“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words”-Mark Twain.
At a recent Creativity Conference at Pompanuck Farms in Cambridge, New York, author Jon Katz gave talks on both writing and blogging. I took four pages of notes because besides my love for writing, I value any pearls of wisdom from a successful writer.
One of the things I learned was that writing is a discipline, and that it’s hard to improve if you only write for yourself. While I’ve had a blog for some time it felt nonsensical, the blabbering of an idiot. So I wrote here and there, never building a following, an audience. Sitting alone in my kitchen, surrounded by my crocheting and beading and dogs I wondered who cared what I thought or did. After the Creativity Conference my writing goals felt energized and purposeful, a feeling I think was shared by other attendees.
One of the gems I noted from Jon was, “You want people to think, to be challenged when they read your writing.” With the current growing dichotomy within the world of dog training and ownership do I want to put my feelings and beliefs out there? Do I want the Purely Positive trainers to see that I use many tools that have worked for me over the years, not necessarily the Politically Correct ones? Do I want to put myself out there to be demeaned by the invisible but self-righteous “Internet Trolls” as Jon Katz does? Do I have what it takes to present my point of view?
Coincidentally upon my return from the Creativity Conference I brought home a puppy and have started writing about my love for him, our battles (i.e. housetraining), and his obedience training.
Jon Katz said to be authentic, “Don’t write about yourself as being something you are not”. None of us is perfect, especially not me. We all suffer disappointments, do stupid things, hurt people we don’t mean to hurt, laugh, cry and love.
Therefore, steeling myself to go for it and present my thoughts to the world, I’ve started writing on an almost daily basis, an essay on the good, the bad, the ugly, the weird and hopefully the down-right funny moments in my life. I want to be real in my daily writing, to touch people, move people, and make people think. To be honest, I also want people to see my wonderful Border Collies too and understand the complexities of owning and training dogs.
But do you know the main reason I write? I want to be heard, little old invisible-in-a-crowd me. I want my words to be like footprints left in clay, to have someone ponder years in the future who this woman was and how did she live and think and breath?
Writing also gives me not only a voice but I can speak through my pen for other people and give them the courage or the incentive to do something, or to put something right that is wrong or to show someone the beauty in something unusual. Oh, the possibilities.
“Writing is an opportunity for self-awareness, to find others opinions that will challenge you, to clarify your ideas, your goals. It is not to tell the world that you’re the best of anything, ” said Jon Katz.
Don’t we all want the same thing? Validation? A voice heard in the forest?