Stringing Sentences Together When You Don’t Know What Else To Do

I’ve tried to write this multiple times. In fact, I’ve written the phrase “I’ve tried to write this multiple times” multiple times. I’ve created lists of what I’ve wanted to say and tried small chunks. This is the first paragraph you’re reading but it’s probably the 30th paragraph I’ve written.

I don’t get writer’s block, and this doesn’t feel like writer’s block. It’s not apathy. It’s not melancholy.

I’ve gone back to the TV news and most print/online news blackout I put myself in immediately after recovery began. I don’t find myself getting overwhelmed, nor do I want to share all of my opinions like I once did on every subject.

Objectively, I understand that people get through things by talking about them, and the kind of people who feel the need to become pundits, columnists or online forum commentators use their opinion as a shield to get through things. I was that person. Still am, but to a much lesser degree. Unlike them, I realize now sharing my opinion has never been about changing your opinion…it’s about processing my own thoughts and looking for a feeling of control over a situation.

I once had 4,000 Facebook “friends.” I wrote the editorial for a newspaper that reached almost 20,000 people. I was regularly quoted and on television for things I did in my community reaching who knows how many. Now? Since I stopped posting every day on the blog part of my website, hits are way down. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of only 200 people who will read this in 2020…or even fewer in future years. That’s OK. I’m not writing it for you. I’m writing it for me. Most people who share their opinion don’t recognize it.

I would bet less than 1 in 1000 people will have their opinion of Donald Trump altered to the point it changes their vote in November over how he’s handled the COVID-19 crisis. It’s only going to strengthen what people already think. I’ve heard people carefully defend and brazenly attack that think line between being prepared and hoarding – and it has nothing to do with their politics. And of course, this has helped everybody recognize what’s really important… as long as it was already really important to them (and hopefully this is a wakeup call that it should be important to you and it turns out, I was right all along).

I guess what I’m noticing more than anything else is that I’m at a stage of irritability with people where normal isolation usually works. What happens when the extroverts are forced to become introverts? The introverts really have to go to their secret happy place.

My problem in trying to write this has been that I can’t tie everything together in a nice bow and give a great line of summation. As a journalist, I always prided myself on the endings of my stories. I thought they were more important than the beginning. Sure, 100% of your readers start the story and only 30% ever reach the end, but I think you have a duty to leave that 30% with a feeling of satisfaction and my ability to bring it all together and end on some kind of takeaway was honed over years of writing thousands of articles.

Just not today.

12 thoughts on “Stringing Sentences Together When You Don’t Know What Else To Do

  1. I guess I’m your 30%. I felt this deep in my writing soul. Your tone is the same tone I’ve had with my blog now for about two weeks. It’s like throwing mud on a wall hoping something sticks. At the same time it feels like your growing tired of the way the world has become. Stay safe and healthly. Soon m, hopefully and prayerfully, things will get back to normal. Thank you for your honestly. I promise more people relate than you know.

    1. I think I’m just tired that we’ve reached the point in this where people really start to ratchet up the political rhetoric. If people used their minds and not their anger toward others, they’d realized this is not actually anybody’s fault, nor a plot against anyone. The world was unprepared, not just one country or state. Mistakes get made and we see what our leaders are made of, but it’s not a green light to be an asshole about it, no matter what anybody thinks.

      1. Absolutely. I mean, it is election year…sigh… also I purposely left that out of my comment, I didn’t want to agitate you further. Nonetheless, I agree. The views about Trump are strengthened and will continue to do so. I cannot recall a time where I’ve seen a president hold daily press conferences. It’s wild. I remember, after 9/11 how “together” we became. There was no left or right. Everyone held on to the words of Bush (right or wrong). What will it take?

      2. It’s funny you mention that. I wrote 500 words on 9/11 in one entry. We were together…for about three weeks. Then it became a contest of which Redneck could out-patriot their truck and an explosion of anti Arab-American sentiment washed over. There was no left or right for about three weeks…and we’re at that point now. At some point, you peel the yellow ribbon magnet off your car and go back to being an asshole, left or right. And don’t fear for agitating me. I’m fine. Just communicatively challenged.

      3. Yea, it was only for a short while, but it was awesome. Love your commentary as well. I just wanted you to know that your words are appreciated and read. At least by me.

  2. Not everything… especially on wordpress lol… needs a perfect tagline or summation. Sometimes just a string of words that resonate to you is all that’s needed. Sending a virtual hug because reading this you might need it if not then taking it anyway what could it hurt 😁

  3. We’re definitely dog-paddling through uncharted waters these days, my friend. We all have reason aplenty for being confused about what happens next. May God bless us all.

  4. I like things that don’t have a nice bow or summary possible. Our thoughts can be a rough landscape, as our feelings or words. It’s almost like a painting to me.

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