“I often say that blogging is like talking to yourself, and then realizing someone heard you,” writes Paul at The Captain’s Speech. In his reflection on four years of blogging, he explains how this outlet has introduced him to a larger community of writers and readers, showed him how powerful our words truly are, and taught him how to write from the heart.
Early on in this blog’s life, I was always so worried about every sentence, and every word, and every comma, and every semi-colon, and every little detail. It ate away at me as I put words on the screen. I would write three sentences and delete two and a half of them.
I felt like it had to be perfect, or someone would criticize me.
After a few months of being a “sports blog,” I reached a turning point.
It was the first September in about 18 years where I wasn’t going to be at school. I was missing it like crazy. My friends, my roommate, my late-night walks to McDonalds. Everything. You name it, I missed it.
I tried to convince myself to write about sports that night and just ignore this huge weight inside of me, but I couldn’t do it. So I talked myself into writing about missing school. It didn’t take long.
And that’s when I stopped caring about every single word, sentence, comma, semi-colon, and detail. That’s when I learned how to write from my heart.
If you want the secret, here it is.
I imagined that everything that was holding me back from being completely honest in my writing, was all stuck in my shoulders. So I shook my arms until I could feel the words exit through my fingertips.
That sounds extra cheesy and really lame, but it’s what I did. And if I’m honest, I still do it whenever I feel like I’m over-thinking the words I’m writing.
I figuratively strip myself of everything that is preventing me from saying exactly what I feel. Because once those restraints are gone, all that remains is my heart.
It’s sometimes hard to stay honest and write from the heart. What’s your secret?