I signed up for Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit. The first assignment is to ‘take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.’ Then if you feel brave, click on that friendly/scary Publish button. If you’re reading this, then I guess you know which I did. You’re ahead of me, because I don’t know yet.
20:00 minutes – Timer starts:
Can I write? Or can I recall how to write? Not that I ever was any good. Maybe I was school report good or business letter good once. I don’t know that I am anymore. Maybe, the more interesting question is can I tell a story? Have it make sense? Be compelling. Can you do that from the shadows? Hiding away. Will I have to stand naked for all to see? Hair a mess, crooked tooth, warts, moles, scars and all. Standing in the park waiting to be abandoned. Can I tell my truth without showing myself?
In 12th grade, I took a writing class that was supposed to help you get ready for college. Everyday we had to write for 20 minutes in a notebook, without stopping, anything that popped into our heads. At first I dreaded the idea of trying to come up with something interesting to write. Which is odd given I was the going to be the only one to ever read it. Eventually I looked forward to it each day. I would think about what I was going to write. After the class was over, I never really keep up with it. It was a combination of lack of structure and fear that someone might read it. The same year I had another class. Something about life skills. Anyway one of the assignments was to write about your family. I was honest. I told the truth. My mom found the paper and was very upset. So upset she had a meeting with the teacher. Don’t get me wrong. This does not lay all at her feet. That fear was there before it actually happened. It just did not help. So each time I write something, I have the same fear I imagine we all do. That someone will read it, hate it and shame you.
That does not make me special. It makes me ordinary. The thing is I know some extraordinary people. One in particular. So once again (I have tried a few times since then), I jump (maybe a small jump) into the blank page. I guess 30 years since HS, it is a blank screen.
Not sure if I can complete the 20 day course. Don’t know if I will ever write anything really good. Don’t know if I will overcome my flaw or be undone by it. But lets be honest, I have many flaws. Some days it seems all I can do is make mistakes. Don’t really know how people don’t see that. Maybe they are too busy seeing there own, even if they only see them in other people.
Can I write? Sure I can string some words together, make lots of spelling errors, grammar mistakes and some errors I never even heard/read of. Can I write while standing naked, alone, afraid with others slinging mud just to feel better about themselves.