At dinner with clients last night, the conversation shifted to my blog: why I write, who cares what I have to say, what started me on the topic of blogging, etc. At the surface, it was a casual discussion and, despite the light-hearted ribbing of one colleague who seriously doesn’t understand why “anyone would give a $%^# what I have to say,” the entire discussion does give me pause.
Why do I write?
I typically write my blogs in the early morning hours. Being three time zones out of my natural pattern today allowed for some very early morning quiet time to think and meditate on why I write a blog. I don’t write one every day. I don’t know if anyone cares and, thankfully, I don’t measure the success of my writing by the praise I get. I am blessed by the comments others take time to make, but when it is all said and done, my blog is my way of making sense out of the issues and ideas that swirl in my head. It is my way to inspire and encourage others and keep myself accountable to the work required to build a great life for my family and myself. If I had to make a list of why I blog, it would go like this:
To stay positive about my life. Life comes at me like a train sometimes and knocks me to my knees. Juggling family, work, personal goals and trying to keep a modicum of sanity about it all takes an effort! Rather than take a “poor, poor me” approach, I find that when I share the experiences and look for the lesson and truth in all that is happening, it forces me to change my outlook and be positive about the experience. I can find the rainbow in the midst of the storm I’d otherwise miss. Doing the research on the blog takes me to books, articles and places that help me grow and learn about the issues and opportunities I am wrestling with and in the midst of it all, I find I am growing and cultivating a renewed spirit and energy about myself.
To hone my craft as a writer. I love the written word. I love good writing. I am attracted to people who are well-spoken, well-written and have a great command of the English language and aspire to be one of them. I write because I one day want to write a book, be known for my ability to inspire others – greatly – with my words and see every day as an opportunity to practice and improve my skills. My stories are mine and how I share my experiences are my ability to motivate, humor and inspire others. I want to find a way to put that to work as a parent, a manager, a motivational speaker and author someday. For now, I will continue to peck out words and letters in some assemblance of order and rhythm to give meaning to myself and others. It is my toe-in-the-water beginning to my dream of one day doing something outrageous to inspire and motivate others. It is my start.
To be an instrument. I don’t always sit down and know what I am going to write about. Many days, I sit down at the keyboard feeling drained and empty. In those moments, when I give up my agenda for writing and whisper to God that I have nothing, he takes over. Sometimes in big bold ways; other times in quiet gentle ways he leads me to a topic that I write about. Ironically, those are my best blogs and the ones that get the most “hits.” I am not a perfect Christian – far, far from it – and stumble and fall more often than most. But in my imperfection, God shows me life lessons and ways to use my own experiences to encourage others. When I allow him to lead and let my writing be a reflection of him in me, I can be the encouragement and inspiration someone else just might need.
To be disciplined. There is a level of accountability and responsibility that comes with blogging and I like it. I like forcing myself to sit down and share my experiences and find the reasons for what is happening in my life. When things are beyond chaotic in my world, the routine and order of my blog can be a calming presence in my day. I can control it and force myself to create something from nothing. It may not be long or fabulous every day, but it can be borne from nothing. That brings meaning and structure to the otherwise uncontrollable aspects of my world and for that, I am thankful.
The world of blogging is an inspirational and unexpected surprise. As I write and read the comments and posts of fellow readers and bloggers, I find myself becoming more and more inspired and intrigued by the writings and experiences of these kindred spirits I have found within the blogging community. The encouragement and support from those who follow me and the inspiration I get from those I have discovered continue to help shape and sculpt the topics and direction my writing takes. My writing is improving and, with time, my grammar and editing skills will continue to sharpen and (hopefully) not require so many revisions.
So why do I blog? For me, it is a little cocktail of personal accountability, emotional well-being, Christian obedience and preparation for the next level of this outrageous life. I write because it makes me a better me and for now, well, that’s more than enough of a reason.