self-indulgent behavior {writing and the internet}

when i was in elementary school, in fourth grade we had to write in a journal every night. i don’t remember this at all. i know why my teacher had us do that – it gets students used to writing, helps them find their voices, and can be a powerful tool for communication between teacher and student. in middle school, our english teacher had us write in a journal (nightly, i don’t know for sure). we shared a lot of what we wrote. we also wrote poetry (his was by far one of the best poetry introductions i’ve experienced. also, i keep spelling poetry “powetry”, which is a sign i need more coffee), participated in the university art museum’s writing contest (write something inspired by a piece in the museum), and contributed to the school’s student-run literary journal. in high school, i vaguely recall a focus on journalism – really, i think, that was about researching as you wrote. but writing has, for my entire life, been around me as a powerful force. i wrote books worth of stories when i was a kid – i wish i had saved those files – and i wrote a lot of ridiculous poetry when i was in high school and mourning after loves that would really, really, really never come to be. (and let’s be real: those crushes were not on quality boys).

all of this is to say: i really love to write. i don’t think i’ll ever write a book – though there is a small voice in my heart that says i could write the hell out of a young adult novel. i love sci-fi and fantasy, and my stories when i was a kid were populated by ass-kicking ladies. who all looked like me. so, you know, watch it, hunger games. wait. maybe that just got added to my life list.

last night over dinner, a friend was talking to me about wanting to put up a tumblr of her drawings (she is a CRAZY talented artist), and said she had come close, but decided not to, because it felt selfish and vain. this was my reply, though for the sake of the internet, i’m making it more eloquent.

if you have something you’re exceptionally brilliant at (in her case, art), you should be proud of this. and it should be shared, because beauty should be put out there in every form, to make this world a bit nicer. the terrifying and wonderful thing about the internet today is that we can share anything – and with some social media tinkering, it can be seen the world over. it seems selfish because that thing that you do – art, writing, photography, cooking – is probably the thing that you do just for you. the trick is, i think, to find a way to translate it for the rest of world to see. i have my blue journal where i write in increasingly chicken scratchy writing about things i won’t put online (basically, relationships and family stuff, and some fears that i cannot put out there just yet). here, on my blog, i remember that loads of people can see what i say – so i check myself. and i edit. and i plan. i pick and choose how i want the world to view my words. it is totally self-indulgent and vain and absurd to think that anyone (beyond my family and friends) wants to read – or cares – about my thoughts. but, here’s the wild thing – people are interested in what other people experience and think and do. turns out, people liked reading about what i love about charlottesville. (a lot of you did – HI. i nearly fainted when i saw my view count from yesterday. y’all are pretty and i love you). when i write about the bachelorette (i try to be funny), people read that too. yes. this is indulgent. i like to see how many people read what on my blog each day. the strange thing is, it encourages me to be a better writer. and a better blogger (it could easily scare me off the internet forever). so, share what you got, people. i mean, remember that the internet is forever, and (apparently) being read and saved by a LOT of people (hey, big brother). so think before you put it out there. but if you think it through, and you feel that what you’re going to post is you, and what you want the world to see, then click ‘publish’, and fears be damned.

i love to write. she loves to draw. if i write every day, even when it’s hard to think of something to write about, i’ll improve. if people are reading it, well, that audience is going to make me want to be a better writer (oh my GOD, i spelled that ‘writter’. i think something broke in my brain today). i don’t think that this blog will ever make me famous, and i don’t want or need it to (but, MK, if it does, i remember that you get a nice pair of shoes out of my fame and fortune). i really love to write. that’s it. pure and simple.

OKAY. all that being said, i’m trying to make this a better blog. every sunday night, i open up tasks in gmail, and plan out what each day’s post will be for the week. this week’s theme will be nostalgia – things i loved as a kid (mostly, i really get a kick out of sharing Life in the Country as a Wee Lass stories). i’d love to know what you readers want to see, though – anything you want me to write about?

finally – a thank you to everyone who reads. i had my highest view count EVER yesterday – and that made my heart sing. so thank you to my mom for sharing my post about charlottesville, to my boyfriend for sharing my post-vacation wrap-up, and to every single one of you fabulous mofos who clicked a link on twitter or facebook or bloglovin. as a person who occasionally wants to hide in the bathroom at social events, i love being able to say what i’m thinking and connect with people like this. the internet! great for social anxiety!

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