A friend emailed me a few days ago to ask if I’d given up blogging. That caught me by surprise; I thought I’d been blogging fairly regularly. I considered her question and looked back at my posts. I hadn’t written anything in over a week. Hmm…what to make of it?
I love to write, to noodle around with words, to dress up a blank page and add accessories, or to take away what blurs the edges in order to reveal the bones of the underlying thought. Doesn’t matter so much about the topic; I can enjoy writing about almost anything. I’m not very interested in technical writing, for example, but I do like to explain and illustrate with words so that even the technical becomes a little more accessible.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been involved with a writing project at work: an annual report, so to speak, that’s narrated in the voices of senior leadership. The company’s senior leadership is full of smart, accomplished people who make lots of decisions, but none of them are writers, per se, so it’s my job (well, one of my jobs) to create a communications piece that 1) explains the state of business during the past fiscal year, and 2) explains that business in a “voice” that reflects the personality of the person speaking.
Luckily, I happen to have the ability to put myself into the heads of others, gather up their thoughts on a topic, and transfer the raw material into print. I can’t take any credit for it; it’s like a writing and editing software package that was pre-installed before I was born. I’ve taken classes, of course, and added upgrades over time, but the basic program is just “there,” running on its own, prompting me to poke around in words and phrases, collecting vocabularly like the greediest whatever-a-phile, and storing and stacking ephemera in some sort of fashion that allows my mental server to retrieve it…most of the time.
So, I’ve spent all my time lately wandering around in the thoughts of others, writing what they’d say if the time/interest/ability to say it. I’ve written about one topic (the fiscal year) in eight different voices, which means each voice talks about exactly the same things, but from an individual perspective. Good heavens! No wonder I haven’t been blogging for myself; I’ve been so busy Being John Malkovich that I haven’t had room or time or opportunity to fit in any thoughts of my own.
Luckily for me (and for you, Dear Reader), there’s an end in sight: the annual report goes to the printer at the end of the week and I’ll be able to close that file and put it in storage. Ever wonder how much of your mental capacity is taken up with such things? Remember the Keanu Reeves’ pre-Matrix futurepic Johnny Mnemonic, in which his character acts as a courier to transport massive amounts of information in his head? To make room for the dangerous amounts of information he carried, he had to delete a chunk of his own memories–namely, his childhood. Not a choice I’d care to make…maybe it’s time to consider some off-site storage? Oh, wait–that’s one of the reasons I blog. It’s a great way to make some headroom!