What Are We Writing About?
About a week or so ago, I was having a blogging identity crisis, which really just means I was having an identity crisis in general. These continual crises come in bouts. I’m having a good time, feeling great about myself and my life, and then all of sudden it’s the full moon, and I’m making like Lupin and transforming into a crazed werewolf.
In reading two blog posts about reading that’s a waste of time and rejection, it’s got me thinking a lot about the state of my own blog, the content I create for my readers, and exactly what I need to blog about that’s not a waste of time for you. As a writer, I want to put things out there for you that’s interesting, not just for entertainment, but for provoking discussion and growing our minds as critical and analytical thinkers. Yes, I like to post fun things and I like to post serious, let’s-talk-about-life things. One thing you will always find here is me blogging about topics that are important to me, whether that’s updating you on upcoming plans, delving into the crevices of the human condition, or gushing over Harry Potter.
There’s something other than just good vs. bad writing at play here, at least where my blog is concerned. We write through our influences and experiences. Our style is contingent upon how we see the world around us. The way we interpret life is like a fingerprint – no two people see it the same way. We may share beliefs and like the same movies, go to church on Sunday’s and devour books like Christmas dinner, but our eyes and minds are ours alone. When you look at the sky, do you feel like a fragile doll on which God looks down from over a roofless dollhouse? When you see a grassy field, do you reckon your eyes are like two little mouths trying to swallow down as much of the scenery as possible? When you dwell on memories, do you remember breathing in water while pretending to be a mermaid at the lake and not feeling the repercussions of liquid entering your lungs?
These are my experiences with life. I’m sure you have your own. But in the steady pulse of growing older I’ve forgotten what it means to live. I’ve forgotten what it means to trust this day the Lord made and how to nurture my childish wonderment. I’ve lost the resources of childhood and gained the properties of being in the in-between – still a child in many ways, yet stripped of the things we normally attribute with being an adult. What does this have to do with my writing and the content I create for you on my blog? Everything.
I sometimes liken my brain to a prune – something once plump with the juices of creativity, a tight skin, and sweet taste, but now bitter, dried up, and ugly as the result of misuse or no use at all. Only a year ago I was ripe with the flavors of enhancing myself as a writer and human being, and instead I’ve found myself lodged in the same dark hole – a beetle burrowing herself deeper and deeper from the light. This is something I’ve been thinking on for weeks, but have been unable to move myself into action. I wasn’t sure that whatever needed fixing I wanted fixed, so I sat in bed watching TV and eating ice cream, ignoring any voices trying to penetrate the the wall I’d built around myself. I ignored the nudges in my chest to the point I was sure it was just a slight murmur in my heart, which I do have and maybe for good reason. I’ve been bouncing my foot around, which rattles me more than I already feel.
It’s not so much that I’ve forgotten who I am as I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. Think of what would’ve happened if Harry decided he was going to stop looking for Horcruxes because he was too afraid of their outcome or if Jane decided to stay with St. John in a small home doing domestic work instead of following Rochester’s voice back to the life she truly wanted or if Mr. Darcy continued to nourish his pride and never wrote that letter to Elizabeth? The state of literature would be horrible! The state of our lives would be horrible. We’d learn from our readings, which would teach us to be passive and afraid. We’d never buck up to anything and fight for ourselves and the people we love, the things we believe in.
In thinking on this, I’ve learned that my writing is just as much about my readers as it is about me. As a creator of content I’m responsible for my ideas and how I convey them, how I write them out like letters to a cherished friend or howlers to a person who’s caused me extensive aggravation. However it comes off, I want it to matter to you because it matters to me, and in all the mattering we want, ultimately, to feel that someone out there understands what we’re going on about. But in order to know what matters to use we actually do have to read…and live. They’re the two biggest things we have going for us.