Why We Do

I’ve been writing more in recent months than ever before. Writing is what I get paid to do and it’s what I love to do. It’s my flow, my happy place.

I’m beginning to come around to the idea of the aphorism shared by authors, English teachers, and writing coaches everywhere: if you want to be a better writer, you simply have to write. A lot. The more you do the whole “butt in chair” thing, the stronger the muscle gets. Best of all, you begin to see opportunities to self-edit and express yourself with greater precision.

In the vein of my recent post about journaling, I think it’s good to have a written reference to the feelings and activities of our old selves, but I struggle with how to determine what gets shared and what’s best left in your “Dear Diary” Moleskine hidden under the mattress? Brene’ Brown shared perspective on this in a podcast interview: Don’t write about something until you’re through it to the other side. That way, the haters can’t harm you, because their voices won’t matter.

I was talking with a wise friend today, expressing my discomfort over the fact that so much about the “public” me is hanging out online, that I OWN a domain called “letting people in” for crying out loud, and my thoughts are archived and readable for anyone curious enough to Google me well. I do this all to myself, I know. My gratification when I see my site traffic from the around the world assures me my stories and tips are helping people, so what’s the problem?

It’s become an in-real-life conundrum. When people meet me in real time, the Rochelle they get may not be the person of their projections, or who I was when I wrote my book, or even the person who feels the same way about what she wrote a year ago. And, yes, you’re smart if you think, “Well, isn’t that the whole point?” To grow, to evolve, to no longer believe some of the ardent but misguided notions we had done such a good job of convincing ourselves were once true?

Yes, yes it is.

This seems timelier now more than ever. Bigly.