What Do You Have to Say?
Yesterday I was listening to a professional blogger talk about writing pieces for the sake of producing quality content, rather than following algorithms designed solely to make the work reach a wider audience. Essentially it boiled down to good journalism, writing and following up on stories and ideas that are worthwhile, going in depth and trusting that they’ll find their way to the folks who want to hear them.
As I listened, I realized I was two days late delivering on my promise to myself that I would write bi-weekly blog posts, in order to remain consistent. My mind scanned a variety of topics and things that had been on my mind lately, and finally it came to me: I have nothing to say.
I started turning the words over in my mind. I have nothing to say…I have nothing to say…what do I have to say? What do I have to say? In playing with the inflection, I realized there are two sides to the question. What do I actually possess, what thoughts, ideas or stories do I “own” that I can share? Or, what do I actually need to say?
The flip made a huge difference. I have plenty of things I could analyze, comment about, muse upon. Are they interesting? Worthwhile? Worthy of an audience? Who knows…but when I think of what I have to say, need to say, must express, that becomes a more in-depth exploration. Why write at all if there isn’t something that needs expression, and why worry about whether it will land well when the expression itself is the thing?
That shift is important when starting to wade back into the writing waters. I decided to write again because I wanted to “drive traffic” to my web site and I’ve heard that regular, disciplined posting is helpful. As a writer at heart, I realize there’s no point unless I have something to say, unless I HAVE to say something, because not saying it will leave a part of me unexpressed and unfulfilled.
So now, three days after “deadline” and realizing it’s two days before Inauguration, what do I have to say?
THANK GOD. IT’S TIME.