I have a voice but nothing to say
I can write. I always could.
In high school, I wrote cogently and forcefully, like someone who read the up-Ed pages of two newspapers every day. Unlike most of my peers I had figured out how to revise and shape text—how to edit out hedging and weasel words and unfinished thoughts. Essay structure and organization fascinated me.
In college I wrote passionately with explosive figurative language. I wrote and put on a play: a farce poking fun a dorm life at my school. My seniors honors theses had jokes in them and won awards. My prose was called “airtight” in creative writing class.
As a young adult, I thought I might write professionally. I wrote four or five nights a week, at the local library, after work and dinner were done. I worked on short stories and screenplays that, sadly, didn’t end up going anywhere.
Writing was a lonely hobby for me. I had no community. I lived in the suburbs and didn’t think I could even find a writing community near me. I envied friends who lived in cities and could join writing classes or groups. The worst part of it was that I couldn’t figure out how to create interesting plots. I could write stories, but I had no stories to tell. I have no gift for plots—only for telling. Eventually I stopped writing entirely, in favor of business school and other things.
So, I can write. I have a voice. But I don’t have much to say. I never know what to write about. I lack ideas, which is frustrating when I have the ability (perhaps the gift) to shape and communicate them clearly.
Recently, I decided to write and publish…something, maybe something small, maybe a whole essay…every day, to force myself to think, write, revise, and publish even when the ideas don’t come. I think that the activity will help me get over whatever block or self-editing has been standing in the way of my writing endeavors for so long.