When it comes to a blogging voice, some people recommend writing Your Story. Great advice. If you have a Story. Preferably a really, really compelling one involving some sort of major life drama.
And that’s kind of a problem. Because I don’t really have any major life drama. No battles with a deadly disease or harrowing escapes from a fate worse than death. No hard time in a federal penitentiary, youth shelter, or recovery program. I was also well shy of ten-mile walks bare foot through the snow to school.
Frankly, my life is kind of “plain vanilla.” What can I say that’s unique? Or compelling? Interesting?
I’m not sure.
But I have this compulsion to write. It’s been there ever since I could hold a pencil, nearly six decades ago.
Well. I recently realized something. Something I first learned watching The Homecoming. It’s the movie that became The Waltons.
There’s a pivotal scene in which the family anxiously awaits the return of father John Walton on Christmas Eve. The mother, Olivia, demands to know what John Boy is doing in his room behind locked doors. John Boy responds that he’s writing stuff down in his tablet:
“You know what’s in that tablet, Mama? All my secret thoughts. What I feel and what I think about. What it’s like late at night to hear a whippoorwill call and hear its mate call back. The rumbling of the midnight train crossing the trestle at Rockfish, or just watching the water go by the creek and knowing some day it will reach the ocean, wondering if I’ll ever seen an ocean and what a wonder that would be.
You know, Mama, sometimes I hike on over to the highway and I sit and watch the buses go by and the people in them and I’m wondering what they’re like and what they say to each other and where they’re bound for. Things stay in my mind, I can’t forget anything and it all gets bottled up in here and sometimes I feel like a crazy man. I can’t rest or sleep or anything until I rush up here and write it down in that tablet. Sometimes I think I really am crazy.”
While I’m trying to figure out this “midlife blogging” thing, I think I’m going to “write it down in this tablet.” I’m kicking around the idea of doing a book.
Maybe I really am crazy. But you’re welcome to join me on the journey. Who’s in?