As I wrote the date at the top of a new one of my lists for ‘Baby prep’, I immediately thought about how I’ll look at those numbers one day, think about how life was back then, weeks before the arrival of our first child. Just those few symbols mean so much. Although I’m writing a lot about baby stuff on my other blog, Cocoon Moon, why is this simple date and list of stuff making me think this way? The hand writing? That my husband and I are the only audience?
The medium – how and with what materials – and the audience – who the writer knows will or may read the writing – are critical to the output, the result.
Most writing these days in done on computers. If, like me, you touch type, writing on a computer is far quicker than hand writing, and you can edit as you go – there are so many advantages. But something is missing from electronic writing; there is somehow far less heart in text running across a screen, word processed onto a piece of paper even, than those letters formed by the hand. Does my writing actually change on paper? That’s a hard question to answer! But you can’t deny that it has an impact. Many accomplished writers prefer to write by hand, perhaps feeling that there is more smooth flow onto the paper. There’s no backtracking or rethinking as you go, it’s just straight out onto paper, published, done, complete. Hand writing is raw and personal.
When I write a blog post, I want to really scrape the depths of my feeling, keep that rawness and write purely for myself, but I know, however unlikely, that my post may be read by someone else. So it must be adapted; perhaps I even do this subconsciously. I thought about linking this blog through my facebook today, but I had to read through every post and do a sanity check first… and I couldn’t do it! Although I’ve kept things relatively private in that I’ve not mentioned anyone by name, there is so much of myself in this blog, however random and jumbled and unpolished. I just can’t bring myself to put it out there, it’s scary.
Am I afraid of criticism? I don’t think so. I’m more afraid of someone misinterpreting me, or feeling like I’ve violated their privacy. My writing is so influenced by how I’m feeling and how I interact with the world that it’s always had and always will have elements of reality in it; real people, real situations, real life. But doesn’t all writing? Perhaps I need to take more risks with my writing…