I have committed one of the cardinal sins of writing.
I had an idea. It was forming along nicely, filling out in the shower, with a finish line to end all finish lines.
But as the water evaporated from my skin, so too did my idea. I thought I could return to it after errands and daily to-do items. I still had the concept. I wrote down the leading sentence as a phone memo.
But the essence was gone, gas escaping into the atmosphere.
I just attempted to write, assuming the words would come to me as they did originally. I know better. Instead an overly intellectual essay came out, one that didn’t go where I wanted or say what I thought I was going to say.
My educated self emerged without any research or notes to support my writing.
Delete delete delete.
Instead I am writing this post. About my inability to capture my idea and write it.
I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve written. I could feed a line like I needed to recover. Which I did. Or that my mind hasn’t been in a great place. Which it hasn’t.
But none of that matters.
What matters is I am out of practice. Words are not flowing as easily and quickly as they did in June. Nor are the ideas as inspiring as they were then.
Changing your entire reality can be a wonderful muse.
But I’ve also spent the last few months much more outward facing than I have spent most my life. Not that this period was particularly unique. I go through periods of outward facing, expending energy. I end up being over stimulated, over sensitive, and retreat to recover from any wounds of engagement.
This time I learned something while doing it. The world is a lonely place.
The more we reach out towards others, the more lonely we feel without people. It creates an addiction of sorts. People join social media or other platforms in attempts to reach out to people, to be part of something, and in turn only feel more lonely.
I joined social media to promote my writing. That was the entire purpose, and at the beginning that is what I used it for. Marketing.
But with exposure comes understanding.
I still don’t get Facebook. It’s not really a platform I’m inclined to jump into, and that is mostly because of my own reserved and private nature.
But Twitter has become something else. It’s taught me to write succinctly (a word I would not use in a Tweet, too many characters). It has taught me to edit. It has taught me to get to the point.
And I’ve been writing a great deal on the platform, diving a bit more into poetry where prose and essay have always been my forte. I have found an amazing community of writers supporting writers. And in this I have gained confidence and skill.
But I have also been sucked into the loneliness.
I am not normally inclined towards loneliness. I cannot say that was true of the young adult me, but as life progressed and experiences were had I settled down into a self contained being.
My inner monologue is strong, and I rarely feel any urge to share it unless requested in the situation. And even then you are likely to get intellectual me over any kind of emotional or personal me.
When I was younger, I was highly opinionated and insisted on my opinion being heard. I was trying to be seen, asserting I existed, insisting I mattered.
And then I didn’t need to be seen. I had been seen enough, heard enough, damaged enough. It was time to refocus on myself and who I was. More importantly who I wanted to be.
But I became addicted. And thus pulled out of myself into an outward facing world. Emotionally engaged and exposed.
Because here’s a secret that you may or may not know. Twitter is dangerous to those with strong inner monologues. Once we start stream of conscious sharing, we open the very essence of ourselves.
And just as combating the loneliness is addicting, getting notifications is addicting. Getting the validation for who you are, a sense that people understand you, a chance to have your voice heard.
For those of us who are guarded and self protecting, it is a slippery slope. Virtual reality makes it too easy to expose our soul where normally our body language keeps everything away, protecting the private sanctity of our being.
For a time being I was no longer self contained.
And I felt incredibly lonely. I cried a lot. Mostly because I felt overwhelmingly sad, all the time. There felt like so much emptiness around, so much space that needed to be filled.
Yet all things return to their natures, and I returned back to mine. Like taking a mental shower, I processed and washed off what was not in my inherent being. I expanded to fill myself and refocused my attention.
And that first day after I felt powerful and at one with everything. A hero emerged from the underworld, I stood with better understanding of the human condition.
Now I just need to work on writing as soon as I have an idea. If I don’t practice my prose more, I will never get stories written. The human condition cannot be shared in 140 character segments.
Although, my post did end up being about the topic I had in the shower.