15 January 2020
Once again, it’s been awhile. I know, I know. I come back every now and then, posting some grandiose statement about my intentions or about the meaning of life. I then share it on my social media feeds and wait to see if anybody’s reading my stuff.
As Carly Simon sings: Anticipation…..
I’m embarrassed by my vanity.
Anyway, I was looking through my entries from years ago (I think I wrote this very line in a previous post lamenting about my lack of posting), and I realized (for the first time? Second? Fifteenth?) that I really cut my teeth on writing here in my earlier years of writing and publishing. I took some risks, sharpened my voice, and – maybe most importantly – showed up rather regularly to establish a steady writing routine.
It’s time to return to those roots, with a few changes.
Before I get to those, though, I want to talk a little about the importance of returning to the raw essence of self. I wrote a whole book about this (Fossil Five, if you haven’t read it yet), and still I find myself lured to pleasing the masses so desperately, even if in subtle ways. Don’t get me wrong- my words are authentic and genuine, but I daresay I refresh my feeds a little too much to see how those words are being received.
I think many of us are in this together, but I also think there are more than a few of you out there who do a much better job than most in keeping the ego in a jar by the door as you live your life without wondering what the world thinks of you.
I aspire to Simplify, Simplify, Simplify and follow the words of Thoreau, to live life a little more intentionally and simply, without all of the fanfare of updates, likes, and emojis.
Intended story of my life.
But that’s okay. I keep coming back to it, like the Narrator in Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane, who returns periodically to the Hempstock Farm for reasons he cannot remember (and for good reason, but I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who have it next on your list after you finish Fossil Five, <wink><wink>). It’s like anything else, really. You know where the center is, and you know it’s really good to be very close to it, but you stray anyway. Life carries you here and there, until you remember that there’s something important waiting for you back there. So you go. You return. And you discover all over again why the center is good.
I guess the key for me (and for all of us, if we’re to be honest) is to figure out how to stay there once we’ve returned.
Back to those changes I mentioned a few words ago.
In the time of the origins of the core of who I am, way back there when The Grateful Dead were hitting their ’70’s stride, and Zeppelin, Styx, and Foreigner were paving their own paths, I wasn’t writing for social media or likes. I was just grinding out poetry and prose that sounded good to me. I didn’t really care what others thought.
And that, my friends, is how you develop an authentic voice.
I think that, by not writing here like I used to in the “old” days, I’ve lost some of that primal writing. You get rusty when you’re not in practice for the right reasons. You get rusty when you write more for the pleasure of others (and likes, and emojis) than you do when you are writing more authentically for yourself.
It’s the difference in having you over for Christmas dinner (do you like how my crystal shines?) and keeping the door open for you to stop by whenever is good for you (don’t mind my dirty socks there under the couch…).
That’s the way I’ll be here. And no tags, no categories, no big pushes to other platforms. It’s nothing but me as you see me from here on out.
So I’m going to do my best in being “just only me” and leaving the door open for you to pop your head in every now and then. I’m not going to post to the social circles that I’ve pub’d another piece here; if you find me, stay awhile.
Otherwise, I’ll see you when I see you. No big deal.
2 thoughts on “No Big Deal”
Love this. I feel there’s a movement toward authenticity and returning to center that is stirring within so many people right now. Much of this resonated with me.
Thanks, Cara. I think what is especially strong right now is the mindfulness of returning to our center in a time where we are tempted so strongly to do just the opposite. I feel the need to share my thoughts with a larger audience, but I cannot be concerned with the “likeability factor” with each post. Doing this allows me to be more authentic without looking for anything in return. I do this all the time with my daybook, but the blog serves a different purpose, as it is what I want to share with my larger community, but I don’t want it to boxed in to the desire to please a particular audience. For me, this is liberating, and essential, to be a better writer overall.