I’ve woken up with the space to write. It hasn’t happened in a while. But rather than dive head first into the words, I have paused. Do I really want to write?
It’s not a question I have asked before. Time may have been lacking, inspiration perhaps, but motivation has always been there. Some time ago asking if I really wanted to write would have been akin to asking if I really wanted to breathe. I have never pushed writing so close to the edge of my experience.
My mind has been full lately. Of work, of family, of questions, of decisions. In days past, I would have written that out. I would have felt my way to a conclusion with words. A stream of consciousness that would unlock ideas and solutions.
But words have become the public things, not the private things.
Even in the privacy of my own journal, I am cautious. I write as the world is reading (the world is not reading). I cast a virtual eye over my virtual shoulder and listen to the censor in my head. Access is blocked and there are places I fear to tread. Those places used to be paved with words, messy and strange thoughts.
Has my world of pretend stretched so far? That I cannot even write in the most freeing way? The kind of liberating play with words that brings me thoughts I didn’t know existed. That blind stumbling in an unknown direction into exhilaration and frustration.
Even with the words that will never be published, it’s hard to let go. I still pause and agonise over the correct expression. It’s as though the collation and the self-protection that accompanies social media has seeped into my creativity. Gagged the words that will never be shared.
Is it because I have ceased to see the value in those private spaces? Those moments where creativity is fleeting and incredibly personal? Writing does more than connect me with other people, it connects me with myself. The latter being where the real benefit lies.
If I write (primarily) for my health, my sense of well-being and to nourish my creativity, why am I so concerned about carefully weighing the words? Does the trepidation come from an innate tendency towards perfection or does it come from self-censorship that has now become habit?
I will always protect myself and my family in the context of social media – I won’t over-share stories, particualrly when they are not mine. It is where I will always be wary and I don’t really care if that means I am adding to the highlight reel fallacy. It doesn’t feel like a safe space to be unihibited.
But real can live here. In the words and the thoughts. In the depths.
Maybe I just need to relax into it. Take a deep breath. Let go. Dive.
Have you been here before?