On starting a blog

After years of thinking “I want to start a blog,” I have finally typed the first sentence that I have not ctrl-a, backspace ‘ed immediately. It is incredibly difficult for me to find the perfect combination of words that I am willing to commit, for eternity, onto the Internet. This is much different than the thoughts I have in my head, or conversations I have with others. In those, the words themselves don’t really matter. The exact phrasings fade away with time, and only the ideas that they impressed on my mind actually last longer than a few hours. But this is different. These words will not become fuzzy, I will be able to go back decades from now and see perfectly clear each character I typed that one night sitting on a couch in Madison.

I really shouldn’t get caught up on that, though. While I may look back at the things written by my past self and find fault in them in one way or another, I would still rather look at my past imperfections than be unable to look into my past at all. The ability to look back and see incremental growth over time can only happen if one is willing to start somewhere at the bottom with room to grow. If I waited to share my thoughts until I felt 100% confident that they were ready to be shared, I would never share anything.

And really, that’s what this is about more than anything. A way for me to sharpen my thoughts into something cohesive. Instead of leaving them in an amorphous blob stuck in my head, I am forced to really examine them and shape them into something that others can gain meaning from as well. Everyone’s ideas make sense to themselves, but ideas not shared with others are meaningless. Eventually, you will be gone, and all of your ideas will be gone with you. It is only through the words you write, the things you say, and the bits you flip, that you can affect the lives of others and have some impact on this world that lasts longer than the chemical reactions within your body.

The problem is that it is hard to share. It is hard to find the confidence that your ideas will have meaning to others. It is so hard that it leaves people in silence, keeping those ideas in their own heads, where they are useless.

And it will always be hard. But it will always get easier. All you need to do is start.

Posted on 04 Mar 2014