Monday, November 10, 2014

I Am What I Repeatedly Do: Why I Blog

I don't remember reading about this ring in Purgatory, but reading students' papers must be penance for all the bad papers I've written in my life.

I remember, freshman year, I wrote a bad paper. More accurately, a poorly edited paper. Ug, to think of it now! I just ran out of time! Time management has never been my strong suit. My professor asked me to stop by his office and told me that he's read my other papers, and he's read my articles in the school papers I wrote for - and I can do better. I have a way with words, and this paper was not up to par with my abilities.

Ouch, is all I remember. Oh, the shame. The shame. I needed that dose of reality. Hillsdale College gave me repeated doses of reality, all four years, and I became a better student because of them.

Now, I'm teaching writing to those young students of history. I'm teaching them the five paragraph format, thesis, body, analysis, and an original conclusion. It's made me think a lot about writing and my own journey.

The essay is, arguably, my favorite type of writing. It is also one of the hardest, due to its style and length. Which brings me to blogging.

I'll never understand all the existential crises I've had in regards to my blog. The WHY DO I BLOG misgivings and continuing the write here years after the willy-nilly start of this blog during college: the pull is still strong. I wrote through a Washington, D.C. internship, senior year of college, my first three jobs, friendships, and my entire relationship with my husband.

Sometimes, my blogging is about what I omit too - I've never wrote about the depth of my spiritual battles in college, heartaches again and again, the loneliness and hurt that cut deeper when you live in a snow globe, or dyslexia suspicions. But writing my blog - writing about my small victories, what I'm reading, what I'm trying, and what I love - gives me courage to write more publicly about the harder subjects, the ones I keep much closer to my shy heart.

When I was in college, I wrote letters to a few friends regularly. Most didn't reply back often in letter (gchat or a a text confirmed they were appreciated and read), but forging our friendship deeper helped me open up myself as an acceptable voice worth listening to. I loved writing letters in college, and today, as I struggle to finish Grace's birthday Thank You notes still, this blog is my new way of writing letters to friends I know are still reading.

I do write letters - I'm still pen-pals with a former professor of mine, a high school friend of mine, and a few college friends, including a sister-in-formation. I love the postcards that arrive in the mail now from travels; the baby announcements; and soon, the Christmas cards. For now, however, the blog reigns as my short essay; a kind of memoir, maybe, and a place where I can always publish, and even when I don't - where I can always write and don't have to worry about finding a stamp.

writing/ studying on the drive up to Michigan with our family pup
I never grappled with the term "writer" - I am one, ever since I was in the third grade and decided what I wanted to be while writing about Leprechauns. I do grapple with the word "blogger" though because, eh, it seems so informal. It brings out my worst fear that I am "wasting my talents" {unquote} and that what I write is unimportant... which brings me to you, dear readers: thanks for all the feedback.

Your feedback really brings out my Winston Churchill side to never, never, never, never give up writing. Some days, I'm too anxious to post -- what am I writing about?! For all the struggles and woe writing can bring, it is words that soothe the mind and warm the heart. Blogging gives that to me, and it gives back to those who needed to hear those words - it is too often to be a coincidence that I write substance people need to hear. This blog has the Holy Spirit racing through, and I feel it. My blog is beginning to feel like a mission, a purposeful outlet.

Then again, this is exactly what I try to capture in writing my blog - the extraordinary of the ordinary. The blog is such a normal medium, and my life isn't so special - except that it's mine. And as the leading lady of my own life, I have that responsibility to enjoy it.

And that is why I blog: I enjoy it. I don't blog for the numbers; I blog for the community that has grown around me and The Corner with a View. I don't always blog my best work; my best work comes out because of the writing I publish on this blog. I blog for the love of it, and that is really the only way to pursue passions. People are attracted to the genuine, to the beautiful and to love, and that is what I hope to give to my readers here.

Do you blog? Or why do you read blogs? What are your Aristotelian pursuits of the day?

Happy Monday! Thanks for reading, as my younger set like to write upon the conclusion of their essays... {We're working on that!}

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1 comment:

  1. "Then again, this is exactly what I try to capture in writing my blog - the extraordinary of the ordinary." And that is why I read your blog! I enjoy the glimpse into your life.

    When my hands hit the keys, only negative feelings and struggles gush out. That's mostly why I've stopped writing. I have nothing to say, only tears and anger, and although I'd like people to share with, I don't want to share with the entire internet. Maybe I should do more letter writing.