I have been struggling to find anything to write just lately. I did put this down to having nothing to say, but then I have aspergers, and since when did an asperger ever have nothing to say?! No: I have had plenty of words all crammed in my head, fighting to be let out on paper or computer, but I haven’t had the inspiration to string them together in any coherent way.
I think my problem has been to do with not knowing how to approach writing a blog. I am a writer: I love writing. I have been writing since I was a child, and I just instinctively took to it, and to a love of the English language. It is a God-given gift, I believe: it has to be because the truth is I don’t fully understand half the words I use, and yet I somehow manage to get them into the right context! The thing is that, as such, the only way I know how to write is as a writer: ie in essay form, with all the punctuation present and correct, a title, a beginning, a middle, and an end. I write like that even on texts and emails: I just can’t help doing it! I also do it when writing anything factual, like in a letter of complaint to BT: it takes me at least three drafts to pare it down to the actual point, and to take out all the narrative waffle, and I have to have help from my neuro-typical best friend to do that because I find it difficult to know what is relevant and what isn’t!
So, to try to get to the point: I have been struggling with the idea that I have to change the way I write because this is a blog, and there’s a “proper” way of writing a blog – isn’t there? The way I think that there’s a “right” way to do everything in life, including breathe! I think that there are rules for everything, and that I have to find out what they are before I can do anything, otherwise I’ll be breaking them – and who knows what will happen then? The “Rule Enforcers” will come swooping down on me and drag me away somewhere to punish me for daring to not conform!! Now I do know, logically, that this is nonsense, but it doesn’t seem to get any further than my conscious mind, and so I do still have this instinctive desire to have to get everything right, which is a bloody pain in the arse!
One of the reasons for writing this blog was to try to help me get inspired again to write, and to find my own voice. It’s also meant as a place for me to just be myself, which I am finding very difficult having only found out about the aspergers last year and now realising that I’m not sure who I am at all.
The thing is I already do have a voice: not everything I am or have become is down to copying. Writing is where my voice comes through the most, if only I’d let it. I have become so worried that all that I write is just a copy of some of the authors I’ve read that I think I’ve probably managed to create my own writer’s block. I’ve got titles coming out of my ears (not literally, of course!), and yet no stories or articles to go with them. I am so busy trying not to be a copy, and to try to find something completely original, that I’ve just come to a standstill. I vaguely recall part of a quote from CS Lewis where he says, "Don't try to be original. Just be yourself, and then you cannot help but be original."
I’ve also forgotten (a frequent occurrence, me forgetting really important things!) that the main point of writing is to do it because it’s what I love doing: never mind trying to copy the neuro-typical goal-oriented thinking – that you have to be published, you have to make money from it, you have to be critically-acclaimed, etc, etc, before you can dare to call yourself a writer, and be able to consider yourself a success.
Therefore I finally came to the conclusion that by trying to change the way I write just for this blog, and so bending my mind into a pretzel and removing all the enjoyment once again, I would actually not be being myself at all. And who knows? Maybe as I get into it I will evolve a less formal, more rambling, style of writing for it that doesn’t involve the stress of trying to force myself to change something that really doesn’t need changing.
"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.
"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."
From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."