing posts I start. I’m spending much less time editing and rewriting because of time limits. The hardest thing has been reading each post after I’ve made it public and then not going back and editing it.

I always, always see sentences I want to rewrite and little jokes I could have worded so much better, not to mention the occasional misspelled word and vagrant punctuation mark. Why is there a comma in the middle of that word?! Usually the answer is–and I’m not ashamed to admit this–I have an addiction to commas. I NEED MORE COMMAS HERE AND LESS OVER THERE TO BALANCE OUT MY COMMA KARMA!! But, ultimately, I’m pleased that I’ve managed to stick to my rules so far.

7) I cannot think of anything from my life that I’ve been too self-conscious to write about in this blog. Perhaps I am very open about my life or perhaps I just can’t remember those particularly personal moments I chose not to write about. All the more reason to write as often as possible!

8) Despite my feelings of openness, there is a part of my life I have always had trouble writing about here. When other people’s personal lives are involved in my personal moments, I hit a barrier. For instance, I never wrote about my break-up with my girlfriend of nearly a decade on here, and I probably won’t ever do so. I haven’t written about some critical family situations that have occurred over the past year. (even writing those last two rather unspecific sentences was very difficult for me)

These things have all majorly impacted my life and have played roles in continuing to define who I am. But, ultimately, they present a barrier I haven’t been able to cross. I’m trying to figure out a way to confront this that doesn’t make me feel that I’m outing other people’s most personal moments. I need to find a way that’s comfortable for me to write about these things, because not writing about them has left some very big unwritten holes in this blog.

–Reid.


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