Today was the day that the 100 days of blogging almost came to an end. I almost just went to bed without writing anything, and I let myself justify it, too.
It really isn’t that big of a deal if I wait until the morning to write.
I’m so tired.
Nobody will notice or care if I don’t post something tonight.
Our minds are so powerful. I really convinced myself that it was no big deal if I quit my 100 day challenge on Day 83.
Thankfully, there’s Joel. And ironically, the reason he is even in my life at all is because of this blog post. So he doesn’t usually let me get away with excuses very easily. Especially when he knows something is important to me.
Maybe I know he’s going to challenge me, which is why I say, “you know what, I’m just going to go to bed.”
He literally said to me tonight, “Here lies Jenny. Finished 82 out of 100 blog posts.”
That is so messed up. But it got me to open my laptop.
I know I’ve been obsessing over The Beautiful Writers Podcast in the last few posts, but it’s really all I can listen to these days. There’s something so soothing and comforting to me to hear so many incredible women (and men) talk about their struggles and their process, especially when it comes to writing. It is NOT EASY.
Glennon Doyle said something about how everyday blogging can start to feel like you “owe” something to people — and it can be hard to know what you “owe” to your readers when it comes to your life and what you can keep for yourself. I think that’s becoming more and more prevalent with social media these days too. Everything is posted. Every moment is shared. It gets a little exhausting. And it’s one of the lessons I’ve learned from blogging every day. Yes, the muscle is absolutely worth strengthening. But sometimes writing deserves to be nurtured a little bit more and a little bit longer, and life feels too personal to share everything. I think both can exist, if so desired. Daily blogging and more nurtured “long game” writing.
I’ve been going days without posting on instagram lately because I’ve been feeling really introspective and I’ve had a lot of different (and new) emotions swirling through me. I feel guilty not posting more often (why is that?) but it also feels good.
It feels good not to post during introspective times because I think we need to work through things, chew on them enough to at least have an insight before simply pouring things out into an emotional puddle for others to bear witness to and take on. (That’s called our Facebook Newsfeed, and is precisely why I use the Newsfeed Eradicator). ;)
And that’s why I loved it when I heard Glennon say, “write from the scar, not the wound.” (Twitter post here).
“Love Warrior is intensely personal, but it’s not a diary. I started turning it into a memoir two years after it all happened, and I had enough distance to look at all of it somewhat objectively. I wrote the book and rewrote it, and with every paragraph asked myself: How is this not just about me, but about the reader? About all of us? How can I turn my personal story into something universal I sifted through my own pain and mined it for gold to share with others.
When we truth-tell widely in real time, it’s alarming to people because it can feel more like a cry for help than an act of service. You have to be still with your pain before you can offer it up and use it to serve and connect with people you don’t know.”
I loved this so much, and I agree.
Joel and I just talked this through and we came up with the idea that there are 3 kinds of writing.
- Writing for yourself (journaling, total “stream of consciousness” writing, brain drain).
- Writing with the intent to publish (blogging, writing an essay, an article, something more polished and with the intent for others to read immediately).
- A mixture of the 2 (writing about the full truth of opinions and feelings and events in your life, with the intent to possibly publish in the future, but with the intent to edit later. Not journaling, but free flowing writing without the pressure to edit and ship immediately).
The 3rd one is the one I’m most interested in right now. I know how to do the other 2. I have proven to myself that I can sit down and pump out a blog post even on days when I feel completely uninspired. I can also journal my little heart out but it’s not always even coherent and I would never publish most of it.
But the 3rd kind of writing, I think, is where real co-creation can happen. What is the truth right now? And how can I write FREELY about the truth, in a way that could potentially feel universal, but without needing to edit things out — because I’ve let go of the pressure to press “publish” today?
As Mary Karr says here, just “write the next true thing.”
That’s the kind of writing that creates books, I think. Or projects. Or some kind of epic something of some sort. It has to start that way. With just writing for writing’s sake. Not journaling. Not blogging or writing an article for immediate publishing. But just writing… It’s a different thing. And I didn’t really see that until today.
But then I listened to probably 5 straight hours of that writing podcast. (I was driving, ok!?)
When you write that way, that’s when you end up writing more from your scars than from the wound itself, because you’re able to add and edit. Even though the wound is where the writing may have originated from.
Ah, that’s kinda beautiful, and seems like such a total win-win.