I was at a pool party the other night and, as I was floating with another woman on the infinity edge of the pool and watching the sun set over the hill country, we started chatting about writing. I asked what she’d been working on, and she said keeping up with her blog. But when I asked the name of the blog, her face flushed a bit and she stammered that it really was a blog she did just for herself and a handful of close friends and relatives. A secret blog.
I see this often with clients. They’ll have their “public” writing, and then they have their secret journals and blogs where they write simply for the benefits of expressing themselves.
As we talked, my pool buddy explained how when she writes in the safe environment of her secret blog, she accesses a “higher, wiser part of myself.” It’s a place of discovery, of playing with possibilities, and of birthing stories that want to emerge from her so she can experience them and let them go. She feels that writing for the general public wouldn’t give her the freedom to really express herself.
I was honored that she chose to share with me the link to her secret blog. What I found there was writing from the heart. From sharing a moment watching baby birds leave the nest with an 18-year-old daughter about to “leave the nest” herself, to explorations in faith and intuition, these indeed were wise, poignant musings.
While I’d encourage her to swim with bigger audiences one day, I certainly understand that simply the act of writing them is “enough.”
In “The Book of Awakening,” author Mark Nepo says, “It seems the more we express, that is, bring out what is in, the more alive we are. The more we give voice to our pain in living, the less build-up we have between our soul and our way in the world. However, the more we depress, the more we push down and keep in, the smaller we become.”
For me, even the act of journaling adds vibrancy in my life. A pattern I’ve spotted is that the more I pause to write and reflect, the more awake I am in everything in my life – including my eating, noticing beauty and even how I brush my teeth. This “secret” writing enlarges me.
My pool buddy will know if and when it’s time to share what she’s written… meantime, it’s energizing her in ways that help her float in life rather than getting pulled under. As we bobbed in the cool water, watching the sun dip lower and lower, we were both appreciating that moment… and perhaps will write about it in our secret journals. Or in a not-so-secret newsletter!
- Is everything you write published for an audience, for your eyes only, or a mix? What blend would help you feel fully expressed with your writing?
- What tie-in is there between what/how often you write and the amount of aliveness you feel? Do you feel any different just after you’ve written?
As founder of Backyard Pearls, LLC, Carolyn Scarborough helps people tap into their inner wisdom, then share it with the world through books, blogs and articles. As a Writing Wisdom Coach, she supports you through the journey from inspiring idea to published piece in a way that’s joyful, effortless and profitable.
She’s done almost every kind of writing imaginable, including magazine features, newspaper columns, books, journaling — even ghostwriting for Donald Trump! Her favorite sort of writing is the kind where she has to be really present to find the story, so her life and writing are both a constant awakening to a deeper, richer way to live in the world.
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