Yesterday, I came across this post on The Cassandra Pages which gave a different point of view to the age old question of why we write. Beth quotes from this article, which also looks at why we write: "The reader wants to see; your job is to do the pointing."
But Beth points out all that must happen before writers are ready to do the pointing: "First we have to train ourselves to be people who actually see something: people who are able to quiet down enough that we become an eye, an ear, a sensitive skin, but not so sensitive that we cannot bear it. Then we have to learn how to express what we have learned through our senses, intelligence, and experience. Finally, we have to learn how to give it away - how to point our effort toward the invisible reader rather than back at ourselves; how to become a vessel that fills and empties over and over again."
She concludes, "Not a bad way to spend a life."
I thought of my friend from England. For a year, she took the dog to walk in a park and she took her journal with her. Each and every day, for 365 days, she wrote down what she saw. And she was amazed by all the things that she saw, all the things she wouldn't have noticed if she hadn't been showing up to observe.
I found that idea so compelling. I also like the idea of showing up at the same window/location each and every day to take a picture.
In many ways, my daily blogging is similar. As with daily writing of any kind, I find myself thinking about what I will write long before I sit down at the desk. I notice many details of my life that would otherwise escape unrecorded, and perhaps unnoticed.
And yes, I do go back periodically and re-read. I was looking back through July posts of past years when I was working on a 4th of July post for Living Lutheran. Several years ago, my nephew and I created all sorts of things: forts, costumes, weapons, creatures. My nephew started saying, "Make me a superpower, Kris"--as if I could do that out of construction paper and glue!
I had completely forgotten that nugget. What a wonderful memory! But it would have been lost forever if I hadn't written it down.
Occasionally someone tells me how the age of blogging is over, and that may be the case. I'll keep doing it though. It has benefits for me far above the marketing that I might be able to do, the audiences I might be able to generate, the interest that I could drum up.
Kelli put it eloquently in this blog post: " I just want to say thanks to anyone who reads my blog. Blogs are not the thing anymore. Short form content like Twitter and Facebook has left what was once a neighborhood filled with interesting poets with empty houses. I'm still around. I always wonder when I'll leave, but I hang on, repaint my house and see what happens."
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