Thursday, January 06, 2011

Exposing the editor in my head

I wish I could download the dialogue going through my head right now. Exposing it might shut it down. Let me give it a try:

Linda the blogger: I wonder what I should write about today.
Linda the editor: Don't write about the farm. People are going to get tired of hearing about that.
Blogger: I doubt they're getting tired of it.
Editor: Okay, maybe they aren't but people at work might think you don't like your job anymore.
Blogger: Why would they think that?
Editor: All you ever write about is the farm.
Blogger: That's silly.

Am I the only one who has conversations like this in my head? I know better than to pay attention to them, but I'll admit to getting shut down by them from time to time. Sometimes the conversation doesn't even get past "What am I going to write about?" The thought of arguing with the editor in my head is too exhausting, so I move on to reading the newspaper or Facebook or something else entirely and give up on writing. I thought I'd write about this craziness today in an attempt to steal some of the editor's power and move beyond getting shut down. I'm not looking for advice. I know what to do. I'm just being honest about what goes on in an attempt to change it.

I think I have to make up my mind that writing is my choice. Whether or not anyone reads it is her or his choice. Writing for me serves a purpose well beyond entertaining a reader. It's a way of capturing my experience in the world and making meaning from it, however tentative and fleeting that meaning may be. To the extent that it connects with someone else, a reader, is going to vary from time to time, but that doesn't make the process any less valuable to me. Like all good disciplines, just doing it on a day when the greatest meaning I find is "Well, I did that," helps ensure that I will be where I need to be to do what I need to do when the times come for finding treasure in my experience, for new understanding to emerge out of the words that flow from my mind onto the computer screen or paper, sometimes with barely any consciousness of them before they appear in front of me.


Anonymous said...

I hope writing this today helps you 'shutup' the editor in your head. Next time it starts to censor you, tell it that you have to write first, then edit :) That's how it usually works, I think.

Thanks for being open with us. Your honesty is appreciated in this corner of the world.

jo(e) said...

I love that you wrote the dialogue down! The editor in my head is always stopping me mid-sentence! Yes, she's rude like that. I find myself saying things like, "Shut up! Can't you at least let me finish the sentence before you tell me it's crap?"