I have a confession: blogging intimidates me. It screams of responsibility. A public bulletin board wanting to be filled with words, my words. And then those lonely words will sit on a virtual wall for passing eyes to read or feet that simply pass by without comment. I like interaction and conversation (just not in person) and possibilities—that someone else’s comments will spark a conflagration of words. And it’s not just the answering silence of a blog, but the endlessness of it all.
There’s no final page, no end in sight.
I could type until my fingers bleed and the Internet would never be full. And somehow, all those buttons that save and post make it all so very formal. The cursor is impatient, like a tapping foot behind a pristine white counter. Expectation builds, demanding a letter, and then another, forming an earth-shattering word that will take an unknown stranger’s breath away. A daunting impossibility.
The empty page of a new document is very similar with its ceaseless, glaring demands. The cursor silently taunts and mocks (what I would like to believe) every writer. But I have learned to defy it. I close my computer, pick up a familiar pen, comforting and solid, rather than mocking and obscure, and I put the tip to a tattered notepad.
There is comfort in ink, in holding something tangible, something with an end, with margins and corners and little spaces between spirals that you can scribble and fill to your heart’s content. Crossed out sentences, shameful misspellings, giant lines intersecting discarded pages—these are a writer’s footprints, a trail of blunders and missteps that chart a path through a maze of uncertainty. The pen is permanent while the cursor sweeps the trail clean, and when you’ve finally clawed your way to a polished end, it’s easy to forget those shaky first steps.