The Exciting Boredom and Riveting Frustration of Writing

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If somebody were to ask me what it looks and feels like to write about things you care about, I would say this.

Writing is not merely pen to paper or a fingers to keyboard approach to getting your thoughts out. That is merely the mode, cause and effect of verbal articulation whereby you discuss or instruct something about a subject you know a lot, enough, or nothing about. When writing/blogging, there are no two times whereby I’m in the same state of mind or emotion. I am complicated, as are you, and nothing stands still, especially your frame of mind while doing any one focused task. Each time I sit at my desk, I am not only a smidgen older, but I am enriched, sharpened, blunted, knocked around and reshaped by all the good and bad things that have occurred since last meeting with the keyboard.

When I write my best, I am transported to a place where both nervous energy and deep boredom meets in the middle. It’s quite frankly, uncomfortable, but…fun? I can feel a sense of excitement at the prospect of positively helping somebody with my words yet likewise feel deep frustration that though my mind can reel off a thousand thoughts a second on a topic, the words on paper come painfully slow. You have to deal with distractions coming up, most of which, come from your own head chatter.

It takes discipline to stick with a narrow topic and discard the infinite ideas that rush in and out of your head. There is a dance that you do – the ballroom dance of staying in linked arms with your minds thoughts, getting ideas written down while editing, trimming, pruning just enough as you go, so when you reread it, you know what you are even talking about. Like a song that slows down and speeds up, if you want best effect, you will try keep up with the tempo.

For me, I involuntarily fidget and shuffle my toes around, looking around the room as if the answer is written on the wall. I like to look out a window and gaze a thousand yards east to west aloof. I am furiously googling half baked thoughts and searching for word definitions so I can have assurance the audience has accurate information. Silently, I’m also fighting the voice that whispers “It’s all been said before, so don’t bother. People don’t want to hear what you have to say, go do something actually useful with your time”

If you’ve ever thought about taking up writing (of which there are many kinds) but are worried about how trite, pithy, difficult, and vain it seems, don’t let it stop you. Writing does not need to be too serious or too romanticized to be effective. Write about what you had for dinner and how it made you feel. What sounds did you hear in the foreground and what was the weather doing? What obscure questions randomly popped into your head and how did you tackle it? What is the summary of the lessons learnt this day?

Take a thought, stick with it, and be open to what you teach yourself along the way.

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