Ernest Hemingway once made the remark “”There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed“. I have compassion for this point of view. I cannot match his prolific writings. I have only been blogging for a couple of weeks but already I have discovered writing is an awkward beast. Some days my posts come easily and fluidly, almost as if they write themselves. Other days it feels like pulling teeth. Incredibly difficult and each word is examined and discarded to the extent I want to tear my hair out. The posts I am particularly happy with do not seem to be the same my followers like. The ones I post and am still not 100 percent happy with, these seem to do better. Blogging is addictive. To begin with I was ecstatic when anyone visited or viewed my posts. Since I had a post with 57 views stats less than 10 make me feel a little disappointed. Stats are not the reason I write but I probably do place too much store on them. I haven’t yet managed to get to the point where I don’t care about them!
I suppose I need to be less of a perfectionist. And as a relative newcomer I still need to learn to effectively tag and categorise my posts. But this brings me back to my question, why do we write? Why do I write? My lifelong dream has been to be an author and to make a living from my writing. So blogging is an attempt to instil some discipline in my writing life. How can I expect to write a novel or suchlike if I cannot write regularly? How can I turn out something several thousand words if I cannot regularly write a thousand daily? Another reason for my writing is to stretch my creativity. I want to practise writing in all its forms. I find posts like this the easiest to write because it’s just typing my thoughts, but I enjoy fiction more because I have to really concentrate on the dialogue and where the plot is going.
The more I practise writing with blog posts like this the more I see ideas for posts and stories everywhere, often just in someone’s chance remark.
I believe we write to communicate with others, to feel less lonely, to know someone has thought of us and wanted to know what today’s post is. This is why people use social network sites. I am on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook I update a couple of times a day and Twitter about the same unless I get into a conversation with somebody. I started tweeting because I was a frustrated writer but eventually got fed up with the 140 character rule. I find writing therapeutic, a way to get things off my chest. A trouble shared is a trouble halved and I find sometimes a trouble written to be the same. Once I have set down my thoughts on paper they no longer seem to bind me in the same way.
Psychiatrists would tell us that writing a letter to someone who has wronged us can be freeing and cathartic. I wrote my absent father a letter detailing how neglected he had made me feel all my life. To this day I can’t remember if I posted it. Presently we have little or no relationship so I can’t recommend that as an approach!
As bloggers can we write exactly what we want? My answer would be no. Aside from the legal ramifications over slandering people we do need to be careful what we put into print, bearing in mind that with the internet it can have a virtual existence beyond our own time. I may relate something about my husband or my children or my friends but I try to shield them as much as possible. I wouldn’t give out names and I wouldn’t post anything I thought they wouldn’t like me relaying. I try to be sensitive in that respect because my friends are my friends for good reason and I don’t want to lose them.
When it comes to matters of public opinion, for example things that are happening in the world at the moment, we are entitled to give our opinions, to a certain extent, if they are stated in a sensible and reasonable way. We must be prepared though to understand that others may not feel the way we do. For example, God features heavily in some of my posts because I am a Christian but obviously a lot of people aren’t and I would not want them to think I was bashing them over the head with a metaphorical Bible.
One last thought on writing what we want. Many years ago I was a member of a Creative Writing group and we used to take it in turns to read out our writings,. One particular man, who was a newcomer, was given permission by the teacher to read out his work and it was so intimate and pornographic that all of us ladies felt completely creeped out and embarrassed. Indeed one older woman left the group in protest over the matter. There was something, in my opinion, creepy about this man anyway, so that particular piece of writing did not endear him to us.
So, why do you write? and do you feel it adds anything to your life, whether the process of or the outcome?
Till next time.