public: 34/365

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Yesterday was a travel day, and today I’m back home. When I first sat down at my desk, my mind felt too cluttered to start writing this…

Having been gone a week, I felt the need to attend to small details (mail, a list for tomorrow and another for the week ahead, bills) before writing this post.

…but now my mind feels too distracted by all of that to write this.

I stare alternately at my books, the creek–the tiny bit of water I can see out my window through the woods in the winter, the handwritten list of at the moment the nine ideas my mind has flipped through in the last couple of minutes for a post, and the empty screen.

I just went back and reread my first post in this series to remind myself why I’m doing this–to correct an imbalance, to bring the needle back to even, to become more mindful of me, to become more centered so that I can move out boldly from there. And I’m doing it here for accountability and so there’s the opportunity for conversation.

I have now responded to a text, made a phone call, gone to the bathroom, started an excel spreadsheet…

I need to bring it back in. One true thing about me.

It’s creepy and uncomfortable and scary trying to go public. Being a private person feels good to me. Why? Maybe that’s just the way I’m wired. Maybe it’s from growing up in a family of seven and then creating a family of six. I don’t know why. Another reason I’m doing this.

What is the opposite of private person?

  • public person
  • social person
  • open book

Here’s something I know: I’m not trying to stop being a private person.

~

 365 true things about me

17 thoughts on “public: 34/365

  1. This topic is interesting and quite relevant to everyone, or at least it should be. These days it would be difficult for anyone to be truly private. Too much of our information is out there online for anyone to find. Particularly, with those who over share. They don’t realize how such behavior can have an adverse effect on their lives.

    As for what you are doing here. You control it. If you don’t feel like sharing through your writing, do something else. I love your photos and what you choose to shoot reveals a lot too. I really conected with your pictures of water.

    I’m sorry. I’m a little tired and totally lost what I was trying to say. I nearly deleted all of this. Perhaps after I get some sleep I will wander back later.

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    • I so appreciate your comment, Mary. I’m glad you didn’t delete it. And I may have to stop this project. Right now, I’m taking each day as it comes, trying not to get ahead of myself. I want what I write to be the truth, and I want it to be meaningful in some way. I also think being a little uncomfortable with what I’m writing will be good for me. So, one day at a time. Hope you got some rest.

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  2. Cynthia, maybe it’s in doing it every day that is also getting to you? And it’s up to you how open you want to be and about what. I know I used to speak more freely years ago, online, but I learned it’s not good to be open about certain things here if you don’t want to open yourself up to controversy and ridicule. Not that I’m saying to not be truthful, but I know I’ve become much more hesitant about speaking my mind with certain subjects because I don’t need to waste my time in futile disputes with argumentative people.

    But when it comes to something like this, it’s on a different level, and I think a lot of these discussions are either beneficial or simply fun, depending on what you bring up. If it’s become too much, either emotionally or simply because blogging daily is pressure, then change it—be flexible 🙂

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  3. Thanks for these thoughts, Donna. I would describe myself as flexible, EXCEPT when it comes to commitments. So I remind myself daily that stopping is an option. I do think this project is good for me, and I don’t think that just because it’s difficult to come up with a truth means I should stop; quite the contrary, this is why I’m doing this, to do the hard work of figuring out something about myself and writing it down here. If it were easy, well, there would be no need to do it.

    But what I realized writing this post was that just because I decided to do this for a year (or whatever shorter period it ends up to be) didn’t mean that I wanted to CHANGE INTO a more social/sharing creature. I was just going on an adventure for a while…to see what I could see.

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  4. Cynthia… Your question posed…
    “What is the opposite of a private person?”
    gave me pause to contemplate…

    for ‘publishing’ daily posts…
    be the opposite of my reclusive existence
    prior to engaging in blogging…
    virtually ‘full time’

    more will be revealed… I’m sure

    from saudi with love, Helena xxx

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      • Cynthia… I am currently re-reading the post
        “15 reasons I think you should blog”…
        (thou I am not big on shoulds…
        our blogger does make some wonderful promises)

        please see “Becoming Minimalist” website…
        (same link sent to your Post: the minimum 35/365)

        psssst… for some reason I am unable to copy & paste
        the url from the post itself ?!

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  5. As you know, I’ve struggled with this quite a bit. I just recently talked about why we write on my blog, in that post on submissions. I said that a writer writes because it makes her more whole, and a writer shares what she writes b/c it makes her still more whole. There must be those who are called to write but have no need to share those words with anyone, but that has to be very rare. Language is fundamentally about communication, after all, so keeping great barrels of words entirely to ourselves, especially if we are particularly moved by words, is a counter-intuitive thing for anyone to do. All to say that for me, it’s the call to write itself that has forced me to struggle with this public/private dichotomy. And the only way that I have been able to manage it so far is to remind myself–b/c I forget this all the time–that writing is about communication, fundamentally, yes, but any kind of creative writing is also about performance.

    That can be an off-putting thought–we want to make meaning, we want to be authentic, we are doing our best to tell the truth (even in fiction, as you know from your own work). So to call our writing “performance” might shade to “fake,” or “vain,” or even “deceitful” (or at least “deceptive”). But performance isn’t inherently negative in any way. I don’t know about you, but if I host an event, I am in performance mode. Sometimes even holding up my end of a conversation requires performance. If I remember that performing means to be aware of my audience and context, to balance the needs or wants of my audience with my own goals, to ensure that nothing I do strongly wish to keep private doesn’t leak into the performance… then I feel like I understand what it means and what it costs to publish my words.

    All of which is another way of saying that there is me, Claire, and there is me, Writer-Claire. Writer-Claire is a subset of the whole. Because I want to share my writing, Writer-Claire publicizes her words. That part of me outside Writer-Claire very, very rarely publicizes anything.

    I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about, don’t I?

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    • Yes, you do : ) I remember reading these words on your blog: a writer writes because it makes her more whole, and a writer shares what she writes b/c it makes her still more whole. I think that is so true and important to remember. And oh yes, often holding up my end of a conversation is performance.

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