“The good writer seems to be writing about himself, but has his eye always on that thread of the Universe which runs through himself and all things.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
For most of my life I have either written in a journal, on scraps pieces of paper, post it notes or blogging. My first memories of writing started when I was 10 or 11 years old. My parents had given me a journal as a Christmas gift. It was a small square, gold book that was a 5 year journal. I remember turning the book over and thinking, “what would I use this for?” With only a few lines for each year, how I could possibly find something to write about?
At first, I would write about something that happened in my day. As I got older, the journaling was more about my friends, the boys I liked, school, church activities, and poems that I wrote. It wasn’t until my late teens/early twenties that my writing changed, and I started writing about my dreams, goals and thoughts about life.
I used to keep all my journals, as I wanted to share them with my children someday. But, because I moved around a lot, all but one went missing. The one I do have is from my early twenties. (This journal would be my last tangible one) Even now, I have a hard time reading that one as it has lot of dark thoughts. At that time, I was dealing with a lot of difficult issues. I’ve often thought about throwing it out or burning it, yet a part of me, feels that I shouldn’t. Maybe I’m just not ready to let it go or perhaps it’s a reminder of how far I’ve come.
As I contemplated on why I stopped writing in a journal, I also noted it was the same time that I met my ex husband. I was twenty three years old when we first met. Originally, I journalled because it gave me a platform to share my thoughts without having someone tell me that I was wrong. (Also, in our family, we didn’t share our feelings and we kept a lot of things in.) When we started dating, he was my sounding board, he listened without judgement. I was able to tell him everything and still know that I was safe. When our marriage was on the rocks, I found myself writing again.
Eric Arthur Blair, who used the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. He believes that there are four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose. They exist in different degrees in every writer, and in any one writer the proportions will vary from time to time, according to the atmosphere in which he is living. The four motives are: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impact, and political purpose. I suppose that there is some truth to it.
Here are 7 reasons why I write:
- I write because I have goals and dreams that I want to achieve. If I don’t write them down, how can I hold myself accountable? In written form, I can look back and see the progress that I have made.
- I write because it helps me understand the situation better. In the moment, my thoughts can be convoluted and thus I’m not able to express how I really feel. By writing, I can try and see the situation from all angles.
- I write because it helps me learn life lessons that I couldn’t learn otherwise. And if by sharing my life lessons, someone else can learn from them> Bonus!
- I write because I want to remember those moments and share those stories with my children and grandchildren. How cool is it to leave a legacy behind?
- I write to get away from technology. Granted, I am using a laptop to write, but I turn the TV off and by doing so it gives me a chance to gather my thoughts without constant, meaningless interruptions and distractions.
- I write because it’s therapeutic. It’s great for my mental health, self esteem, encouragement, and can be very empowering.
- I write because I want to celebrate my achievements. So many times, we think writing is about expressing our negative thoughts and emotions, and yet we forget to embrace the good times too.
- I write because I thoroughly enjoy it
Take some time this weekend and write for 15 minutes. Write about something that you’re passionate about. Write about what you’re thankful for or the one thing that you’d like to accomplish by the end of this year. Whatever it is, keep it and look back on it from a few months from now. Have your thoughts changed? Did you complete your goal?
Your turn. Do you write? Do you want to? What motivates you? Share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet @rdigout.
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