The Trouble With Writing

I have this longstanding love/hate relationship with writing.
I love the articulation of thought, the solving of ideas, the expressing of inner qualities.
The trouble with readers is, what they see is what they get.
You people, you read my blog and you somehow think what I put up here is some finite guide to the divinity of Steff, or some such.
Unfortunately, it’s not. These posts can sometimes be all-important treatises that stand as a testimony to who and what I am and always shall be. But, most of the time, they’re snapshots into a moment of time, a thought I had, a feeling that represents who I am at this given time in my hopefully 80-odd-years-plus.
My friends who’ve known me for a long time, they know this about me. I change and grow in ridiculous strides. This fact can be true whilst coexisting with that seemingly-contradictory, but-also-absolute-truth about me. Why? Because I’m a ridiculously complex person and even I don’t understand myself all the time.
Blogs should be taken with a hefty dose of salt. Any blog, but doubly mine. When you’re thinking “but how much salt?” Consider it to be like the intensely high ratio of salt you might use for rimming a margarita glass. This ain’t no dusting over your dinner, okay? Choke on that salt and you know you’re on the right path.
Whatever blog-writing is, as true-to-self as it probably is on some level, the thing you, the reader, must always remember is: This is crafted for an audience.
What I would write for myself would be considerably less funny, less conversational, and a whole lot more investigative.
Why I choose to blog instead of journal is, I find journalling takes me to darker places, always more mundane and self-involved locales. Blogging, I sanitize things, and — wait for it — I try to explore themes I think other people might identify with.
And it’s funny, because, though I know my blog is some altered view on my life (and don’t even get me started about Twitter and how it relates to who I am or am not), I would be absolutely crestfallen if a love interest showed no affinity for my writing or my blog. Because this *IS* a huge part of me. Aspects — bits and pieces — of these blogs of mine cut closer to home than I ever thought I’d be brave enough to admit in conversation sometimes.
Another struggle with writing is, we have to extract ideas from everywhere. Something occurs in conversation with a friend or arises from a difficulty with a lover, my job as a writer is to find something in that which I can then turn into an idea that can be understood and related to by my audience. If I can’t draw influences from my own life, where can I? My friends learn to realize that I’m not addressing them or our situation, but rather extrapolating reality to share a part of the human condition with others. In my foibles and flaws and failings, I find community with others. That’s where writing comes from — from being human, from being weak, from being inquisitive.
So where do we draw the line when showing these blogs of ours to others? Where should the line of interpretation end for readers that are intimately involved in our lives? When should the written word be construed as a greater truth than what is spoken, when it comes to interpersonal relationships?
Fucked if I know, man.
I really don’t know. I don’t know how to reconcile who I am on the page or screen with what I offer in real life. I don’t even know how to articulate how I differ from the image I project.  I don’t know a damned thing.
But I do know I’m both. I’m this girl and I’m that girl. I’m so much more than this girl. And I suppose part of the struggle of life is eventually understanding ourselves on all those levels, knowing that it’s okay to be confident and funny and assured, all the while being scared and confused and a little lost inside. It’s okay to accept that each of us lives within our own dichotomy.
Us writers, though, our mistake? Airing our dirty dichotomies for all to see.

3 thoughts on “The Trouble With Writing

  1. Diva

    I love this post! You make so many of the same points I think about when it comes to blogging and living your life online.
    Diva’s last blog post..Sex 2.0

  2. Tony Letts

    Your human warmth and larger than life character shines through your blogs. I am learning that blogs show only facets of the people who write them and that as you imply, writing them is a necessity.

    1. A Scribe Called Steff Post author

      Thanks, Tony. It’s interesting you say “necessity” because a quote I have framed and sitting on my desk someplace, as well as on my other blog — both unnecessarily as I know it by rote — is from Pulitzer-Prize winner Richard Ford, and is one of my favourite quotes on this matter:
      “Writing for a living is a privilege, not a God-given right. The opportunities are few, thought sought-after by many. There are years of rejection, which serve as a crude winnowing process, after which those left standing are those who simply must write.”
      Diva, thanks honey. I have been thinking about this matter a lot these days. It sort of irks me that everyone in my life reads my blog, but I kind of also wouldn’t have it any other way. Kinda keeps shit real. 🙂

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