Unlike many other bloggers on WordPress, I’m not a writer. I’m not even an aspiring writer. I enjoy this blog it’s fun, but I would never think of writing as something that could be a career for me. Besides, having read a few other blogs I know I’m actually not so great at it either, so it’s probably a good thing I’m not relying on it to make me my millions. This for me is therapy, it’s to help me face my less desirable personality traits (e.g. whining and general pessimism) and get the hell over whatever is bugging me at any particular moment. It’s easy to have a whinge to your friends and then immediately forget about it, only to whinge again few days, hours or minutes later about the exact same thing. They’re your friends of course, so unless you are really ticking them off, they will politely listen and nod and make all of the sympathetic noises at all the right times, and maybe they might repeat some of the great advice that they have previously offered, and which you obviously did not take given you are whining to them all over again.
However, when you write out your rants, in black and white, for all the world to see (should they bother to check it out) it makes it a bit more difficult to repeat oneself over and over in a single day without it making you look a little…well, boring.
It also forces you to stop and think a little about what it is you are writing (or, as in my case, more often than not- complaining) about. Does it have to be a complaint? Is there a silver lining? How has this experience changed me for the better? Is there another perspective? Do you have all the facts?
Now, if you do happen to be a savvy writer, you might be lucky enough to have a few dozen (or more) people from around the world leave a comment with some advice or encourage you to look at something from a different angle (and sometimes if you’re really lucky you will have some twat post a completely ignorant comment, maybe spam a few of your followers and spark an interweb spat which completely distracts you from your current problem, such that by the time all the bytes settle, you are over it anyway).
Alternatively, no matter how bad you are at writing, and assuming you’ve told people about your blog, there is always going to be someone reading it. Whether it’s your bestie, your mum, your sibling or your co-worker (hopefully not in my case, how mortifying would that be?!) and chances are they are able to provide you with little nuggets of wisdom when next you are sitting down for a coffee (or milling around the water cooler).
So, whilst my blog started out as a means for me to vent, it is now also a means via which I encourage feedback. The beauty being of course, that once I have received the feedback, I can then go back and review my original post with the benefit of this new knowledge, and hopefully, that leads to learning, or as I like to refer to it: growth.
Some people don’t need feedback. Some people are smart enough, gracious enough, calm enough and confident enough to just sort through it all themselves.
Me? On one hand I’m a sponge, I talk to lots of different people about what’s bugging me in the hopes that each person will provide me with an entirely unique thought on the matter- giving me far more information to absorb and process- but which, in the end, results in me feeling like I have done a thorough job in analysing the facts and non-facts and coming to a logical, reasonable conclusion.
Or I end up even more confused.
On the other hand, I am also now discovering that I have an intuition that is more often than not accurate. Some people are good at following their ‘gut instinct’. I have never been one of them. I have lived my entire existence feeling confused, not knowing what I want or think and being distracted by what I think I should want, or think. The process of writing has helped this because, in order for the blog to not be completely boring to my friends, I try not to talk about the subject matter too much before I have written the post. By the time I have written an entry, posted it and had my friends read it, I have already done a lot of self-analysis, which in turn has helped me to tap into my own intuition, into what I know. So then the feedback either becomes a validation of what I already concluded, or it shows me that I haven’t really looked at something objectively, OR it highlights that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another and that my friends, leads to tolerance (of myself and of others) and again: growth.
So my conclusion is this:
Writers must be geniuses.
I’ve only been doing this for 9 months and I feel enlightened. Imagine what it’s like after you’ve been writing (personally OR professionally) for years! Long term writers must feel like they’ve been touched by the freakin’ hand of God or something!
Is this what it’s like to have a religion? Whoa- I’d better stop there, that’s gotta be a whole other blog…