I am looking back over my writings and realising how most of it is self-focused.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, in general. It works; it has worked for me. Bringing me to the keyboard and getting me to write. But it gives me no pleasure. And that is what I am examining these days. It’s a self-perspective that is probably interesting to a very slim number of people in this day and age. There was once a time when everyone was writing about their lives from their perspective. The blogging era isn’t that far gone that I don’t remember how fashionable it was to have a blog and write in it everyday.
These days, the kind of writing that resonates with me is less the blow-by-blow commentary that my writing sometimes is. These days the kind of writing that interests me is the kind of writing that uses personal glimpses to make a generic point about all life. And THAT is how I want to write.
I recently came across a piece that claimed to give the recipe for effective and prolific writing. The writer suggested that they are able to write everyday about the same thing because they write around a central theme. Ah … I remember now – it’s a Medium author I happened on a few years ago and admired and he was writing in response to possible reader questions about what he finds to write about everyday. He made a very strong point that is resonating with me – the notion of writing around a central theme.
My blogging has heretofore been self-focused, essentially focused on the central theme of me. And me as a central theme is interesting to only me … well, maybe not quite accurate. Some people might find my life interesting because of who I married, where I come from, and where we go to live every few years. Which is fine, but it’s not enough for me anymore.
Over the course of my life, whenever I’ve felt like something is played out, I change it. Before I went natural, my hairstyle and colour changed almost constantly. I theorize now that it was because none of those styles and colours suited me quite like locs do. And now that I’ve found what I am comfortable with, I have no desire to change it. Maybe if I took that approach with everything else in life, I may find comfortable spaces. If I find that one thing I want to talk about everyday, all day, then maybe that is what I can restructure my writing around.
Empathy is a theme that has been a thread running through my life. I recently connected with a preparatory schoolmate who reminded me that I was just as rabid about empathy as a child as I am now. And it struck me as really profound that a theme that was prominent as a child is still heavily featured in everything I do in life. It spoke to me on some subliminal level. If this is a thing that I am really passionate about, maybe it is something I can structure a writing practice around. Maybe ….
Thus I begin my journey to restructure my writing around the theme of empathy.
I don’t know what it will look like when I am done. But I do know that this is where I start.
Here’s to new beginnings that are not really beginnings. 🙂