I set up this blog at the beginning of the year with nothing but good intentions. And yet, as the third month of 2012 comes to an end I have made exactly one post. So much for my good intentions.
Writing is important to me. When I was a teenager my life goal was to be a writer. I spent some time writing for a small family of newspapers, and received some recognition for my efforts, including two shared editorial writing awards from the Colorado Press Association. I’ve taken a whole host of creative writing courses, including one with the fantastic and fantastical writer Rikki DuCornet. I have written what by now must be thousands of pages of academic papers. I have been told on many occasions that I have talent, a gift even. And yet I have left many words unwritten and ideas uninvoked. I suppose I could blame my schedule. Work and a school do leave me with little time for extracurricular activities. And yet, I also manage to find plenty of hours for mindless diversions. Do I really need to check Facebook more than once or twice a day? Do I really need to watch another hour of television? Probably not. At the end of the week, when once again I have failed to write anything substantial, I am left feeling like I have committed a sin. What else do you call allowing a gift to atrophy?
It is not that I haven’t sat before my computer with the intention of saying something. However words and ideas seem to elude me. I am a master of staring at blank screens and empty pages. In some sense I feel like a fisherman, sitting in a boat on a quiet pond. I know there are fish to be caught, yet I’m not even throwing out my line. The question isn’t whether or not I can write, but rather, what do I have to say? Or maybe it is even more than that. Perhaps the question is what do I need to say?
We live in a time when it seems like everyone is saying something. This blog is just one of millions. I do not know if anyone will read it, and honestly that is not the point really. The point is to write, to think (because writing is thinking), to hone my craft and to speak with confidence. In an age when idiocy reigns supreme and people like Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and Rush Limbaugh are given public platforms to spew forth drivel and demagoguery, the urge to speak, to incant some truth as a counter spell is becoming more and more overwhelming.
Some time ago I had a dream in which a former friend told me “You have a voice,” and then asked “Don’t you think it is time you used it?” Indeed, I believe it is.