what I speak becomes .. or .. 1350 articles written

i am waiting to be written




My problem is that I fall in love with words, rather than actions.


I fall in love with ideas and thoughts, instead of reality.


And it will be the death of me.





She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them.

Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape. “



Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient


“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”




A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf







This is about my thoughts on blogs, blogging, writing <which I imagine blogging actually is … just not on paper> and … well … enlightened conflict.


And to give away the ending … I will end my thoughts with the last quote I just used … mostly the part about writing what I wish to write.



With this post I will have written one thousand three hundred and fifty articles on the  Enlightened Conflict blog.



Lots <and lots> of words.




<insert “… whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say” here.>




writing it down homer memoryIt makes me think … what have I learned?


Have I become enlightened in even a small way … or simply remain a man <boy> in conflict?


And I went back to what I wrote in article 200 … called ‘unencumbered’” < https://brucemctague.com/unencumbered  >


It seemed a fitting place to begin … this whole unencumbered thing.


I write unencumbered by ‘rules’ or reasonableness. I write seeking as often as I can to ‘sit on the edge and write with the clarity of one on the edge and not encumbered by the crowds of the middle.’


“Things are more easily seen from the edges.

Danger rouses the sleeping mind.

It makes things clearer.

Less cluttered.”



In fact.


From being unencumbered … what I write, and what I speak, has built a house I live in.


“What we speak becomes the house we live in.




I like this house.

It is an interesting house but, frankly, I don’t stand in the middle often. I like to stand at windows or on the front porch and think and write.


From experience I believe if you stand in the middle <thinkingwise, strategically, messagewise, executionwise, wordwise – some of those words are made up> you will not likely be seen from those looking in.



This also increases the likelihood you will hated <or loved by the way>.



Maybe you will be liked … and maybe disliked … but that is because people just cannot get a very clear look at who and what you are and stand for.


But the middle of the house  contains no true passion one way or the other.


It is possible today’s world is a house built upon ‘likes & dislikes’ … but not mine.


I don’t want my writing to be liked … or disliked. I want it to be loved or hated.

And I want it to be seen.



After 1350 articles I am clear on this. All of what I just shared.

And looking back on what I have written .. what I speak has become me. These words have built my house. These words have built ‘thineself’ <as in ‘true to’> house brick by brick.


This unencumbered thing I wrote about way back then has simply permitted me to build a house I never knew existed.


To be clear.


Unencumbered also meant ‘no fear’ in some form or fashion.



“The thing you are most afraid to write.


write that.

write hard hemingway


Nayyirah Waheed



Writing a blog … at least one done well … is personal.



Tumblr is not.


Pinterest is not.


Weheartit is not.



For the most part … they are reblogging other people’s posts and images <and ultimately … thoughts>.


Those vehicles simply permit people to show reflections of thoughts. They take what other people wrote or images and hold them up to the mirror and say ‘I like this.’

They do not say ‘I am this.’


Blogging forces you to stand up and say ‘I am this.’


What you write becomes you.

The good, the bad, the stupid, the smart … it is all you.


I admit. I wish more young people wrote blogs.


Blogging still exists … but it seems mostly for adults these days.


In fact.

Unfortunately … it also seems like if you have a personal blog it has mostly become a job that earns an income through display advertising, network marketing, ebooks and blog-to-book deals.


That is sad.

Those are mostly the uninteresting blogs <to me>.


Which leads me back to, once again, I wish more young people wrote blogs.


A 2008 Pew research project found that 85% of 12 to 17-year-olds use electronic personal communication <including texting, email, instant messaging and commenting on social media>. The number is higher today … so young are involved and writing.


In addition … a 2012 Israeli study found that teenagers suffering from social anxiety and distress could derive significant psychological benefits from writing about personal problems on a public blog with a comment section.


To be fair … articulating your innermost feelings in prose is hard.


Tumblr makes it easy <you get to expresses emotions through images and such without having to actually create your own expression>.


But more importantly, if I could tell young people, I have found that beyond unencumbered thought sharing … blog writing allows you to dream.

The ‘what ifs’ … ‘what could bes’ … and ‘whatevers’ start appearin in the words you write.


You find as you open up you end up expressing the unconventional and exposing the underbelly of false and selective truths <uncovering the bullshit>.



“Dreamers dream.

Readers read.

Writers write.

I was born to be all three.”


Terri Costola



I write.

I read.

I dream.


What I speak has become me.


Am I being heard?


Of course not.

In today’s world my voice is simply a light breeze wafting thru the tops of trees.

People see the moving leaves but hear little.


But … I will keep screaming.


writing byron

“I’ve been screaming for years and no one has ever heard me.”




Tahereh Mafi



To be clear.

I don’t want it to stay that way <screaming and not heard>.


I want more people to hate what I write <that was fun to write and say>.




I hate half the stuff I write. Ok. That was harsh … how about I would love to rewrite 90% of what I write.


Huh? <then why post it ?>



The frustrating thing about writing <of which is a reality in any creative ‘doing’> is that nothing is ever really my best.


That is because it is never really done … I just stop.



What do I mean?


What one thousand three hundred and fifty posts have taught me is that while I imagine most of us probably feel like we are ‘doing’ somewhere between okay and good in most areas of life … doing a decent job day to day … with some days better than others but overall decent … rarely is it our best.


Maybe at moments … but not all the time.


And that is exactly true of writing.


I also accept that my harsh personal truth is that I refuse to permit ‘doing your best’ to become just another way of condoning mediocrity.


It is a harsh truth because … simplistically … one would think that “do your best” should be … well … our best.


No ifs, and or buts.

Bottom line … the absolute best you can do.


Shit.writing everywhere

Creativity, of which I include prose writing or blogging, makes ‘best’ difficult.


Because creativity of something never really stops. You just stop <because you have to at some point>.


Ask any creative person and they would go back and change something on everything.


Therefore what we do, and what we write, is always a caveated best.

A derivative of best as it were.




I recognize chasing perfection is exhausting and I truly believe chasing perfection is an endless pursuit. And, frankly, if you try to do this you only put yourself under unbearable pressure trying to reach something that is, frankly, unreachable.

So what is reachable? Truth.


Or at least truth as you see it.


And that is where my whole unencumbered perspective brought me to today …  it gave me an advantage, a freedom in other words, to do something … well … because something isn’t there to impede you.


My words, the house I built, was unencumbered by what may be there and was instead free to build upon the little that is there … the little truth and partially enlightened pea like brain has to offer.


And with my truths I didn’t seek empty space to roam with my thoughts but instead I sharpened my elbows and  created some ‘elbow room’.




I remember when I first started the blog someone asked “what makes you think anyone is going to want to read what you write?”


And it was a fucking good question.


My answer?


“I am egotistical enough to be able to be happy reading what I write myself.”


Boy … I was wrong. Fucking wrong.


I write about what I want to write about and I do write as if people are reading.


I care about writing as if people do read because … well  … I admit … I want people to come back and read more.


I try to write from the edge and with a little edge … and sometimes I may get a little lucky by being unencumbered and have a real thought or insight.


And in doing so I hope to offer something readable. Maybe I hope they like visiting this house I have built with my words.

writing colors



Unencumbered also means I can suggest unreasonable things.


This doesn’t mean I get a free pass to stupidity.


Silly sloppy thinking will always remain silly sloppy thinking.


Unencumbered doesn’t mean being sloppy in thinking. It just means having the opportunity to offer a solution that dismisses some aspects of ‘what is practical’ and ‘some aspects of reality … or the conventional wisdom’ … but always maintains some sense of pragmatism <this is actually the definition of a good idea versus a stupid idea>.



Where do I go from here?


I will keep building my house from what I speak.


I like to think that my writing can make a difference in the lives of others, no matter how large or small that difference may be. Regardless. The one thing I am really sure of is that my writing makes a difference, small/medium/large/venti, in my life.

And I guess that is what really matters.



I want to reach more people and see if I can make a difference.


So. With that. I will write on. And in the end … well …


“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”


I have no idea whether what I write will live on.


But I will write regardless.


Because without my words, my voice, my house … I imagine I am nothing … or maybe just destined to going nowhere.



I look at words, phrases, quotes & sentences as more than simply verbal constructs.


They are living things which take a life of their own within anyone who reads them.

Illuminating or dulling … I only hope they pass through the eyes and tug at the soul a little.


I certainly hope they sometimes nudge the mind … as good friends often do.


As for the enlightened thing of mine?


I refuse being drowned in dumbness or idiocy.


I maintain an inner conviction to stand against the relentless currents of the ‘dumbed down’ simplicity and the cacophony of a seemingly collective desire to be bedazzled by sound bites and bullshit.

bull in china living on edge

I remain seated at the edge with pencil in hand <or laptop in lap>.


This house I have built sits, or possibly dances, along death’s icy brink.


Maybe visit this March 2014 post and think about it:





If you ain’t living on the edge you are taking up too much space.


This is the house of which I speak.

This is me.

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Written by Bruce