Why I Write

Why I Write
At its purest, my efforts to write are more about processing than anything else. I’m all about that “an unexamined life is not worth living” business, and I use words to do most of my examination. When I blog, I do that work in public. Which is sort of weird, I guess. But it works for me. Odd as it sounds, it brings an element of “reality” to the process.

Sometimes I talk out loud. In fact, I do that a lot in the car; prepping for conversations, working through issues. Or just talking to myself. Verbal blogging; comes from the same place as the writing.

Maybe I’m a little weird….

Basically, I write to understand myself, mostly.

I also write to see what others think. When I first started blogging, I anxiously awaited the buzz of the comments. They were affirming. I felt better about myself when somebody said something nice about a post. I felt important. However, all that has faded. I like comments now – but I don’t write for any reaction. I do find myself wondering what people think, and a negative comment will stick with me, but it’s not a huge deal. Like it used to be.

But I still wonder.

I also write often from my real life role in as a creative woman in leadership. It’s a unique perspective, a unique role and a unique church. Probably two-thirds of my posts are written with that audience in mind.

And I write to celebrate my kids. They are incredible stories in their own right. Sometimes I like to tell them.

What I Expect
I expect that I will understand myself a little better. Sometimes I think I don’t do life and relationships very well, so I write about myself, throw it out there and see what sticks. The feedback I get often reassures me that I am not alone. Re-reading my own writing reminds me that I’m alive.

How It Makes Me Feel
Writing is cathartic for me. It’s often incredibly healing and helps me move past things. it helps me process and cleanse emotional junk. It makes me feel healthy.

I also find it exciting to communicate about things that I feel are important or that might matter to others. I like to encourage and inform, and blogging is a good forum for that.

Doing It Professionally Or For Fun?
All my life, I have been a voracious reader. I love books. I’m getting pickier in my old age, but I’d rather read a book than see a movie any day. Good books have stayed with me for decades. I still remember reading John Iriving’s The World According To Garp while in high school and being totally, completely smitten. I loved the characters and the story, but I was drawn to the author. I wanted to do that.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer; but only a good writer. Blogging is a small way of keeping my foot in the door while hiding from the fact that what I’d really like to do is write something of substance, something that made a difference in somebody’s world.

I’d like to be somebody’s John Irving. I’m not sure that’s my calling, but I enjoy the exercise.

Do I Hide It From My Real Life?
I blogged through a divorce privately. That was my first venture into writing outside of diaries and journals. I do believe that if I had not written as I did (and found kind, supportive voices to read and encourage me), I would not have survived as I did.

One of the character flaws that led to my divorce was my propensity for leading a double life. I do my best to avoid living that way now. I blog in real life and its all connected to my online life as well. I’ve having second thoughts about all that, but only because I can’t keep up with all the relationships.

This post was in response to a prompt. I am part of a group of writing friends who have never met. We call our group Write, Eat, Post, Bathe . We understand our priorities.

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5 Comments

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  1. ~snort~ Love the last line.

    Enjoyed this. And you make me think.

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  2. Very good, Beth! I've loved watching your progression on your writing (and living) path!

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  3. Me too for sure…. I think I will go back also tomorrow and answer those questions… since it, as you say is processing and can be very self revealing.

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  4. If processing through writing in a public forum is “weird” . . .I'm in the same boat. 🙂 But like you said, oddly enough it works.

    And to you my friend, my John Irving, it seems only appropriate to inform you that through your writing, whether it be the critic of a book, the joys of motherhood, the reality of being human, the lows of life, or just random thoughts passing by–You have inspired me, you have challenged me, and you have helped push me into a deeper place of discovery. Our God is good and the mystery of His timing, of who, where and how He crosses the paths of His beloved continues to blow me away. I'm thankful our paths have crossed.

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  5. I love how you took this and processed it. I do think I will follow your lead.

    And weird is the new cool!

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