It’s been a few months now since I set off on a road trip through the Virginias. In the time that has passed, I’ve struggled to put together posts to talk about what I saw. And that isn’t because I didn’t see anything worth writing about. It’s something different that I wrestle with episodically.
As my mindset fluctuates, the way that I approach writing about my time does too. But, I find that I’m often stuck in the same old pattern of trying to write about life in the “old way.” My robotic response is to work linearly on a timeline in medium-sized chunks. But, thoughts don’t always happen that way, do they?
For a while, I was especially rigid about timing. If I’d ridden somewhere 2 months ago and didn’t write about it then? Well, it was too late. There was some imaginary freshness calendar that had to be adhered to otherwise I wasn’t allowed to write about it. Isn’t that strange that I could be so particular about something like that? I’ve gotten over that, mostly.
What I’m learning is that trying to make my thoughts fit into a predefined size or shape is a recipe for disaster. Instead of an easy-to-follow formula that allows me to just plug in the pictures and words, I end up with a cramp. The result? Nothing.
My thoughts are scattered like dandelion seeds and are constantly floating away from me. Why can’t I share them here in that way? Little idea whisps that sail on a current – their barbs getting stuck on the people that want to read them. That’s how things like Instagram work. Everything is shared in snack-sized bites.
Why do I resign myself to thinking that I have to make blog posts lengthy? Why do I feel the pressure to write about my time in a particular way, as if there is some correct method to blogging? Why do I censor sharing my interests because I think other people are sick of reading about them? Why would I care if someone else thinks I post too much or too little? Why can’t a picture be worth a thousand words when I do it here? So many rules. But why?
We each develop a personal process to produce the things that matter to us. I feel that when I doodle in my sketchbook, too. When I deviate from my natural process, things feel off. To the viewer, the end result probably doesn’t look any different but I know something isn’t right. But how does the process grow when you’re so busy following the old rules?
I’ve always maintained that I write my blog first and foremost for myself. It is my system of record for thoughts and feelings about moving through the world on a motorcycle. But that must be a lie I tell myself. There is a nagging undercurrent of the need to please others or fitting into preconceived notions about what they want from me. Approaching this blog from the outside in is when things go wrong. You’d think I’d have fully understood and embraced that by now. I mean, I know that so why does the need for a reminder keep bubbling up to the surface?