Why I write

8 Dec

I wish I could say that I’m one of those people who has always been a writer – that I kept a diary as soon as I could hold a pen, that I have volumes of journals in which I recorded my teenage angst, that I’ve got drafts of ten novels sitting on my harddrive. But it’s not true. I’ve always been a reader – and I’ve always desperately wanted to be a writer. But every time I tried to write, even if it was just in a diary, I would be hyper-critical of every single word. I would inevitably tear it up and not try to write again for months.

So back in 2008 (I think??), when my amazing friend H started her blog, it planted an idea in my head. That maybe now that I was older, and had been through something really terrible and was having some serious trouble dealing with it, that I should try to write it out. It took me another year, but I started a blog and loved it immediately.

Every comment I received was a little ego boost. Every time I hit publish, especially on posts that were hard to write, I felt a little part of myself heal. Every time I wrote, I saw my writing improve and now it’s something I’m proud of.

But most importantly, I’ve made some very valuable connections through my writing. Some fellow bloggers have become friends. I read the words of others and wonder how they could have possibly gotten inside my head and wrote down exactly how I feel. As a parent, I read about other parents having the same struggles I do and I don’t feel like I’m failing my children miserably.

Navel gazing is an inherent part of blogging – you are, after all, creating an entire website with yourself as the subject. And I am not the kind of person who likes attention. So I always feel somewhat guilty when I write about some of the most personal aspects of my life. I worry that people feel like I’m writing it just to get comments, sympathy, or attention.

When I saw Write on Edge’s prompt for Tuesday, I knew exactly what would have to write. There was no other option for me. And I was worried it was melodramatic or indulgent. But I can promise you it was honest.

The response to that post blew me away. I started to respond to commenters individually but found myself unable to articulate what their comments meant to me. To write about the events of that day – which were traumatic and still incite a physical reaction in me when I think about them - and have such an outpouring of support and love by people who are (mostly) strangers … well. I was quite literally brought to tears.

So thank you. Thank you so very much to everyone who read or commented.

This is why I write. To connect, to hear other people’s stories, to know that there may just be something I’m good at after all. I have grand hopes (but no illusions) that I might some day be a “real” writer. But if it ever does happen, and I can reach just one person – if just one person is moved or changed by my words - I will consider that a success.

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3 Responses to “Why I write”

  1. Life of a Doctor's Wife December 8, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    You have so many things to offer, and I know that what you put to paper (or screen) is just a part of you. But you have an incredible gift. To make people feel what’s in your heart? That’s special. You ARE a writer, my dear. Only good things are ahead for you.

  2. beckyday6 December 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m so glad that you’ve found blogging as an outlet. I absolutely love your posts and I always look forward to reading them when I see them in my inbox. The way you write is so, so special, I can feel every emotion your going through, and there so honest. Please never stop posting <3 :)

  3. Heather December 13, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    I am probably not the first to break the news to you, my dear friend, but you are already a “real” writer. A profound one at that. Your honest and open approach, the way you describe events and memories in such detail, and the utmost gratitude you have for your family, friends, fellow bloggers and your loyal readers is truly admirable. I had no idea that my silly blog (that surely needs some TLC these days) encouraged you to start one of your own. I’m so very glad it did though because your writing is pure and relatable and absolutely fantastic.

    Plus, this new adventure you’re taking on will be the best thing you ever do for yourself (aside from bringing those adorable children into this world and perhaps marrying that dreamy man of yours) … and you deserve every ounce of success that comes your way.

    Love you!

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