Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why I Write

“Writing is an exploration, you learn as you go.” ~ E.L. Doctorow

When I began this blog a few years ago, I never had any intention of actually blogging. Instead it was a vehicle by which I could keep up with my cousins who were in the process of adopting their first child. My blog sat in its own little corner of cyberspace, blank, empty, and cold. Then one day while I was in the midst of making a difficult decision about a friendship, I sat down to the computer and wrote. Upon hitting the publish button, I felt better, even knowing that no one would read it. Then I had some comments on what I had written. What? Someone wants to read what I wrote? Even when I think I have nothing to say, people still read and comment. I get excited when someone de-lurks to say hi. The past year or so, I’ve been diligent about blogging and the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition” ~ Graham Greene

Writing has always been an outlet for me. I have stack upon stack of journals and diaries I have kept since my childhood. I like writing, even if what I write makes no sense to someone else. It’s a way for me to empty my brain, to get my thoughts outside of my head to better understand them. It’s a way for me to remember some the ridiculously crazy stunts my friends and I have pulled, those moments and feelings in time I want to capture (sometimes serve as a reminder of things I never want to do again). It allows me to share intimate thoughts and feelings that I don’t typically talk about with people. It’s an inside look at what I usually consider private thoughts. Other times it’s a funny story from my past that I think will entertain people. Sometimes its to write to ask other peoples opinion on a certain matter. I like getting comments and seeing what other people think about a situation.

“Writing is both mask and unveiling.” ~ E.B. White

I never in my wildest imagination thought people would actually read what I wrote. The more I turned to my blog to write, vent, or whatever I happen to be doing that day the more I wonder what my mom or some other family member might think about a post. I don’t advertise the fact that I have a blog. My cousins and another friend with whom I used to work are the only people in my real life who even know of the blogs existence. If anyone else I do know has stumbled upon my little space, they haven’t brought it up. Yes, my picture and name are on the blog and as another blogger wrote a week or so ago, its inevitable that some day, someone will find it. For now though I like having a place that is just my own, a place no one else knows about, where I can freely write and discuss things without worrying about judgments from family and friends. My blog is a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and memories. It’s a private place in a very public forum. I have thought about making the blog private, but some of my favorite blogs are those I came across while hopping from blog roll to blog roll.

“Whether or not you write well, write bravely.” ~ Bill Stout

Sometimes I wonder if the things I have written are too personal or too much information, if story of my drunken shenanigans, or complete incompetence make me sound like total moron. When you write a blog, you put a piece of yourself out there, sometimes baring your soul for other people to see. That’s not always an easy thing to do. I went back and forth for a few weeks deciding if I wanted to post what I wrote yesterday or if it was too private to share. In the end I decided to hit the publish button, but I have draft after draft of thoughts and feelings I haven’t decided to share yet. I don’t know if I ever will. I read several blogs, most of them written in a way that is much more eloquent and well spoken than I could ever hope to be. I read blogs ranging from motherhood, to cooking, to life in the city, to shopping, to—well, there’s a blog out there for just about everything. You are all authors of your own story, and I admire all of you for putting yourselves out there; for letting me and others into your life in a way that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to share. The posts that I write aren’t always grammatically correct, sometimes my spelling is horrible, and sometimes they just might not make a whole lot of sense. Sometimes I just feel like writing.

“This is pretty much what journals are all about, at least to me. I knew as I wrote them that even though they provided an excellent place for brain (and heart, and psyche) dump, they were mainly a map of me.” ~ Colleen Wainwright

So, what about you. Why do you write?


Bayjb said...

This was really lovely. I write so that I can express the creative thoughts in my head and my feelings on anything and everything. It keeps me sharp and always thinking of new things.

Andy said...

Excuse me. If your writing is good, I've definitley been fooled for many years. My Enflish teachers have told me I have a 'good' writing, so that'd make yours close to excellent.

So why do I write?

Because, somehow, I started reading blogs. Then I decided to write my own. And now it's become an addiction. I mean, I feel WRONG when I don't post on a given day.

Why do I write? Because in the outter world, I feel the pressure of being good at everything. A good daugher, a good sister, a good cousin, a good granddaughter, a good friend, a good student, a good athlete, a good woman...

But on my blog, that pressure comes off. I have to be just me. What I put there is me not tying to outshine anyone or anything.

You guys know my flaws and my qualities. You guys know most of my problems. You guys know pretty much my whole life.

And well, I can't deny having a feedback is always nice. Having advice given from people I don't know (yet!) is super-reassuring.

And that's why.

Cameo said...

How the hell did you get into my brain and write down why I write?! First off, I didn't comment on your post yesterday because it was all too real, too heavy for me. I APPLAUD you and am SO FUCKING proud of you for having the cajones to walk away. You are VERY VERY strong and an amazing woman. I cannot imagine. Can. not. imagine. Anyway, blogging. One of the DUMBEST things I ever did was sent out my blog address WITH MY CHRISTMAS CARDS!!!!! Seriously, what was I on? Oh, yeah, pain meds, anxiety meds, etc... Still, no excuse for that stupid fuck up. But I try not to let that influence what I write and I write just my life. I've written since I was about 6. I love it. I can remember (when I had more time) siting down at the computer and literally losing myself in writing. I've written so many stories, started so many books, started a few screenplays. For me writing is like breathing, I couldn't exist without it. And don't worry, we think of you as the family "fun drunk". Oh, and who is your cousin? Which blog is their blog?

Auburn Kat said...

I write because it's my outlet. An outlet where people don't judge me. I can be me. I can speak my mind.

alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

i write because it's mine. MINE.

MeLaNiE said...

I write to have something to look back on and remember what I was doing. I love the quotes :)

Trina G. said...

Great post. Your post about your "father" was pretty heavy. I have been thinking about it since. Talk about keeping it real.

You inspire me with your writings. I have learned from you and enjoy your stories and especially the drunk ones:)

I put myself out there as well, and after publish button I panic sometimes, but it does feel better to let it all out sometimes. I have never been a writer, I have left that up to Sissy, but it really is therapy for me. I thank her for making me blog:)

Love to you Mandy from Ohio!!

chickbug said...

I write to feel connected. And get advice. And not feel alone in my craziness.

Mandy said...

BabyJb -- It does require new thoughts, lots of them. LOL.

Andy -- thank you, and yeah I think reading other blogs was a part of it for me too.

Cameo-- thanks! glad I can be considered the fun family drunk. LOL.

Auburn Kat -- I agree it is so nice to have an outlet like this.

Alexa -- thanks for stopping by!

Melanie -- I thought you might like the quotes! LOL.

Sissy -- Thanks, glad that my drunken stories are entertaining.

Chickbug -- woohoo for being connected!

LBluca77 said...

I think writing is a great outlet and the more you do it you can see how much better your writing becomes.

What I like about blogging is that I have not shared with any of my friends and family that I have a blog, even though it is not anonymous. I think I like that I am getting a different life experience and perspective from people I don't know, but through blogging still feel some connection to. There is something universally amazing when someone you don't know tunes in to read what you have wrote and to take an honest interest in it.

Little Fish said...

Great post! I write because it is my favorite way of expressing myself. I can't draw and I can't play an instrument, but I can use the written word to say what's in my heart.

Mandy said...

lbluca77 -- I couldnt agree with you more.

Little fish -- amen to that!