How to create – without creating clutter. Can it be done?

 

My blogging journey

The words ‘my blogging journey’ sound quite grand, don’t they? The reality is quite different, as I’ve really only just begun, squeezing in a personal commitment to write once a week in between work, kids activities, home, time with the husband (if he’s lucky) and friends. You know, writing in between living a life. The writing equivalent of stepping out the front door to start the beginning of a training program. Still, one step after the others.

Over these past couple of months, my main driver has been to work out how to write, on a range of levels:

  • what topics to explore (mostly around  the broad themes of house and home),
  • how to present my writing
  • how to articulate what I think and feel about different issues
  • how to engage others in the way I write.

I am aiming to be more ‘natural’ in my writing style, shaking off the stiltedness that comes from years of bureaucratic report writing. I could write a private journal, however from experience, I don’t challenge myself to the same degree as I do when there is a chance someone else may read it. I feel more accountable through writing a blog, and so that’s why I’ve chosen this approach. I’m aiming to tackle the presentation next – there is a lot to learn.

Hopefully in the process, I will not only better understanding myself but I might also write something that resonates or is helpful for others. The main purpose, however, is that I learn and grow.

Simplifying and stripping back the ‘clutter’

In addition, as a family we are trying to deal with the ‘overwhelm’ of life in a number of ways. We are trying to clean-out and de-clutter our home, reduce the new things we add to it, and review our lifestyles to work out how we can reduce the constant rushed feelings. We’re also trying to be more selective in how much information we take in – limiting TV and screen time generally – as the constant pummelling of details and outrage was getting too much and we were losing perspective on what was actually important. This is also a work in progress, and I suspect it will continue to be for a while.

Can you create more words and information while still minimalising?

So, I am currently writing more (ie. writing something rather than nothing), while at the same time, trying to simplify and reduce physical and mental clutter that has been surrounding us. Can these two objectives co-exist?

I was confronted by this question as a result of an article I read last week. It addressed the matter of the sheer volume of online information, data, opinions and images that are now available. In particular, the privately developed sources, such as blogs, while in many cases may provide great information and a means of connection, but could be a major cause of information overload. The article was titled ‘The most helpful thing you can write might be nothing.

Oh.

It made me think. What AM I really adding that creates value? Am I adding to the clutter? Am I part of the problem – or would I be, if anyone read my blog?

So many questions. They made me wonder whether writing was worthwhile. After all, the point of this blog was to help clarify and simplify issues, not to complicate them. I was stumped.

Authentic writing

If-you-simply-try-to

So it was a relief to discover this quote today. The full extract is as follows:

Even in literature and art, no (one) who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without having ever noticed it.

 

It reminded me why I started writing – really not that long ago. Clearly, I need to keep that purpose front and centre in my mind.

In an ideal world, some of what I write will be helpful to others – because one of the ways I get fulfilment in life is to help others. However, it wasn’t the reason I umm’ed and ahh’ed for such a long time before starting. I started because I wanted to learn to write. And if I think I am going to strike gold with an ‘original’ thought that will significantly impact someone else each time (or indeed, anytime) I write, I’m probably kidding myself.

Far better to try to explore ideas and express my thoughts as clearly and genuinely as I can. And if I do strike it lucky and come up with something original in the process, well – won’t that be a bonus?

 

How about you? Do you write or comment, or create in a different way? And if so, what is your main purpose?

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “How to create – without creating clutter. Can it be done?

  1. I think this is what I love about writing actually – that it’s creative without adding to physical clutter. But I agree it can certainly add to all the ‘noise’ out there. And I definitely go to great effort not to add to the noise (not saying I always get it right, but I try!)

    Like

    1. Thanks Kelly – I’m discovering it’s a challenge already. But I agree, you do go to a lot of effort and we all benefit from that (really useful thoughts from your site!). PS – am still working out the presentation aspect, so stripped the quote back. Lots to learn, which is great!

      Like

  2. Congratulations on starting the ‘blogging journey’ – I’m blogging a couple of times a week and guest blogging 2-3 times a month and have just clocked two years. I look at other bloggers who write and social-share a lot more than I do and wonder how they do it, where I would find the words, and whether they would be worth saying! There are so many words out there and I also find it overwhelming (and as a former journo I also struggle a bit with how we write so many words these days that we don’t get paid for). The quote is perfect though – if we write from the heart, in our own unique voices then it will be worth something to someone, even if that someone is our own self.

    Like

    1. Thanks Kathy – I really appreciate your feedback (and nice to know I am not alone in this, from someone with a lot more experience) Looking forward to exploring your blog, too!

      Like

  3. Aha! You finally linked to your blog and I feel like I’ve discovered buried treasure. Thank you for sharing your blog with me, Helen. I’m interested in two things having enjoyed every word of this post: 1. that you believe you are ‘learning to write’ when you are already rather wonderful and 2. what we blog for, rather than about. I’ve blogged for many years and I think my reasons for doing so are exactly the same as when I started – my need to ‘get it out’. The ability to express myself and share that with others makes me as happy as a pig in mud. It’s that simple. As the years have gone on, I do think more and more of the people who read my words, but I doubt I will change to suit what they need. I hope I am useful to them just the way I am. x

    Like

    1. Thank you! I think the topics you write about and the way you express them are great – I am just reading all the interesting comments regarding letting kids be who they really are, and they are fascinating. Also very interesting in the context of returning from a school mums’ dinner this evening (lovely group of women, but always some ‘interesting’ comments when you’ve got a large group together – this post was quite topical!)

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s