What I don’t write about

I haven’t posted for a while and I don’t really know why. Sometimes I think it’s because my life is very miscellaneous right now, too many different things going on, no one thing predominant.

Accompanying a close friend in a serious health crisis.

Preparing for another trip to Congo.

Helping plan and lead Lenten worship services.

Doing a little hosting and guesting.

Figuring out, with my husband, how to address a troublesome house problem.

Developing an exercise routine and continuing an off-and-on vegan experiment.

Watching Olympics. Following the mostly bad news. Reading novels.

Miscellany doesn’t usually hold me back. I write about little stuff as well as big stuff. But when I look at this list, some of it seems too boring to write about and some of it seems too private. I won’t tell you which is which or why I think that about any of it.

But it does point up the fact that, for all the self-revealing qualities of this blog, it tends to cover a fairly narrow bandwidth: things going on in my life or in my head that I feel might have some resonance with other people.

“Things going on” means an unfolding story of some kind and not a dry report just to keep readers updated. Sorry if you hope for frequent updates. It just bores me to write reports. I’ve done enough of that in my professional life. That’s why Christmas letters bore me–to write, that is. (And, yes, sometimes to read.)

“My life” means just that: my life and not someone else’s, say, that of my friend who has been in the hospital, two blocks away, for more than four weeks. I am not a writer who uses other people’s lives for material. There is nothing wrong with that, but it’s not me. It’s one reason I’m not a fiction writer or a journalist.

What kind of writer am I, anyhow? I think of those signs on big, empty industrial lots: “We will build to suit.” I write to suit. As a professional writer/editor I wrote mostly what I was asked to write, including grant proposals and press releases and occasional articles. I have often written for occasions, from baby blessings to funeral remembrances. I continue to write lots of personal communication–emails and letters. I am enjoying writing weekly letters to my 7-year-old granddaughter. Now I mostly write to suit myself. So if I don’t feel like blogging, I don’t.

“In my head.” Sometimes the things in my head are ready to spill out in a blog and sometimes they aren’t. Right now the Lenten worship stuff has stirred up some resistances that beg to be named and figured out but they are not ready for prime time.

A writer can never tell for sure what “may have resonance with other people,” and should not limit herself accordingly, but I do feel some discretion should come into play. It partly has to do with matters of privacy and half-cooked-ideas that I’ve already mentioned. But on the other side of it are things that just don’t excite me even a little bit. Resonance starts in the soul of the writer. And a blog is not a journal. At least, this one isn’t.

Right now not much is resonating. I can’t say I’m bored, just calm. Miscellaneous.

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