Is this a small, insignificant thing you do? It was suggested to me yesterday, that it is.
Shocked at the strange tone of irritation in which this pronouncement was made, I could only fumble ineffectual words of explanation.
I have since thought a lot about this. I have never believed that any process of learning is small or insignificant. Certainly, we don't have time to do it all, learn it all, see it all. But when it comes to our work, to our vocation or recreation, no task that pushes the boundaries of learning – even of comfort – is insignificant.
The process of discovery is three-stepped. Doesn't matter if we want to paint a house or a Picasso, whistle Dixie or compose a symphony, plumb the depths of the human psyche or a fence line, the pattern is pretty much the same:
1. We figure out what it is we want to do – "I Want"
2. We learn how to do it – "I Can"
3. We test our skill by putting it out there – "I Do"
Just try dodging any of those steps and see what happens. It's like trying to sit on a chair with no legs.
For those who are already writers, blogging is certainly important. It provides another forum for the work, whether that be political commentary, film reviews, or plain old-fashioned essay writing. Blogging also provides writers a valuable forum AWAY from the work, a means to do something totally different, to experiment with form and tone, hell, just to bitch and moan about the whole process, if need be.
But blogging is most significant for those who WANT to write. The centuries are filled with countless writers scribbling away in obscurity, their words never seeing the light of day. Blogging, which is just another form of publishing, allows those words to come out of the dark and into the light. It doesn't matter if the work is any good or not. What matters is writing – the Want and Can – and then inviting friends, family, and ultimately strangers to read what's been written – the Do. Sure, no matter what the task, the Do is the biggest risk. But without it, you're just scribbling away in the dark, unseen, unheard, unlived.