Writing is like making music or playing sports or growing a garden; you start with a seed of talent, you water it with passion, and eventually, under the bright sun of studying & practicing & working, you grow and bloom. With tenacity, dreams unfold, intentions manifest; and when you look people in the eye, they know you’re living your highest potential for the greatest good. They know that you want the same for them. Because the fruit of the earth is sweet and plentiful and there is enough for everyone.
So, I write as often as possible. Pages sprawled across journals, notes to myself and others, blogs, poems, short stories, and stories longer than 100,000 words. I write words that will never be read, and words that will be read by many, both known and unknown. If I can’t sleep, I write in bed. I’ve learned not to fight the words scrolling through my mind like a news ticker or a screen saver. If I give them life, they usually whisper long enough for me to fall asleep. At least until my sleeping dreams beg them to come out and play.
Those words I write in bed, they’re for me. As an occasional blogger and intentional communicator, I have the propensity to look at my words from the angle of usability. I wrote this long profound manifesto about recovering my true self; and I don’t want it to go to waste, sitting in my big (and growing) collection of random essays, poetry and lists, collecting dust and banging on the door. Begging for space to dance.
Likewise, when I cook something creative that vibrates with life force and flavor, I want to share it on the internet. I want to give you the recipe and take pictures and spread the word: whole foods is good food. But I don’t. Because I don’t cook with a recipe, because I don’t know much about food photography, because some things are sacred. I have learned that I am not a food blogger. I cook for my friends and family, not for an audience.
In this epoch, social media infiltrates our lives. We share photos, feelings and significant events via digital communications. If you’re a blogger, you must share some part of yourself. You must draw an ambiguous line. How much should we reveal to our Facebook friends? How many of our thoughts need to be tweeted? How many hours should we spend behind the camera or the screen or the scenes?
I think we know the answers, but we must first ask the questions. What is sacred and what is fair game? When does social media stop being fun and start being invasive? How much will my future self cringe at the details I’ve etched into the internet? The web, like a time capsule, captures my life, and maybe yours, with every tweet, post and snapshot. The evidence doesn’t fall down the rabbit hole, it falls into the future; into the hands of fear and the hands of love.
I’ve learned, I’m learning, to draw lines. Writing just to write, but not posting just to post.