“The Discipline of Writing” is a phrase I came across while reading Kate Murdoch’s latest blog post on “Keeping it Going”.
I commented that I don’t think of it like that.
Over the last week I’ve been prompted to look at the beginnings of my own blog – partly because I’m coming up to its second anniversary, and partly due to other more personal reasons. I’ve also looked at the beginnings of other people’s blogs. Some people are indeed more disciplined than I am, and title their blog with their intentions, and maintain a rhythm and theme quite happily, making the reading of it focussed and sharp. Some blogs peter out, and some start, and then don’t go anywhere, good intentions falling by the wayside.
Having been persuaded to start a blog I loved it right from the first post. I knew it would become part of what I do. I see it as the opposite of discipline. Writing assignments for my MA was a discipline, one I found extraordinarily difficult… every mark gained felt like a drop of blood squeezed from a stone. Blogging is like drawing. Breathing. Thinking. Every few days, enough thoughts have accumulated to make me think it is time to blog. Some are more meaty than others. Some, I am clearly talking to myself, others elicit a response from a reader or two. I don’t need a reference to back up what I say. It is emotional, honest and probably over the word count. I know I ramble on. If you were to meet me I would ramble on too. I go all over the place. I have no discipline. That is the point. My thoughts crash about and bump into each other. Blogging is part of the method for keeping track of the threads. (Ooh, maybe by calling it “Threads” I am sharp and focussed in a woolly and blurry kind of way?)
You are getting me though, when you read this. I’m not trying to be some intellectual that reads stuff. The amount of reading I have done since they marched me up on stage and put the certificate in my hand should make me ashamed, but it hasn’t. I have loads of really interesting unopened books on my overloaded shelves. I’ll get round to it one day. Or not.
I also have ideas above my station occasionally, and think I should do something more “Worthy” (definition required). I start, and then falter. Partly through lack of confidence that I could pull it off, because I have set myself up as this not-serious, non-intellectual perhaps. Partly because I can’t be arsed.
What I do write, I think, for what it is, is “Successful” (another definition required). I’ve been asked to write a couple of things by other people. I have only recently realised that they have asked me, because of the way that I write, not in spite of the way I write.
I have discovered about myself all sorts of things through this blog over the last couple of years. And I’ve probably let loose a few things I shouldn’t have too. “Ah well… There y’are” as my mother would have said. Too late now. I do suffer from letting things out of my mouth before the brain has really finished processing it. It appears I do the same with the “publish” button.
I am going to think now about how my writing is or isn’t like my making. For a little while. Until I am distracted by something shiny.