The letters I am writing are getting weirder and weirder. Initially, I thought writing letters would be a fun if somewhat predictable task. I thought I would probably find a formula and repeat it ad nauseum. Paragraph 1, how are you, here is this postcard project we are doing…neato, isn’t it…Paragraph 2, Something about my life, Paragraph 3, Inquiries about your life. Paragraph 4, Something semi-profound, or perhaps just chatty. Conclude. Draw a picture. Sign my name.
Nothing like that is happening. Though I may have tried out parts of the formula in the beginning, the stuff I am writing is a bit unbridled. I can’t really predict what I’m going to say. And something about the difficulty in editing what I have already written makes me take more uncalculated risks. It’s kind of like…well, I already wrote this weird thing, so there is no looking back now!!! Onward with abandon!
In some ways, the experience is liberating. In some ways, it is scary. Sometimes, after I have sealed the envelope, I wonder…have I freaked the person on the other end out? Perhaps I should have balanced my rant about hominid evolution and exploding red dwarf stars with more of my lady bug and farm animal stickers. Cute stickers should offset the unsettling experience of having to read unedited brain gushing. What if I misspelled a word? Will they think me ignorant? What if I come off as self-absorbed or pompous? Am I evading communicating intimately by half-baking concepts and then rambling on and on about them?
But then I remember…I have built a safeguard into the project by writing so far only to people who love me and don’t really mind what kind of things I write to them. Even if it is weird…who cares!!! Weirdness is a part of me. And it is a part of my creative process. Censuring and editing can kill off the weirdness, but it can also paralyze the creativity.
So I slap one more lady bug sticker on the back of the envelope, and drop it in the letter box. Every day brings a close encounter with my own internal judge, but he’s losing his grip on me. 20 battles won, 80 to go.