There’s such a thing as being too careful. I think that applies to most things, but specifically in how it relates to writing, it can really cut down on what you have to say if you’re always worried about covering every angle of a topic, or trying to account for all the different criticisms (or possible misunderstandings) that could come up. I know I worry about that a lot, but common sense tells me it’s better to just say what’s on my mind and let things play out. There’s always the comments section if you want to justify or explain yourself to anyone leaving comments of their own on your writings, and that’s assuming you feel the need to do either of those.
It seems like there are a lot of ways to self censor and I’ve been exploring a few of them lately, trying to get a handle on what they are when I’m doing it to myself, and putting into words the way I deal with them… So far it’s not that different from the kind of approach to life I’ve touted since I started this blog, to just do something, to stop thinking so much, to take doubt for a ride and show it how full of shit it is. I don’t think that opinion or my belief in the effectiveness of that approach is going to change anytime soon. It works. It’s why I’m writing this post, and why I’m not going to wait to publish it after I’m done writing. I can always write more in another post or even edit this one.
Chances are I’ll do the same with my next post. Sometimes I get tripped up, but right now isn’t one of them. There’s a saying, a quote, that I seem to run into all the time… “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” I don’t think I know anything about the guy who said or wrote that (Scott Adams), but it’s something I tend to agree with. It might not be on your blog (like it kind of is for me), but you need somewhere that you can just make a mess with sloppy, reckless outpourings. Whatever you do, painting, writing, or hell, even if you play sports… you need to be able to cut loose and just shoot hoops, let the words flow, or stain a few canvases.
You need somewhere to make mistakes. Some options feel safer than others and some of us want to reveal less about ourselves than others, but wherever it is, however you do it… I think you need a way to let yourself go crazy, get free, and get out of your head. This blog isn’t even it for me, not entirely. I’m a lot more casual in what I write here, how I write, etc…. a lot less ‘uptight’ I guess you could say. But even I need a place no one else will see, where the possibility of someone else reading it doesn’t even enter into the equation. I free write on my computer, write in a journal, and sometimes I use 3×5 cards to jot down stray thoughts or make notes. It’s mostly raw, messy… and necessary.
I would say give yourself the option, if you need it, of cherry picking, cutting out, or altering what you share. Make a “safe” way that sets you at ease if that’s what you need to do. I’m talking mostly about writing (and blogging), but it applies to a lot more than that. Making music, competing in a sport… just about anything you could do… if it needs to be in a ‘safe zone’ then so be it, but with or without a protective barrier between you and other people… have an outlet, make mistakes. Find a means of solitary catharsis. Somewhere that you can be reckless in what you do or say.