Monday, July 11, 2011

Why bother?

As always, Karie over at Fourth Edition shares some interesting thoughts about why she blogs, which naturally makes me think about why I blog.

When I started blogging, I was in my final year of high school. I wrote a lot in high school. There were literal boxes full of things I'd written in my parents' basement until recently, notebooks upon notebooks of poetry, short stories, screenplays, etc. I wrote letters to friends. I wrote mini-essays when I was bored in class. I had a direction and a discipline at that time that seems breathtaking in retrospect.

I wrote a lot in university as well: essays, mostly, although I still made an effort to write creatively when I could. In the summertime, when I would work at THSWSNBN, I would carry a notebook and pen in my costume's pouch so that I could write in idle moments, or at least jot down any interesting ideas I had. Working there was very good for me in so many ways, not least of which was the sheer number of creative people that I worked with: there was always something to inspire me.

Now that I'm a grown up, though, I don't have the same drive to write that I did when I was younger. Writing takes both time and discipline, neither of which are abundant in my life. It also takes drive, and I think that is the bigger issue here. I actually blame my job for this: I spend so much time reading bad writing that it has affected my ability to be objective about my own writing, and it has lead to a terrifying fear that my writing might actually be terrible and no one has ever told me. Everything that I write sounds hackneyed and cliched at worst; at best, it sounds profoundly uninteresting.

So I write here because it keeps me writing--no matter how bad I am afraid that I am, I still can't quite bring myself to give it up. I've made a concerted effort to refocus my energy into this blog in the last year and a half, and I think it's been (mostly) working. One of the things that I preach at my students is that practice makes perfect (or at least better) for writing, so I'd best follow my own advice.

I'm unlikely to be a blogger who acquires Fame and Fortune through what I write here. (Heck, I'm unlikely to be a blogger who amasses more than thirty regular followers.) But I am a blogger who has found a voice that allows her to write as often as she chooses, about the things that she chooses, and who is able to use that to push her writing forward. I don't post everything I write, and I don't write in as much details as I sometimes think I might. So why bother? I bother because it keeps me writing. As long as I'm writing, I haven't given up hope.

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