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who’s listening?

October 15, 2011

When I started my blog almost 2 years ago, I was my own most-frequent reader, but I had 3 other people that read what I wrote most of the time. They almost never commented though. So occasionally I would wonder, why am I bothering to put my words out into the world? Does anyone care what I have to say about anything?

What I came up with was a conceit that I was talking to the universe, and the universe, at least, was listening. It was sort of silly, but it worked for me, kept me going.

Now I think of myself as a writer, so that’s reason enough to send my words into the world.

Still, like most writers, I often worry when I’ve been ‘too frank’: did I really need to be that honest? Couldn’t I have hedged my bets, made sure I looked more sympathetic, smarter, less of a weirdo? What if I offended people, and they don’t like me anymore?

Maybe I should tone things down. Maybe I should self-censor. Maybe I should only write things that are positive and upbeat. Maybe I should avoid controversy.

The thing is, writing to an audience of “the universe” gave me the sense, for the first time in my life, that someone would accept everything I said as being worth listening to. Not that they would agree, not that they would like it, necessarily anyway, but that they would listen.

When I listen to myself, I hear things I didn’t know I knew. I learn about myself, and the world. I start to figure out what my life could be about.

I don’t have answers, I have questions. I almost never tell anyone else what to do, because how could I possibly know what would be best for them? I don’t want to be a leader; I don’t even understand why leadership is so revered.

I’m trying to be a philosopher, partly because I like thinking, and partly because ‘philosopher’ seems more pragmatic, more useful, than ‘idealist’ or ‘visionary’.

I don’t want to just think, though, I want to do things. And that means I’ll make mistakes, which is good, because that’s how I learn best.

I’m documenting my own journey, and I can only write about what I know from experience. I promised myself that on this blog I wouldn’t sugarcoat my process. I wouldn’t pretend to be a better person than I am.

I don’t want to change any person but me.

And writing this blog has changed me, so I’m going to keep doing it. The universe is listening, and so am I.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathy permalink
    October 17, 2011 08:03

    No matter what you say – regardless of your caution, the thoroughness of your research, the degree of faith and/or science behind your convictions, the amount of yourself you pour out or hold back – someone will take offense.

    You cannot control how your message is received, no matter how carefully and sincerely you craft it.

    Thus, your decision is really a personal one. You get to decide how much of yourself you feel safe sharing.

    • October 17, 2011 15:51

      Yes, that’s true. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of it, like by writing about the thought process.

  2. October 20, 2011 13:14

    Please keep writing!

  3. October 22, 2011 18:57

    One of the most difficult things for a writer is to stop looking over their shoulder — it is like the weight of the past lands on them.

    Perhaps that is why men have ‘more success’ as writers — they have lots of training of not thinking as much about their family when they are engaged in their work.

    • October 22, 2011 19:46

      That’s a very interesting point, mmy. Spouse is always telling me I should just disregard anyone else’s opinion, the way he does. But, as you say, women are socialized to be much more interdependent than men are. I’ll have to think about this further – thanks for such tasty food for thought!

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