Tomorrow, January 25, is the one-year anniversary of my first post on this blog. I’ve posted every Friday and, 52 posts down the road, still seem to be finding things I want to write about.
It goes by fits and starts.
I’ll think on a Monday that, oh, no, I have absolutely nothing to write about—and then somehow in a day or three, I’m at least mentally working on several different new posts.
I barely recall what I expected when I began this blog.
I started it because I needed a place to publish the 20,000-word “book” I’d written when my Yi Ren Qigong teacher, Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, asked me and my fellow Yi Ren teacher trainees to write about our experiences practicing qigong—and not just write, but also publish.
I committed to posting weekly when I began, and I’ve kept posting weekly even more faithfully than I’ve brushed and flossed.
I’m not entirely sure why, and I don’t know how long I will continue.
Some of the time I feel like I’m writing to communicate with others on this path, although I don’t pay much attention to website traffic statistics and don’t really know how many people read what I write. Every so often, someone I know or have just met will say they have read something I wrote and will thank me for writing it. Wow! There’s a high! And I’ve corresponded a few times with a wonderful reader in Hawaii who turned me on to Damo Mitchell’s books, for which I am enormously grateful.
But there are also times when I should probably start my post with “Dear Diary” because mostly I’m figuring out what I think and telling it to myself.
The writing process, and particularly the clean-up editing after I’ve banged out a rough draft, can be extremely stressful. I get tied up in knots and wonder why I’m doing this to my body at my age. But when I’m done and the piece feels whole, the satisfaction can be enormous. I have given birth!
I also like that writing a weekly post causes me to engage with qigong in a way I otherwise might not. It makes me think about things with greater precision, in greater depth.
And I’ve enjoyed having my daughter as my editor. She is not a professional writer or editor, so it has come as a surprise how very good she is. She doesn’t catch a lot of grammar and spelling errors because, frankly, I don’t make many. But every so often she will say something like “I don’t think your point was quite clear” or “the ending didn’t seem to relate to the beginning,” and as soon as she says it, I realize that she is right—and often I also know how to fix the problem because of the way she has pointed it out.
On the other hand, at times I get sick of writing about myself, and I wonder what makes me think there is anything that I do or think that’s worth writing about and putting forth to the world.
And I worry whether putting my thoughts down in the form of a post with a tidy logical structure may somehow set them in concrete in my gray matter. Having written, will I forget the doubts and nuances that didn’t make it into my argument and come to believe that what I have written is my truth, my whole truth and nothing but my truth, so help me god? I hope not.
However, there’s another worry that I’ve decided to let go—the possibility that blogging might be detrimental to the practice of qigong, which is all about getting the logical, linear, verbal part of the brain to quiet down so that one can listen to one’s body wisdom and intuition.
I’ve actually found blogging to be a mix of hard-core intellectual-mind work and a looser sort of creativity. I have been surprised by the way ideas have come to me and by some of the turns-of-thought that have emerged through my fingertips.
Besides, I may be too thinky for my qigong practice’s sake, but thinkiness, c’est moi. I suspect I will always need to honor my cognitive mind’s need to be part of the party.
Blogging about qigong, walking the jagged line between logic and intuition, is one way to do that.