What to Write When Writing a Written Work

19

Photo taken by the author; Three Sister’s Mountain Range; Canmore, AB

“Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”

– John Green

Here I sit, on a late Thursday night, with my Macbook open, ready and willing to work on a blog post I’m writing (this one, for example.) I think to myself, as I have often thought before, “What do I write about?” or “Where do I start?”

I look at the word count on the footer of my page and it shows: 12 words – mostly consisting of some random thoughts I’ve jotted down. In one way, it’s exciting as I have a couple of ideas to work with as I create something out of nothing. In another way, it feels overwhelming to be staring literally at a blank screen trying to first pick a topic to write on and to then follow a specific train of thought in producing a 400-500 word work.

As I write, I am left to the few devices of a laptop and the ideas that bloom ever-so-brightly in my own mind. I think to myself, “Where am I going to get the ideas, let alone the words, to fill all this empty space with some sort of substance?” You know, the good kind that people will actually take the time to read and thoughtfully think about, and perhaps even take to heart. At times I feel I don’t really have much to go off of, except for an aspiration to write something meaningful, something worthwhile.

My goal in writing is to be authentic. That is, with the topic I have chosen and how to go about communicating it. Being authentic also means expressing something that is honest and real to me and that people can relate to and connect with. After all, we’re human being’s living a shared journey, in many respects, and one of the key benefits that writing affords is to capture these similar experiences we all go through in a written format – for the purpose of being read, reflected upon, and shared amongst others.

In keeping with authenticity, this task has proved to be rather difficult and challenging for me. One reason is that it can feel as if I’m laying myself bare before a reading world of the Internet sensation. Being honest takes guts. It would be easier to write on something that someone else has already said or to write about current, contemporary, cultural topics – the kind you hear everyday. But then, how boring would that be to listen to the same old song?

All this to say, it’s a work that can seem pretty daunting at first. At times I feel lost, like a hiker in the Rocky Mountains without a compass, guide, or map, and the sun setting rapidly over the Western landscape. At times I wonder, “Will people even read what I have to say?”

Yet, the process is pretty incredible when reflected upon: an idea comes to mind, words are then transferred on to a page, then edited (many times over, that is), and then published to this blog site – all to sit before someone else’s eyes to gaze upon via any number of technological devices (whether a phone, iPad, tablet, or laptop) in any type of setting (on a lunch break, in between meetings, in the evening, at home, in the bathroom, or before bed.)

 

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