To Write or Not to Write: Lessons from the Blog
I’ve been writing my blog for about 5 weeks now. It felt very odd at first to be putting my musings out there, as if anyone would care. But I realized, the more I wrote and posted, the more I cared about finding something of value to say. I realize I may not always succeed, but I diligently work every week to meet my own internal commitment to post something worth reading at least every couple of days. I am also realizing that if I make a promise online that I work to keep it—whether others are actually reading and commenting on my blog or not. The promise of readers—friends or strangers, one or 100—keeps me going. As a former English teacher, I have always been aware of the necessity of audience to help an author really find her voice, but this blogging process is making that platitude a tangible reality.
But there is also a flip side to blogging: I find myself reading the blogs of others more and more every week. I had never explored them before I started writing one and never left comments on the news posts that requested them. But now as I listen to these other voices, I am reminded that the true power of communication is making that connection. Putting the message out there starts the dialog, but it is not complete until it is read by someone else. It is in the reading that one can discover new ideas, shared values, varying perspectives, humor or maybe even confusion or anger. I love it when the readings make me laugh, cry, think, wonder—or feel understood. It is the reading that gives the blog a social edge over the personal diary locked away and hidden in a drawer. In some ways, it is the reading that keeps me writing.
I am not sure how long I will keep writing this blog. But—for now—I am having fun and will continue writing as long as a few people keep wandering through the pages. A few have even subscribed or left comments. But regardless, I am committed to sharing ideas, thoughts, experiences with the promise of readers. Like the practice of sitting in Buddhist meditation, I will just keep on writing, every week, trying to stay focused and authentic in the moment. Then, over time, I imagine I will suddenly be aware of more lessons and realizations, rising from the practice. As they come to mind, I will share them here.
Of course, writing this blog gives the added plus of having a way to share some of my nature photography that otherwise sits on the shelf in the back room. Often the photos themselves generate ideas, more from the solitude and wonder of taking the picture than the picture itself, but still—they often help me write. It is the surprises of nature I like the best:
HAPPY READING! If you have questions, ideas, or comments on your own process, please share.