Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why I Didn't Post Anything Last Week

By Susan Esther Barnes

The surface reason I didn’t post anything on my blog last week is I was still recovering from a head cold that sapped my energy, and my brain wasn’t working too well. But the deeper reason I didn’t post anything is I didn’t have anything to say at the time that was worthy of a post.

That may sound obvious, but people sometimes remark about what “discipline” I must have to write on a regular basis. The people who say that seem to think I make myself write because I desire to post. They have got it all wrong.

I didn’t start writing in order to post on my new blog. I started blogging because there are times when things happen, and my brain, of its own volition, starts to write. Words and phrases start to put themselves together in my head, and the only way for me to be able to set them aside and to go back to thinking about other things is to write them down.

I don’t write because I want to blog. I was already writing, and the reason I post what I write on my blog is because I want to put my writing out in the universe where people can read it and respond to it.

Sometimes, when I am more than half way through the week and nothing has told me it wants to be written, I start to worry. Where has all the inspiration gone? Will nothing interesting present itself? Is it all over so soon?

Any time I try to “force” myself to write something, which I sort of did last week, it doesn’t come out right. Although I would like to post something every week, the fact is I only write well when something tells me it wants to be said. And the thing that wants to be said always comes in its own time and in its own manner. It is not something over which I exercise any meaningful control.

I don’t often remember my dreams, but sometimes I have a vivid dream that I remember in detail. These vivid dreams are almost always easy to interpret, and they are always telling me something I need to hear.

Sometimes, like last week, I try to write even though I’m not sure a subject I’m thinking about is ready. And sometimes, as happened last week, I have a particular recurring dream.

Whenever I have a version of this dream, in it I am pulling something out of my mouth. In this case, it is a piece of string, almost like a piece of dental floss, that I am pulling from between my teeth. No matter how much of it I pull out, there always seems to be more of it.

Before long, as I’m pulling out the string, my teeth start to fall apart. They are detaching from my jaw in twos and threes. The only thing I can think of to do is to clamp my jaw shut and hope they will reattach themselves. I have some vague memory in the dream that this technique worked the last time this happened. However, with my jaw clamped shut I cannot speak.

The message is obvious. If I try to pull something out of my mouth – if I try to write something before it is ready to be said – the results will not be good. Things – ideas – that are important to me will start to fall apart. The only thing I can do then is to try to stem the damage by shutting my mouth and waiting for a time when it is safe for me to open it – and to write – again.

That time is now.


  1. i very much understand this.

    i think i could have written it myself, though less than half as well :)

  2. Did you heard what Rob Matts said about that?

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