This blog is the first non-technical writing that I have tried since high school.
Engineers’ technical writing is stylized. Charts, tables, mathematical models, bullet points, abbreviations, terms of art. Numbered and subnumbered sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs. It falls into types with templates: invitations to prequalify, requests for proposals, responses to requests for proposals, field notes, field reports, specifications, PERT and gantt charts.
I try to be extremely concise, yet unambiguous, in my technical writing. It can seem brutal. It’s choppy.
I’ve always thought I am creative. I create physical, productive things. The creative joy is in elegance of design and efficiency of operation.
This writing is different. While I might be creative, I’m not artistic. This is alien to me.
I’ve never written about myself, other than a CV. I’ve never tried to analyze my emotions or to put down thoughts about anything other than technical questions.
As a teenager, I was a riot of emotions and attractions. As a closeted lesbian teenager, I tried unsuccessfully to suppress them. I never expressed them, but I could not suppress them. They were always there to haunt me.
I gained self-control in college, through iron self-discipline.
For my whole adult life, I strictly avoided emotion. I did not watch a movie or play or read a book that might depict or hint at those emotions. And not just lesbian emotions. Anything that might depict love, affection, intimacy, sex. I didn’t want to see people who had something that I could never have.
I never thought about it. I couldn’t write about it. No secret diaries, no notes in a hidden file.
That changed when I met my Love. She wrote me a letter every night we were apart. Her letters were smart, funny, affectionate – and beautifully written.
My mother taught me always to reply to letters, so I wrote back, every night.
It was hard at first. I’m too embarrassed to look at those letters. They are probably sloppy and sentimental. Poorly conceived and poorly expressed.
It gets easier if you do it every day.
My Love encouraged me to do this blog. She says I’m “finding my voice”. A funny phrase.
I am enjoying this.
I write differently in blog posts from the way I write in comments on other blogs. I feel more formal here, more conversational there. Another author’s blog is her forum, I’m her guest. If I’m commenting, it’s a conversation with her.
I write differently in my response to comments on this blog. Although this is my forum, the comment is an invitation to a conversation. Sometimes, all I need or want to say is, thank you. Sometimes, the comment is more substantive and calls for a considered response.
I need to loosen up. I’m not as stiff as I sound. I look back at my early posts and cringe.