Blogging Around the Coffee Table

Fill the paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth

I have a feeling when I blog – both reading and writing – that it’s like having coffee with a group of friends. I get to talk about what is holding my interest these days and I get to hear about what’s going on for other people. The topics are wide-ranging but the lovely part is that there’s space for everyone to share.

My experience differs based on whether I show up to share with my head or my heart.

When I write from my head, it feels as if I’m tussling with my inner critic. I find myself more restless and wanting to rely too heavily on other people’s ideas and words. It feels as if my fingers are encased in bubble-wrap and I have a harder time getting the message across. If I were to name someone I write for when I’m in my head, it’s my mom who is incredibly smart, very literal and a stickler for a solid argument and perfect English grammar.

When I write from my heart, it feels like being in the flow of the stream. I can produce faster when I get out of my own way. It’s not that my head isn’t present – it just has accepted its position to be subordinate to the heart. In that way, I get to the point more quickly, as to the “heart” of the matter. When I’m writing from my heart, I write as if for my dad, the person who is incredibly generous in their desire to understand the point of what I’m saying even if I miss a couple of steps in my argument.

Where do you go, metaphorically speaking, when you write? Do you have a specific person or image that you write for? What does the blogging experience feel like for you?

(featured photo from Pexels)

43 thoughts on “Blogging Around the Coffee Table

  1. I write because, as the cliche goes, the “inner necessity” still drives the action. Sometimes I will be sparked by personal interaction, something I read in a book or newspaper, and sometimes by a memory, a holiday, or an anniversary. I take courses in philosophy and classic literature at the University of Chicago, taught with the idea of a Socratic Dialogue as a model. I read with an open mind, trying to find out what the author is saying and why, rather than serving as a judge of his positions until I fully understand them. I suppose I am, in a certain sense, the last person to know what I will produce. That said, I began my blogging life with the idea of leaving some of my thoughts behind for my children. Now, with two grandchildren, I continue the effort.

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  2. “… it’s like having coffee with a group of friends…” Love that creative analogy Wynne. Thanks.

    The vast majority of my rambling blog snippets are spurred by the wonders of His creation that I share hoping in someway … somewhere … someone else may catch a glimpse of Him and be encouraged, regardless of whatever their situation, to . . .
    Keep Looking Up … His Best is Yet to Come!

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  3. When I started blogging I was told by a wise woman to write each post as if you were writing a letter to a few friends who you knew would be interested. That’s my go-to principle about how I write. I think of a few people then tell them what’s up with me.

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  4. My heart drives the issues/topics I blog about. At times, depending on the topic, I write from the head and work at injecting the heart. Some posts are purely from the heart, but, unlike your experience of [feeling] like being in the flow of the stream, I struggle with my inner critic (my father’s voice) that seeks to silence my voice.

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    1. I love that the topics come from your heart. It’s so hard to silence that inner critic. I’ve come to realize that one can’t write and edit at the same time and if I appease my critic by saying she can edit later, it often works.

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      1. What a wonderful sentiment, “what makes your heart sing”! And I really liked the imagery of blogging being “like having coffee with a group of friends.”

        I recently learned that Robert Greene sees two aspects to high level of creativity: “Creativity is a combination of discipline and childlike spirit.” I see that in what you wrote: there’s the disciplined mind-based creativity/blogging, and the heart based creativity, which he refers to as not losing the the child-like wonder. He feels that the combination of the two brings about the highest level of creativity. In your blogs, I see the combination!

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  5. I never thought about this. But upon reflection I always mostly write with God in mind and try to impart whatever ways He is leading my life if this makes sense. Thought provoking post as usual. Thanks Wynne 💕☺️🥰

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  6. I like your contrasting of writing for your heart vs head. Also thank you for the nice prompt for self-reflection!

    I write for myself. I remember when I first starting blogging I thought I needed an audience and I still sometimes think about that but in the grand scheme of things my blog is just for me. But I do really appreciate the interaction and the community that comes with it, but that’s a perk not the purpose.

    The purpose of my blog is to mostly be an extension of my journal and a tool for self-improvement (is that redundant?). Also a little bit of a scrapbook chronicling my life as well. Some times my blog contains content my journal doesn’t. And it obviously doesn’t touch on all the inner thoughts logged in my journal. I actually like to avoid journaling when I have lots of feelings (you know the time I should probably journal most) because I am avoiding my feelings – healthy, right? But I’m working on this! So unlike my actual journal, I feel like my blog keeps me a bit more accountable in posting regularly and this usually also snowballs into me journaling and dealing with my feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I have guilt for avoiding both journaling and blogging but the public face of the blog makes that guilt hit more effectively so might as well turn that useless feeling into something worthwhile. Also getting the extra writing practice/keeping a somewhat regular writing habit serves me well too. Writing has really helped me solidify a voice for myself that I find useful in all areas of life.

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    1. Oh, I’m laughing about the avoiding writing when you have a lot of feelings. It’s so hard to find a good entry point when too much is going on, isn’t it? But I love how you unpack it in this comment.

      And I love your statement that writing has helped you solidify a voice. Yes! It’s interesting to get to know oneself through writing, isn’t it? Thanks for this very thoughtful comment!

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  7. Interesting question, Wynne. I hadn’t thought about this at all. I think I typically write from a little of both. But the heart comes into it the most when I’ve decided to speak out about a social issue that is of vital concern to me. I don’t go there as often as I might because there’s so much that’s negative in the world anyway these days and I’d like to stay positive. But you’ve got me on a bad day today. If I were going to write a post today it would be completely from the heart, and it would be about the astoundingly egregious decisions of your Supreme Court this past week or so, first tearing down States’ laws on gun control (shortly after so many horrendous gun massacres) and now claiming a woman’s (and man’s) right to choose is unconditional. It would be from the heart and only the heart, but then again … I have no words.

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    1. Amen, Jane! It seems like we’ve gotten into this weird thing where we have to choose a side and go all in with it. And there’s more than two sides. So we have one side that doesn’t want abortion but is totally fine with guns that kill kids in school. It makes no sense but no one willing to break the mold steps up?? Maybe we should move to Canada.

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      1. Sorry for unloading. It’s all just so dismaying to watch these things happening in the U.S. I think values in Washington State have been fairly similar to those in Canada, at least until these deep divisions became so entrenched.

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      2. I think expressing dismay at this week’s decisions is completely warranted – not unloading. Yes, I think Washington State is pretty close to Canada but we feel the divide too – incredibly liberal on my side of the state and getting more and more conservative in the eastern part of the state where I grew up.

        What I think is so interesting is the work of sociologist Arlie Hochschild to understand the deep story. She went from Berkeley to live in the deep South for 5 years and she find that they were operating from a deep story that the liberals are line cutters – that is to say, they are waiting patiently in line for their chance at the American dream and the liberals keep enacting laws (maybe like affirmative action) that keep putting others in line in front of them. Isn’t that fascinating? Where’s the deep story that we all can have enough if we work together?

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  8. Thoughtful questions and comments, Wynne. I’d have to say I write for myself (to heal, process, make sense of, laugh, vent), from my heart, and to an audience I also envision as a small group of friends. I love your description. 💜

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    1. I love your writing process – to heal, process, make sense of — yes! And you write so well, Natalie. It definitely feels as if you are writing from your heart. So glad to be sitting around the coffee table with you!

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  9. I love the idea and analogy of blogging and chatting over a cup of coffee! I usually write when a story has found it’s way to me. It’s not really to anyone in particular but rather more of my way of recording events to share with future generations like my son, and his children, and their children

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  10. Very interesting to hear about your thought process, Wynne. The sitting around a Table with coffee and friends is a good visual and I can see where you’re coming from.

    Blogging for me is a form of therapy, relaxation and reflection. So I’d say it tends to lead more from the heart rather than the head. Maybe that’s what they mean when they say one wears their heart on the sleeve.

    Happy weekend! 🙂

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    1. I love that you folded in wearing your heart on your sleeve. Yes, there’s that transparency. And I also resonate with your sense that blogging is a form of therapy and reflection. Things with young kids can be so busy and fast that it feels like it’s all going to slip by if I don’t write it down. I love having coffee with you, Ab! 🙂 ❤

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  11. I do have a specific person I write for: myself. I love chronicling my life, even the mundane, and am so happy that I can look back 12 years now and see what I was doing at half a dozen different stages of my life. If I happen to entertain others along the way, all the better!

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  12. I think I write mainly with my head. I am a kind of obsessed by a perfect writing that it would be impossible to write with my heart! When I write I try to share what I have learned both by experience and studies. But sometimes I want to tell a story and I start to search on the Internet for inspiration. When I speak, on the other hand, it’s definitely with my heart. Interesting question by the way!

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    1. Wow, what an interesting idea that writing comes from your head and speaking from your heart. You do inspiration very well and I love reading what you write and listening to what you speak!

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  13. What thought provoking questions. I write and/or share posts first for myself, it is a way to positively purge printed material, old journal entries while passing on nuggets of wisdom on topics such as gardening, exercise, my cooking adventures, DIY projects and much more. I want to show my readers we are multilayered, and not defined by one title such as mom, therapist, professor, friend, lover etc.

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