How I Am Learning from Writing (semi) Consistently
Something about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) forces me to step inside my mind and detangle the messy web my hectic week has woven. I find writing helps make sense of the odd assortment of thoughts floating around my brain. It is how I am able to grow and understand myself.
After years of ignoring my teachers’, mentors’, and parents’ desire for me to write, I finally relented and started this blog. I began posting assigned work: literary analyses, some original poetry, etc. Knowing my work had been published--anyone with enough free time to dig through google search results could find me--was invigorating.
I started writing in my free time, typing whatever was on my mind. Eventually I used original photography in my posts as well. Now I find myself wondering to whom I am writing. Is anyone interested in what I have to say? Does my audience simply want literary analyses or are they interested in something personal?
Nevertheless, I am writing. When I posted assignments from my literature class, keeping up with the blog was easy. I always had content, I never had to struggle to think of a topic. Now that I am out of class and left to my own devices, I find it much harder to post regularly and think of worthwhile content (as evidenced by my blog with more saved drafts than publsihed posts), but I welcome the challenge.
Primarily, I learn from the blog because I am exposing myself, my opinions, and my work to whomever may find it. As an introvert who spent most of her life hiding her intelligence, passions, and aspirations, publishing my writing online scares me. However, I have learned I should not be afraid to talk about who I am and who I want to be with the world. It’s ok to let myself be criticized or praised.
I also learn through the very task of writing. I have found writing takes time, effort, and humility. It also requires inspiration or creativity. Finding my own voice as a writer, one which combines my intellectual leanings with my wry, sarcastic sense of humor has proved a daunting task.
You might notice I titled this piece ‘How I am Learning…”. I made an intentional choice to use the present tense rather than the past, as I believe learning never ceases. Even if I can bang-out a blog post in a quick 20 minutes someday and am able to endlessly dream up content, I will not be done learning how to write, blog, or connect with people.
One of the greatest opportunities we are given as human beings is to never cease our learning. Learning does not require financial means or an educational setting, even though they may help. We can learn from our possibly dreary daily lives as much as we can learn from a wonderful adventure.