The Art of Writing

Seems a lofty title, doesn’t it?

Not my intent, but I’ll keep it just the same.

This isn’t my first blog. About six years ago, I penned another blog under the pseudonym “Great Lakes Running Gal”. That blog lasted a few years, chronicled my budding running hobby, and a few other miscellaneous things. Along came nursing school, and I found myself being taken away from my blog. Rather than try to catch people up, I simply closed down shop. I hung the sign that read, “Closed for season.” The season ended up being longer than I originally intended. I felt that my blog had become too narrow in scope, too focused for reading by those who could care less about running. I didn’t feel like I was showing the truest side of myself. I was more than a runner.

I was a wife.

I was a mom.

I was a nursing student.

I was a patient advocate for my mom who was battling sarcoma.

I was an employee.

I was a friend.

As time passed, I found myself putting fewer and fewer words down on paper or in my blog. I gave up on the notion that writing was therapeutic, cathartic, healing, a release. Such a shame, really.

It wasn’t until very recently that I was reunited with writing. I had this overwhelming desire to gather my thoughts and put them down on paper, on napkins, on notepads or wait….maybe a new blog? Yes! That’s it. I felt that burning to write again. I wanted something to represent me. Speak for me. Speak to me. Speak when I couldn’t verbalize thoughts on my own. Sometimes it is easier to write than it is to talk. Sometimes it is easier, but not necessarily better.

A perfect example of this would be the relationship I had with my ex-husband.

We never really talked. We preferred to email each other. Sad, isn’t it? We lived in a smallish house with our son and we each had our own office. I sat in my office and my ex sat in his. From these two separate desk chairs, we emailed our entire relationship to each other. We emailed everything from the important to the mundane. From discussing our wills and advance directives and guardianship for our son to reminders that bills were due. Anything and everything in between was emailed back and forth. The sentiment was sincere, but we just couldn’t seem to vocalize what we could so easily put down in computerized form.

I look back on that now with sadness. Maybe that’s what left a bitter taste in my mouth regarding writing. I vowed I would never conduct myself or any relationship that way. I vowed the next time I wrote, it would be meaningful to one person:

Me.

I don’t presume to know much about writing. I do know that writing provides me a tremendous amount of peace and solace. Writing gives me a place to call my own. When I feel the urge to put my thoughts down, I love the release that comes with the sound of click on the keyboard and reading the text as it flows from my fingertips. I don’t proofread much after I type, but more as I go along. I like the fresh and raw emotion that comes from unedited writing. In this there is truth. In this there is honesty. In this there is therapy. And yeah, sometimes there are typos. And expletives. Fuck, yes.

Recently, I sat down with stationery and a pen and began to address notecards to friends and family. I wanted to resuscitate the lost art of sending letters in the mail. It was here the writing bug bit hard. I loved the feeling of writing such casual, light-hearted notes to people that would truly appreciate them. I even received some follow-up text messages and phone calls expressing thanks.

This blog started a few months ago. I had let it lapse for a few months, then recently I knew it was time.

It was time to start new. Start fresh. Start writing again. Start putting thoughts down for me, for others.

Can I pinpoint the exact moment when I knew I needed to write again? Perhaps. I’m quite aware of the general time frame in which the moment struck me, and I distinctly recall thinking, “Shit. I want to put this down on paper somehow. Wait. I have a blog.” Also relevant is the fact that I recently deactivated my Facebook page, which allowed me more focus on my creative side. The side that yearned to write, longed to have more time to devote to this passion of mine. The side that hoped my writing would inspire others to do the same.

Now, look. I’m not here to tell you what to do, but I dare say the world is a better place with the advent of blogging. Blogging has allowed us to put our virtual journals and diaries online for all the world to see, but to maintain a sense of anonymity. Writing at its finest. Raw. Powerful. Emotion-filled. Love-laden. Passionate.

While I’m not here to tell you what to do, I will encourage you to do one thing.

Write.

Write on paper. Write on napkins. Write on your computer. Whatever medium you choose isn’t important. What is important is that you write. Give yourself the creative outlet to express yourself. Think you can’t write? I beg to differ. Everyone can write, but not everyone feels comfortable doing so. Even if you think your writing isn’t up to snuff, do it anyway. Start by writing to friends and family. Send them a card, a note, or a scrap of paper with the words, “I love you” on it and send it off to them. Start there.

If you think you have no means to express yourself in any other format, start writing. Put your thoughts down. I cannot tell you how important this has become in my daily life. I find myself longing to get in front of my computer with a nice, big cup of coffee in the morning and start my day with my thoughts and then transcribing them on to my blog. Try it. Set up a blog. It’s free. It’s relatively easy to set up. No need for fancy templates. Keep it basic and let the decor be your words.

To those who have recently inspired me, I thank you. You know who you are, and I wouldn’t be HERE writing THIS if it weren’t for YOU. You have given me the strength, the courage, the power and the passion to bring life to my words and my words to life. I only hope that you return my favor by putting your words down for me to get a little glimpse of what makes you tick, what brings you joy, what makes your heart beat fast, what makes you smile and what gives meaning to your life.

If not, that’s okay, too.

I’ll keep writing….

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