Wednesday, March 03, 2010

From the Archives: Why I Write

I wrote this  piece a few years ago, so some of you may have read it. I've had a difficult time finding the right words about some events I want to share. Or maybe its that I'm not ready to share them yet. I am a firm believer in not forcing the story until its ready to be told. In the meantime, I needed a little reminder as to 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. Even though I have a blog, I an extremely private person. 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 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?