Archives for posts with tag: expression

I like to write.  An article I read today challenged me to write for 15 minutes rather than complain about not having the time.  So I’m doing it now.

I have been thinking about limits.  In limits there is freedom.  Endless possibility can mean paralysis.  Chaos alone does not lead to beauty or truth.  It is creativity working within boundaries that really makes something special.  And it’s only once you know the rules that you really know how to break them, as I think the Dalai Lama said.

I love Jazz, partly because improvisation is one of the best examples of all this.  Only by first learning the rules of scales, chords, rhythm and song structure can a musician be free to soar to the heights of his creativity and self expression, and to do so in harmony with others.

Perhaps one of the reasons we wrongly believe we will find freedom unshackled by any limits is because limits/rules/boundaries – whatever you want to call them – hold the possibility of transgression or failure.  And we fear this.  Yet without the possibility of failure there is no meaningful achievement or purpose.

I write this the day after a crushing failure for the English Rugby team.  First ever host nation to be knocked out at the group stages.  Huge knock on effects to national morale, plus economic effects.  And yet it’s only a game.

And isn’t it interesting to think that any game is nothing but a collection of arbitrary rules, made significant only by collective agreement and historical familiarity?  And isn’t this how so much of life is really structured?  We all agree to some common ways because without them we are adrift in meaningless, at odds with each other or with nothing to hold onto.

The rules themselves, often are less important than what they represent, or the good effects they seek to produce.  Was the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden itself in anyway harmful?  Or was the rule about it simply a representation of the need to submit faithfully to something – someone – so much better, wiser and more beautiful than anything our own willfulness could lead to?

15 minutes is up, clicking publish.


Why do I blog?  I used to think blogs were self indulgent.

Here’s why I blog:

Writing helps me think.  The possibility of someone reading it encourages me to self-edit.  Improving my writing improves my thinking.  And thinking more clearly improves my experience of life  (which gives me more to write about!).

‘When you deliberately simplify your style
and make it transparent,
you also start thinking in shorter,
lucid sentences and paragraphs’

Anita Mathias

The best blogs I have read start with the writers’ own experience.  Self indulgent?  Occasionally.  But fear of pride can be a false humility – holding back the gifts we’ve been given to share.  Fear might silence us from speaking at all, but a desire for true humility will purify what we have to offer – so long as we keep taking the risk of offering it.

Authenticity gives authority, and authenticity starts where we are, and with who we are.   Really understanding those two things can be a lifetime’s work in itself!

‘Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves
into some ideal that we imagine we ought to be,
but to find out who we already are and become it’
Steve Pressfield

I become more fully who I am when I write.

What about you, what makes you feel alive?  What is holding you back from doing it more?

I just drew this to explain my need to write. Do you ever feel the same?

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Jeff Goins on his blog that I recently subscribed to quoted Flannery O’Connor as follows:

‘I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.’

This is why I write too, and I wish I’d started sooner!

Jeff has a lot of good stuff to say about writing for the right reasons.

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