People often ask me where I get my inspiration for blog posts.
I don’t really have a good answer to that.
Being somewhat prone to melodrama, when I’m in desperate need of inspiration I think of the opening words of Henry V – O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention.
But those words, calling for the type of inspiration that could set the world ablaze, seem, perhaps, too much for my every day needs. Would my words could call forth the vasty fields of France – but some days such art is not in the cards.
Some days showing up is about all I can muster.
And that’s the best part of blogging every day. Committing to writing every day means accepting that not every post will be a masterpiece. (Quite frankly, it would be miraculous if, after decades of blogging, I managed to summon one masterpiece from this abyss, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Blogging every day is a commitment to being publicly imperfect everyday. Of course, we are all of us publicly imperfect every day, but I generally would prefer to try to be imperfect only in the privacy of my own home.
The most challenging thing about blogging is figuring out just how imperfect to be.
Sometimes, I just sit down and write whatever is in my head. Those are the best posts, I think – where I can be somewhat stream of consciousness and somewhat coherent simply by articulating something that’s been knocking around in my head for awhile.
But I have several topics in my head which aren’t quite…baked. I think about writing them and suddenly I’m hit by a flood of things I need to know or understand before I can write about them.
Most of the time, this challenge is easily surmountable. For many of my posts I look up specific facts and figures – information I know generally in my head but which I can’t reliably cite.
But sometimes even that doesn’t feel like enough.
So then I’m stuck with an interesting quandary – try to articulate some half baked idea I don’t know nearly enough about or wait until I’ve had time to learn more and perfect my imperfections.
When I started blogging I didn’t worry about this too much – I wrote on whatever topic caught my fancy and simply acknowledged my many shortcomings as I went. But more recently I’ve found myself with an increasing number of topics which I want to write about – but which I don’t quite have the brain space to process.
And all this has left me wondering – just how imperfect should I be? Perhaps one day I’ll know.
O, for a muse of fire…