I have never considered myself a writer. Never dreamed of writing a book, never kept a journal, never wrote a poem that wasn't assigned and hideous. Yet I write here with no intention of making money at it. Why?
I started this blog when I struggled to write a personal essay. After years of neglecting them, I no longer had the skills to write well easily. The blog began as writing practice. I had no idea who, if anyone, would read it. I didn't know if I wanted anyone to read it.
Over time, the blog has grown. Its readership remains small, but it has grown in importance to me. I have come to depend on it as a way to process my thoughts, to make the mental gears turn and to release feelings before they overwhelm me.
I also have found community here. Your feedback and comments make this an interactive process that I welcome like a good friend.
I have come to depend on this blog, but sometimes the blog fails me.
While the thoughts here are my own, I cannot write about everything. I do not live in a vacuum, and I am not a hermit. My experiences are shared.
Most of the time, this means that I focus more on my reaction to an event than the facts of the event. My husband is a much more private person than I am, so I don't write about him here. My children are growing and developing their own lives and opinions. Soon they will ask that I not write about them at all. I'm already cautious to avoid sharing things they may consider personal. When I write about my family, I try to avoid details and write only about how something affects me.
Other times, I cannot write about my feelings because it's not my story to tell. Sometimes it's not about me at all. Things happen to people I care about. When those things make me angry or sad, I want to write about it. But writing a first-person essay about my feelings makes it seem like it's my story. Much of the time, it's not. So I don't.
Finally, sometimes I can't write about something because it would anger someone or cause hurt feelings. I know members of my community--in my town and at our school--that read what I write. The things that weigh on me often relate to other people, and I'm not going to call out those people publicly. It's not the way to handle things.
This blog has become a crutch for me. I lean on it to help me sort thoughts and feelings so much that I often find it harder to deal with things if I cannot write about them. But some things are destined to remain in my head, or at least to a one-on-one conversation with a good friend.
At times this blog is quiet because the voices in my head are quiet. Other times, the noise in my head and heart is so cacophonous that the blog remains silent. This is one of those weeks.
Thanks for nothing, blog.