It occurs to me that coming back to writing after being away too long is like running into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. It’s awkward. You don’t quite know what to say, but it feels like something ought to be said. There’s a fear of being mundane (weather chat) or being too bold (not appropriate to bare your soul). When one day turns into one week, which turns into one month or more, it becomes harder and harder to reach out.
Sometimes, I get busy, find other sources of amusement or feel uninspired. There are times I would rather read other blogs and comment than originate a post. Other times, when my business writing prospers, I become saturated and can no longer bear to sit in front of the computer and write again. Work always comes first, and sometimes it drains me.
But I do miss the white page, the freedom to say whatever is on my mind. Well, that’s not entirely true, and maybe that’s the core of the problem. I write deliberately, careful not to offend when possible, always conscious of the fact we are all under the watchful eye of who knows who (employers, co-workers?). I draw boundaries around the trajectory from my brain to the page that restrain me from complete freedom of expression.
Then again, life has been good. Overall, I am in a good place with home, family, work and a small circle of friends. Maybe I need some angst to trigger the writing bug. There’s certainly no shortage of that in the world. But I’ve been letting the daily annoyances roll off, like the anguish with my work computer that refused to function properly, and the IT guy who put me through painful hours trying to fix it only to confess later that he had a new computer in reserve he could send me. Even the stock market plunge didn’t send me into a tailspin this time around. Perhaps I have mellowed with age.
In any event, it’s nice to know that you can run into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while, get comfortable again, overcome the awkwardness, and find something to say; somewhere in between mundane and bold, even if it has been weeks or months since you’ve reached out.