Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why Do I Write?

A friend suggested recently, perhaps as an apology for not reading me very often, that I’m mostly writing for myself.  I suppose that’s true on some level.  “I’ll know what I think when I read what I wrote.” Writing is a fantastic way to solidify my thinking on a subject…to capture the story in a way that I want to remember it.  I often reread what I’ve written, so it’s important that I commit to telling the story properly.  In that sense, the writing is for me.

But I don’t believe I write this blog just for me (otherwise, I’d simply keep a journal).  Writing is, in its most elemental form, a means of communication…of outreach…of connection.  There is, or should be, more to what I write than just a catalog of anecdotes about my experiences.  There is, or should be, something in my stories that resonates with others. 

I have to believe that I’m not the first person to work through the language of a revelation.  I’m not the first to struggle with a hard moment of self-talk.  I’m not alone in my desire to figure out my nature and my place world around me.  I can’t be the first to dig a little deeper into the “what” and “why” of life…and I doubt I’ll be the last.  There are millions of us who have, at one point or another, been heartbroken over something.  The world is full of people like me who are trying to navigate the tricky terrain of being a full-time-everything-at-once (full-time parent, full-time employee, full-time student, etc.).    We all struggle.  We all fear.  We all have big questions.  We all try and learn and grow and change.

I believe that there is a thread of commonality that runs through all of us:  the shared experience of fundamentally being a thinking, feeling person wandering around on this planet.  We have similarities even in our differences.  We may not talk about it openly, but on some level we’re all on a journey to find a greater sense of understanding. 

I’m simply choosing to talk about it.  I’m choosing to offer my lessons-learned in a public forum.  I’m not sure that my insights will necessarily shorten the learning curve for anyone else, but who knows?  If I’m right and we are connected by the common thread of our humanity, then these a-ha moments might just have a little ripple effect.   

And, at the heart of it, that is why I write. I write because there is a possibility that my experience will connect with someone else's.  I write in the hope that we will both become just a little bit clearer on our journey.  I write for me, of course...but I might just be writing for you, too.

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