I recently took a couple unplanned weeks off from this blog. I’ve gotten a bit busier lately but I had no real reason to be silent. And I’m not apologizing. I’ve blogged for years, and I’ve inevitably written the “sorry I haven’t blogged lately” posts. You won’t find those here.
Fairly early in my childhood, I learned the power of the written word. I wrote in diaries and found that it helped me sort out life if I just wrote things out. I also discovered that I could get action if I wrote publicly and from the heart.
Looking back, I’m still impressed at some of the responses I got from heartfelt letters. Because of one indignant letter, a whole class schedule was changed in junior high. A museum in eastern Canada sent me a huge packet of information in response to a request. A company Fed-Exed me two gallon-jars of applesauce (and a dish towel) because I complained to them. And one letter, written around the age of 13, brought a police officer to my house to apologize for his actions.
I spent the last 10 years writing publicly for a living. Because of me, California state officials launched investigations. My words were copied and pasted and linked on countless websites. I received emails from around the world, in response to my writing. Both the FBI and Dave Barry read my writing. I strongly suspect the CIA knew about a couple things I wrote. (No, I’m not a nutty conspiracy theorist. I just happened to follow a trail that led to them, and then I wrote about it.) My writing drew praise, complaints, anger, veiled threats, smiles, resentment and tears.
Words are strong. When written from the heart, they can have one of the most powerful effects ever felt.
When words are forced out, they lose some of that power. And that is why I make no apologies if I go silent on this blog. When I resurrected my website a couple months ago, I vowed that I would write for myself. If I had something to say, I would do so. If I didn’t feel the need or desire to write, I wouldn’t force it.
Much of this is a repeat of my “Writing” link up there at the top of this website. But that’s OK, because I’m writing this blog post because I want to do it.