Why Write?

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The front cover of my journal

I have struggled for months now to brave the cold, forbidding world known as the Internet, and post again. I have written down kernels of ideas, epiphanies, and fun topics into a small blue notebook, waiting for my courage to spike again, and my fingers to find that familiar template, and to press “Publish”.

 

But every time I do, a thought goes through my head: “Why bother?”. And it’s a good question.

Why do I write?

Why do you write? To become a famous novelist? To earn a living from your desk(or couch, or bed, or wherever you write)? To find a release from something dark pent-up in your soul?

I write for several different reasons, and have for most of my life.

I write because that’s where I find clarity. Through the simple act of holding a pen to paper, I find my thoughts straighten themselves, announce themselves, and often bring friends with them. I find my mind makes new leaps to different conclusions than I would anticipate, and I usually walk away from my writing with a renewed sense of purpose, or focus, or clarity, or whatever I felt was lacking, and I often have food for a few more day’s thought.

I write because I want to. That may seem like a silly reason, but truly, when you look at your life, how much of what you do is because you truly want to? Did you really want to go to work this morning? Did you really want to wash the dog? Did you really want to make dinner and clean up the kids and wash the dishes? I write because that’s what I truly want to do with my spare time. I obviously don’t do it often (see this post), but that’s because I don’t always want to. When I was about 12, I realized that my journal wasn’t a failure if I didn’t write in it every day. So, to remind myself of that, I wrote a series of “rules” in the front of every journal I’ve kept since:

  • This journal will not be kept on a regular schedule
  • This journal will not be neat
  • This journal will not always be truthful, but it will always be what I am feeling right now.

This set of rules has proved invaluable to me over the years – I actually have written more often once I realized I didn’t have to write regularly!

I also struggle with the fear of writing. It’s very difficult to put your intimate thoughts down on paper, particularly since, as I am an introvert, I have usually nurtured those thoughts for a long time before putting them in any physical form that another being might see. For me personally, the fear of rejection is very strong.

But that’s the beauty of writing – I have to choose to share it! If I have a groundbreaking thought on, say the meaning of life – I can choose to share that, or I can choose to conceal it. The choice is mine.

And I choose to share.

 

 

When Do We Stop Feeling Like Failures?

Hmm,
Yep, it’s been a while. Too long. Far too long.
I had to fail. Again.
When do we become sick of living like this? Constantly disappointing ourselves? Breaking promises to ourselves? When do I start feeling like a failure?

When I stop acting like one.
When I blog – like I said I would.
When I exercise – like I said I would.
When I write that novel – like I said I would.
When I go after that job – like I said I would.

I recently read The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. In his book, he talks about Resistance, with a capital “R”. Resistance is what drags me away from my computer, hides my running shoes and destroys any confidence and purpose I may have had in myself. Resistance can take many forms, from excessive laziness (HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living, anyone?) to becoming so enamored with a dream, you fail to make it a reality.

This has always been a struggle for me. I have struggled with self-confidence for years, but I have also struggled with doing things, because I want to do them – for me. Blogging has been a source of joy for me in the past, when I blogged for the business I worked for – and I truly long to enjoy the passion I had for it. However, doing it just because I want to, not because someone else needs me to, has proven very difficult.

I’m not saying I’ll be perfect. I’m just saying I want to try. I want to make the effort.

I’m tired of feeling like a failure.

 

Perfectionism

Someone asked me recently why I don’t go back to something I’ve been involved in heavily for the last 6-7 years, but recently stopped participating in. I was pretty ashamed of my (internal) answer: Because I might not be the best anymore.

Why do people feel the need to be perfect? I don’t want to go back to something that I may no longer be the best at. Not just good at, not that I might not enjoy it anymore, but that I might not be the best. and it’s the same in everything I do. Once I’ve stopped doing something, I don’t want to have to relearn it, or even “get up to speed” on it. I feel like I should just be able to step back into something, like I never left. Is this a tendency of a perfectionist?

Or is this just my pride?

Friday Findings

What’s Online:

Homemade Blender Lemonade from reading my tea leaves

Life is More Colorful in a White House – I couldn’t agree more!

What I’m Waiting For:

Go Set a Watchman to be available at the library, per Modern Mrs. Darcy’s recommendation

To find time to go see Ant Man next week (yes, I’m a Marvel nerd)

What’s Happening

Coast Guard Festival here in my home town starts this week! I will probably be hiding at home as much as possible – however this year I work right downtown, so I’ll have to be strategic about finding parking. Hmmm…..

What I’m Reading

What I’m Reading

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I usually get through 3-4 books a week. I returned a bunch to the library, so these are the only two I have pictures of right now.

The Intoverts’ Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling. As an introvert, so in love with this book. I keep finding myself whispering “yes, that’s it!” or “oh, that makes so much sense”. I’ll try to give you a full review later but, so far, awesome.

12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. Yes, I know it was the movie of the year. But I don’t really like reading a book that everyone else is talking about until the noise and opinions have died down a bit. I like to wait a while, and continue the conversation, or be that annoying person who says “oh that? I read that forever ago!” Great story so far!

Why not?

So why start a blog?

Really, to keep a promise to myself. I told myself I would start a blog “someday”

I think we all know Someday is always a day away.

I have always let my perfectionism, self-doubt, and laziness get in the way of my goals, dreams and passions. I’ve always been too busy-too tired, to do things. I was afraid to explore my passions or my curiosities. ‘

Enough

This year, I have begun to keep promises to myself. I have started to filter out the “I cant’s” and started listening to the “why nots?”

So far this year, I have joined different groups and organizations (only introverts will be able to understand), changed jobs, embraced minimalism, started to read through my TBR shelf, started drafting a novel, and now, started a blog.

See, this blog isn’t just about being an introvert(though that is part of it) – it’s about learning who I am, and sharing with others.

Why not?