Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lexington Avenue, January 2007

One of the senior students at the Zen center gave a talk on Sunday about trust, and it seemed to relate directly to what I'd written that day about blogging. She talked about how difficult trust could be - even trusting yourself. I mentioned in my blogging post that I sometimes over-edit my writing, and that's exactly where that impulse comes from. Most writers can probably identify with it. It's fundamentally a lack of trust in my own voice.

Blogs are a little dangerous because there's no deadline, and no one to take the story away. You can keep writing and rewriting and massaging and tweaking all day long if you want to. If you don't learn to trust yourself you can make yourself crazy trying to get it "just right."

I'm sometimes guilty of this. I post every morning when I first get up, but I've been known to go back a couple of times during the day and tweak things here or there. It's silly. Instead, I'd like to learn to trust what I created in the moment I wrote it, because it grew out of that moment, and what I was thinking and feeling at the time. It's authentic.

In news reporting, we always say you have to know when to let go of the story. After you've written it, crafted and polished it, you have to turn it in and be done with it. Blogs are the same way. At some point, you just have to let go, and trust yourself.

My friend at the Zen center closed her talk with some lines from Leonard Cohen's song "Anthem," which summed things up perfectly:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

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