Friday, June 10, 2011


A young friend was considering beginning her own blog, but was concerned that maybe no one would read it. Why write if nobody reads?

Good question. Writers write for many reasons, but certainly a primary reason we write is because we hope to communicate, to connect in some way with another person. Musicians play to move their audience through music, to elicit in listeners feelings of joy or sorrow or delight or wonder. Actors act, and if they do so well, they transport us for a few short hours into another world. Whether you paint or dance or sing, you hope that somehow your gift will touch other people, that they will engage with your work and say, "Aha! I understand!"

But writing and dancing and playing music also spring from an even more basic motivation than the desire to connect. It's part of who we are. I met a young woman yesterday at Wal-Mart who will be completing a degree in dance education this fall. "I just love to dance!" she enthused, her face glowing.

"But what will you do with a degree in dance education?," I asked.

"Well, I'm going to law school after I finish my undergraduate degree, and I hope to one day practice law."

"I'm not connecting the dots here," I confessed.

"The dancing...I'm just doing that because it's what I love. It's not my job, or my's who I am."

What did I tell my young friend who was considering writing her own blog? "If you want to write - then write. Don't worry about whether or not anyone will read it." Sure, it's a tremendous blessing and encouragement when someone does read your words and tells you that they value them. But, feedback or not, sometimes you've just got to write.

So, people write to connect. We write because it's who we are. And, at least for me, writing is a way to process life, a way of thinking things through in printed words. Spoken words sometimes get a bit squirrely inside my head...but putting everything down on paper (or in a Word document!) helps me sort through stuff, make sense of it, determine how to respond. Sometimes, writing things out simply helps me be free of a burden - getting heavy thoughts out of my head somehow frees me from having to mull them over and over and over. Not writing often makes me feel exhausted!

A new job, demanding huge chunks of my day. A moody computer (is this thing sulking?) that wants to exasperate me. Very iffy internet connection - We're up! No, dang it, we're down again. Aaargh! These are factors currently frustrating my few opportunities for and efforts at writing. I feel like a horse that's been too long shut up in the stall...legs aching to run.

But all that said, I am thankful that this morning - the wireless connection is working. And, I have a few minutes before I have to head up the highway to Wal-Mart. And, my brain is working. Just the tappity-tapping of the keyboard soothes me! Aaaaah, it feels so wonderful to write again.

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