Saturday, November 22, 2014

Writing

I haven't written a post in quite some time. Oddly, I think about blogging several times a week. It seems as though the more I think about writing but don't, I become more and more paralyzed and less likely to begin again.

So here I am again, making an attempt to begin again, writing about writing. I don't know why I feel drawn to writing, especially since I don't do it very often. I don't know if I feel like my thoughts are clever or important enough to let others read them. Rather, I think it is because the process of writing helps, or has helped me process my thoughts and emotions. I remember taking a writing class at BYU where the teacher had us perform timed free-writing exercises on a very regular basis. I forget how often or for how long, but I remember being instructed to just start writing and not stop. We were told not worry about punctuation, spelling, etc. We would then email the teacher the writings, though I don't know if he ever read them. It was an interesting exercise, and I found it liberating and therapeutic to allow words to flow without nitpicking, editing, or censoring.

I remember when I first started this blog. Many of my friends were also blogging at the time. Most were about feelings, experiences, and ideas. Few still blog, and most that do have transitioned into writing about their families as they've married and have started having kids. There's nothing wrong with such blogs, and I enjoy reading some of them as it allows me to stay up to date on their families and lives. However, I miss the raw inner expressions of those early blogs. As with a few other trends I've noticed among my peers, I can't decide if that trend was a product of society (like Yoyos, JNCO jeans, or pogs), or whether it was a product of the age of those involved (becoming one's own person as you experience college).

During the years where I blogged, I felt a lot more expressive and open. Blogging felt like a safe way to open up myself to my friends. I wasn't too concerned about who would read it or what they would think of me. I often discussed relationships, both positively and negatively, and even used people's names. Whether my openness was the cause or the product of blogging, I don't know. It was probably a bit of both. However, I do know that I feel more private, closed, and introverted now. Many times I've not blogged because I worry about who will read my blog and what they will think. I feel more vulnerable. It may be because now as a professional I interact with a lot of people who do not know me outside of my role as a dentist, and I want to preserve the dynamics of those relationships. During college, the only people that were looking for me by name were likely people with whom I interacted as a friend, or ward member, or classmate. I may not be able to pinpoint it exactly, but something feels different now.

I've considered taking my blog private, starting a new blog incognito without giving identifying information, or just continuing on with this one. Given that the latter is the path of least resistance, that is what I am doing right now. It may mean I am a little more guarded and a little less open, and I may choose another option down the road. But if I continue to blog, I hope I will at least reap some of the benefits of writing that I once enjoyed.

I don't know if anyone still reads this blog, or if that even matters. A month or two ago I started keeping a weekly journal, and now I think I'll try to get back into writing here. There is something therapeutic about putting your thoughts down in words. As I've grown older I've found myself becoming a much less opinionated person. While many on Facebook express very strongly opinionated posts, I often find myself either not caring, or having a very middle-ground view. Sometimes that leaves me feeling a certain way that I can't quite describe. It is somewhere between feeling uneducated, apathetic, uninvolved, and dispassionate. At times I wish I was a very opinionated, passionate person brimming with conviction, even though logically I think the most reasonable opinion often lies towards the middle of many polarizing topics. But perhaps opinions and passions are formed through analyzing, processing, and writing one's thoughts and feelings.

In summary, I'm going to make an attempt at writing here regularly. My writing may be for me as much or more than for anyone who might read it. And this post is how I'll begin.

3 comments:

Alexia Proulx said...

Oooh! I remember when we were supposed to purge and push our thoughts onto paper without worrying about punctuation and edits, too! I remember writing about the tortilla soup at Blue Moon Cafe. Mmmm that stuff was good.

Keith said...

I enjoyed this post. I'm thinking about blogging again too. Frankly, that is why I sought out your blog--to see what you have most recently said. I must say I was pleased to find that your blog is still here and that, even better, you are active on it.

A big reason I stopped blogging is I often feel like I have nothing of real value to say. I regularly thought before, "Who am I fooling--pretending like I have ideas that are unique, valuable, or interesting?" I don't feel that way completely, but there is a strong voice that I think does have some credibility.

Of course, there is always the option of working to be more real, more vulnerable, and I think that is what most appeals to me about this kind of writing.

Anyway I enjoyed seeing this and your above posts.

Gabe said...

Keith,

Thanks. The thing is, I think that people say much more valuable and interesting things on blogs than Facebook. And on Facebook you are pushing it in front of other people, whereas at least on a blog only those interested in what you have to say have to seek it out and read it.

I hope to get more regular, but haven't gotten back in the habit yet. Regardless, I'd like to see you post again too.