You haven’t heard from me in awhile. I am still alive. You haven’t heard from me because I haven’t had anything to say. Until now.
What I have to say is about using words. Some people call that writing. I don’t.
Here’s the truth: I’ve thought about blogging hundreds of times between my last post and now, but I haven’t had anything that I needed to say. I wanted to say lots of things, but I didn’t have to.
I’m sure that doesn’t make sense to you. Maybe you’re thinking, “But you’re a writer, Ashley! You should have lots of things to say.” But I don’t. And here’s why:
Let’s say you follow me on Twitter. Right now, I average at 4 or 5 tweets a week. I’m try to entertain you and keep you in the loop about what’s going on in my life, at Belmont, in Theta, etc., but I’m respectful with your timeline space.
But what if I all of sudden started live-tweeting my daily activities and introspective rants? Your timeline today would’ve looked like this:
@AshleyAAlvarado: “I couldn’t get out of bed this morning because Zumba.”
@AshleyAAlvarado: “My shower runs out of hot water before I even get to the conditioner. Thanks a lot, Belmont.”
@AshleyAAlvarado: “Good hair day today!”
@AshleyAAlvarado: “Why is Spanish so hard for me? I’m freaking Puerto Rican.”
@AshleyAAlvarado: “I’m having a really hard time transitioning back to school after break. I miss Texas!”
And you know what you would do?
You would unfollow me.
And I would, too! I don’t think any of that is interesting. If you posted stuff like that non-stop, I’d unfollow you in a heartbeat and have no regrets. Words and time are two very important things in my life. If you waste one or both of them, watch your back.
Here’s my point: Do you have something to say? Then say it. I want to hear you, I want to cheer you on, I want to learn something or laugh with you. But if you don’t– if you fill blank space with the sound of your voice and use up all your words for the day–then I have a different question for you: When you actually have something to say, do your words mean anything?
The answer is no.
You haven’t heard from me in awhile because I want my words to mean something. When you hear the sound of my voice–whether in person or in writing– I want you to listen to me. If that means I publish nothing for six months, so be it. I’d rather have the integrity to say that I am a writer, not just somebody that uses words. Nothing that I post can ever be deleted from cyberspace. That’s a lot of pressure. When my great-grandkids access my archived tweets from the Library of Congress, I want them to think I was charming and thoughtful, not that “I just choked on a piece of bread againnnnn!!!”
So if you have something to say, please say it. But if you’re trying to document your life, you should seriously look into journaling. Trust me, I know from experience, you are the only person who thinks that you are endlessly interesting.