A thread of thought has been in my mind for a little while now. It drifts in and out when I sit down to write my blog. I think about becoming a writer. What it took to start, how I have the discipline to continue and what happens afterwards to what I write.
I know quite a few people personally who I would consider to be writers. I look at what they share with a kind of awe. How did they manage to tap into my head so well that they write about the same questions I have. Some of them would never give themselves the title of writer. Yet when I read their work I know that they are in the flow of their own creative energy. In fact I have bought many books only to feel that the writer isn’t actually a writer. So what do the writers I admire do differently. Firstly, they follow that good piece of advice – they write about what they know. Because that usually reveals something about themselves. And as their story (whether fact or fiction) emerges I get a glimpse of their world. I’m let into their inner space for a short while.
These writers communicate by using the personal. They put their personal in front of every one to say ‘here, if you can use this please do so’. Even if they write in the third person. When I began blogging I had a pile of journals, notebooks and jottings stashed away. Putting things down on paper has been a habit for most of my life really. Especially when setting off on anything new. But I had to think about how a blog would work. I could stuff it full of facts and statistics. Or use the ‘every one knows’ kind of statements. Even debate popular opinions. However, I also felt that would restrict me in some way. I understood that to be a writer in the way I wanted I had to discuss my personal experience. Because it works better at explaining what my life is really like.
That’s the aim for me as a writer. My experiences of life are by no means unique.
So if I share my personal world for a moment or two someone else may identify with it. I am a product of my experiences. We all are. But I know that we all share many common or similar experiences. And letting my world be open may give someone else a sense of connection to me. Through our similar experiences we can be on the same wavelength for that fraction of a second. Thinking about myself as a writer I also know that I would like my writing to promote positive energy and change in my world. If I can connect for that second, be open and sharing with someone for a moment, then we can agree that we are the same in some way. Because right now there is too much made of differences. And not enough of similarities.
With my writing I explain who I am and invite others to take a look at me as I move through my life. And I invite others to do the same and share their stories (Inspired 2 Write is one of my projects). There is something very honest that emerges from writing from the first person to each other. We begin to see past the restrictions of culture, race, gender, religion, sexuality. Past the assumptions and judgements that seem like a thick glue when we are trying to talk to each other. Writing isn’t about everybody agreeing. It is all about promoting debate and understanding. Even within myself. Writing as ‘I’ helps me own my inner world so I can address the parts of it that need to change. Because all of us need to change. The world needs honesty and clarity right now.
One of our oldest traditions is storytelling. By writing it down we preserve those stories for the future. Voices caught, held and ready to be heard again even if the person is long gone. How wonderful to pass on an honest account of all of our shared lives. I’m certain that starts with writing about ‘me’.
Day 892 of my blogging challenge