Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Self Expression and Boundaries

Have you ever noticed how complicated we make our lives, all in an effort to simplify them? When I started blogging, I was so excited about exploring a different style, and reaching a wider audience. I had a lot to say, and I knew I could be myself, let it all hang out, and challenge my own mind.

Before long though, I developed habits and routines. The more I learned about how to blog, the less freedom I exercised in expression. I unintentionally created boundaries that didn’t need to be there, adding formulas to my work, and stifling creativity.

Well, I knew something was wrong as soon as I started fretting about how to write what I wanted to say one day. You see, on that particular day, it didn’t quite fit into my imaginary box. I pushed and squeezed, reworded and erased, and eventually lost my own style. It was embarrassing, even though no one ever saw it.

No one can teach you how to write. They can give you the tools you’ll need to work with like grammar, spelling, and platforms, but they can’t teach you how to express yourself. I live by the saying, “When in doubt, throw it out!” I don’t care if it’s something in my refrigerator, a deep box of junk that’s been sitting in my garage for 6 months, or an article I’ve been trying to finish for weeks. If I can’t recognize, save, or use it, whatever it is must be garbage. Learn to let go, and please try not to be your own worst enemy by boxing yourself in with unwarranted expectations.