Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Phase 3 Writing

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.

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