Another one of my posts didn’t publish last night, and I have a working theory about what’s happening. One of the things I really hate is when people refuse to take responsibility for their actions (like, I don’t know, say, refusing to admit one missed a flight that took off at the appointed time – at least he had a creative story?). That is not what is happening here. I am responsible for checking to make sure my blog post publishes, and I haven’t been doing that. I have been clicking “publish” and moving on to the next thing, whatever that may be, without bothering to check, even though it would take approximately two seconds.
Still, I have a theory about the root cause.
A few weeks ago HW got a new computer, and I think it’s stealing my Internet. I know, that sounds crazy, right? It seems like when he’s using it, the Internet on my computer is slower, and it started around the time he got it. I probably sound like Donald Trump, but at least I admit I don’t understand how the Internet works.
I was thinking today, while driving, of course, about how writing can transform past experiences and wondering whether it shapes future ones. Writing regularly about the things that happen is a sort of outlet, a way to express whatever we feel about any given situation. Taking the time to do that, especially every day, or almost every day, provides an extra opportunity to look back over an experience, to consider it from another perspective, or, I suppose, to cling even tighter to the original perspective. I think when we do that, there is a good chance we remember the original experience through the experience of remembering it in order to write about it (I am not, at least here, expressing an opinion about whether that is a good or a bad thing, or even pretending I understand exactly what that looks like). As I was driving, I wondered whether that very process, the looking back over an experience, considering it an extra time, putting thoughts and feelings into words to stare back at us, changes the way we think more fundamentally.
I wonder whether people who write a lot naturally become more observant, and necessarily, more quiet. If we know we will have the opportunity to express our thoughts and feelings later, in a calm, peaceful environment, where we have time to order them in some way, maybe that would make us less likely to express them in real time. Maybe our focus would shift to observing and remembering our experiences rather than fully experiencing them. Again, I write all of this without any kind of judgment, partially because I would have no idea whether to say if it were good or bad, even if I were interested in doing so.
Would I be more likely to pass up an opportunity to speak now, in order to hear what someone else has to say, so I could digest it and write about it later, adding my own thoughts only after mature reflection? That would be one way to gain an upper hand in any argument, for sure. If, instead of actively discussing an issue, I simply listen, take mental notes, and later on dissect and respond as I write about it, that gives me a certain advantage.
All roads ultimately lead back to The Real Housewives, in this case, of the New York variety. During the first season Carole Radziwill was on, she was sort of this nice, pleasant, fairly quiet character. She did a lot of listening, nodding, and polite smiling. But when it came time for her to do the confessions, or whatever they call it when the housewife sits down in front of the camera and talks about her experiences, she was hilarious(ly snarky). When the other women saw the clips they were surprised, and one of them even said something about it at the reunion. She was accused of being two-faced, or something along those lines, but I wonder if that’s fair.
Obviously I’m not comparing my writing to her writing, but I wonder if the difference between how she behaved in person, versus how she behaved on camera after she had an opportunity to reflect on what happened in person, could be explained by something along these lines. She was a journalist, and is a writer now, and maybe after so many years that kind of thing just comes naturally to her, to sort of experience whatever she is experiencing, process it, and react to it later, in private.
I don’t know many other writers to draw any definite conclusions. I have a friend who blogs, but in a serious way, and I would say I think she does some of that. I think if most people met her in person, they would never guess she writes the way that she does, or, to put it another way, in person she is very sweet, kind of on the quiet side, funny and fun, but very, I can’t find the word I’m looking for, but fairly passive. When she writes she is much more direct, and I think it’s fair to say she doesn’t pull any punches.
I doubt many people would say the same about me, but again, I am not a serious writer that way. For me, writing is a hobby, a tool for growth (eww), something I do for fun. On the other hand, I think a lot of what I write would surprise most people who know me, for different reasons. Sometimes, for example, I think I am a lot more vulnerable in my writing than I am in person, and probably more measured. This may be just another variety of the same, because it is still a difference, indicating that writing is some kind of safe space that allows me to be different than I would normally be.
For a post that started with a conspiracy theory about my husband stealing my wireless capabilities, that took an interesting turn. I’ll write more tomorrow, HW and Foyle are waiting.