All my life I've allowed my audience to constrain my writing.
Writing was a product for teachers, academics, engineers, customers, and decision-makers. I succeeded if I satisfied my consumers.
The cage door is now open and I am free to step outside. In Life, Phase 3, life untethered from work, I get to write for myself.
I get to explore my brain's attic, piled with disorganized thoughts.
The act of writing is liberating. It helps me to see myself and the world with greater clarity.
I get to discover thoughts. I find connections that give my thoughts some cohesion. My brain gets to be a little less muddled.
I write for myself. I am successful if I'm satisfied with just the act of writing.
Publishing this blog imposes some discipline. I have to show some respect for the reader, both in content and construction. It's a balancing act I have yet to master.
But I no longer have to persuade. I don't have to back my arguments with hard evidence. I don't have to cover my ass while pretending not to be defensive. I don't have to flaunt my credentials. I don't have to care about making a living.
I'm on a long quest to find my writing voice. The college classic, On Writing Well, suggests first getting back to basics. For now, I'm trying to write in a plain, maybe bland style. You won't find run-on sentences, or adverbs, or the passive voice in this post.
For now, simple is in. Later, I may build personality back into my writing.
I am no longer defined by my profession. I can swear, I can joke, I can be disagreeable, I can experiment, I can be a different persona.
I can break the rules.
Note: The manual typewriter at the top of this post dates back to my college days. I have typed thousands of pages on this machine.