I’ve been mulling over what to tell and how and when and to who and why. And how what we tell can be used or meant for good or bad or average reasons.
Because the words are there.
Somedays I feel like telling so many things they seem to get stuck on the way out.
A muddle of words to be sorted. A strangle of sense. A gaggle of gory or goodness to glory.
And a little alliteration, and nonsense, along the way. Apparently.
But part of the art of writing is choosing how to tell the story.
And who will hear it. And when. And for what reasons.
Earlier this month, at the Faith and Culture Writers Conference, I went to a breakout session by Micah J. Murray that spurred me on to keep questioning my motives and the wisdom behind sharing my words on the internet.
I had meant to go to someone else’s session and was initially confused when the speaker at the podium was not who I expected. There was a schedule change and Micah filled the hole.
I considered pulling out my schedule and making sure this was where I wanted to be, but I just stayed. Suspecting God had a little serendipity to share in the moment.
It was exactly right and meant to be.
And happened to be the session I have thought about the most afterwards.
Micah’s words and wisdom gave me an excellent selection of thoughts to pursue. He talked about his story in dealing with the internet and the addicting thing that social media can be.
As I am blogginG and writing and thinking towards bigger things, it is important to consider what to share and why. Because lives are personal and sotires are personal. And sharing too much can hurt anyone involved in the telling or listening with little regard to the personal nature of what should have been boundaries.
Micah hit on how easy it is to have the wrong relationship with the internet and people on the other side. He talked about how the internet is not our journal, mother, therapist, best friend, or anything really. He suggested journaling before blogging, talk to someone else about the nitty gritty before you decide to hit publish, get a tribe for validation – likes and shares don’t cut it, share feelings without focusing on intimate details, and to spend time with your family.
These things have been running through my mind as I begin to write again and consider the ways to tell the things that mean much to who I am. Choosing how to share our lives on the internet can be a burden or a blessing depending on how we go about it. I am giving myself permission to wait to share, to not hit publish as soon as the last word falls into place, to give the more sensitive topics time to feel themselves out through time and care instead of forcing them out through my impulsive mouth.
This wasn’t the session I really expected to remember the most, but it was the one that resonated most deeply at this point in my life.
Let myself feel the impact of my words before I measure their impact on other people. Choose to say a little less in favor of being a little more.
It’s an interesting conundrum, but exactly where I find myself right now.
Living and writing both demand we devote specific time, thought, care, and reflection into crafting those lines and wrinkles that will forever grace our faces. Choosing wisely and purposefully appeals to me even as the siren call of internet approval clamors for my loyalty and participation.
A couple extra takeaways from this session:
- “You need to know where the stage ends and your real life begins.”
- “You are enough to experience life by yourself.” You don’t need to share.
- “Save some things just for yourself.” Don’t share everything.
If you’re curious here is Micah’s blog.