Writing the whys

4-21-16I recently prompted our group of Comeback Bloggers (isn’t that a great name?!?) to think about why we each started blogging however many years ago. It’s an interesting question for me to think about because it relates to why I stopped blogging regularly and also to why I’m a bit hesitant to dive back in to it.

I could easily claim that blogging was solely an outlet for self-expression and a way for me to share my thoughts or engage with others. I might also say that writing helped me to understand myself better and that my blog provided a “scrapbook” of sorts to reflect upon. All of those things are true, or mostly so. I’ve certainly learned over the years that I write to find out what I think. Anybody who knows me personally will agree that I’m not usually a big talker; I’m never quick to jump in with my opinion. The process of writing, which I approach fairly methodically, helps me to clarify how I feel about things. Mostly I think that I write to find out what’s true.

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. ~Sholem Asch

I started blogging on a whim and as a way to occupy myself in the evenings, but quickly found it to be a respite from what was otherwise a good, but disconnected life: a good job, a good husband, and good people that I called friends, but meaningful and thoughtful experiences were few and far between. The daily discipline of dreaming up something to write about or going out and doing something worth writing about ultimately led me to look into many a dark corner and to re-examine the choices I had made in life. As I came more and more to rely on the kindred spirits I had found through blogging, I felt the lack of depth in my real-time relationships even more completely. It’s a strange thing to discover that your blog is your own best source of information about yourself, as well as a catalyst to discussion for your loved ones. I found myself wondering why we all couldn’t just talk to each other without this electronic medium serving as an intermediary. It was also strange and pretty sad to realize that it was easier and safer for me to share my most important and deeply felt parts with strangers.

Blogging changed my life, honestly. Through blogging, I wrote my way out of one life and into another. These first couple years here haven’t been easy and I’ve not had the courage to write about it or the life I left behind. I’m afraid of what writing about it will tell me about what I think and really feel. I’m afraid of the turning inward that writing requires because it means I’ll be turning my back, so to speak, on the people around me, in favor of this anonymous platform. And the truth is, many of us are not so anonymous to one another anymore. I worry, too much sometimes, about who my audience is and what you’ll think about what I might write. I worry that I have nothing left to say. I worry that I take too many words to say nothing of importance…


At any rate, I’m going to give this a go again, with a couple trusted friends for encouragement, and see where the reflection leads. Hopefully I’ll find myself somewhere good.

Do you miss blogging, too? Want to join us? Get in touch!

9 thoughts on “Writing the whys”

  1. I love this, Laura. So many insightful observations. And I resonate with your comment that blogging gave you a way to find out things about yourself.
    Here’s hoping you keep writing, and here’s looking forward to your next blog entry…

    1. I’m looking forward to your prompts, Donna! I know that they all won’t work for eveyone, but anything that gets the gears turning is a good thing!

  2. First, I want to simply give you a big hug, sweet friend. Words are powerful, and through thinking about what we really, deeply feel, we can use them to put truth on paper. Truth that might otherwise, as you suggested, be too painful to verbalize sitting across from someone. Putting into words how we feel is akin to unzipping our souls for the world to see. It leaves us vulnerable and scared. But, as Brene Brown brilliantly says, “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.” And, so we’ll travel this road together, pledging that we will all be as brave as you, and risk finding our more authentic selves. XO

    1. Thanks so much Jayne, for understanding how scary honesty can be. It’ll all lead somewhere good and true, I’m sure!

  3. love this <3

    Thanks for the encouragement and the prompts. Really looking forward to what pours out creatively in the coming months!

  4. “Blogging changed my life, honestly. Through blogging, I wrote my way out of one life and into another.” True for me, too. My blogging itself has changed greatly in content, and Via Negativa is a group blog now, but the friends I made in that brief florescence of personal and literary blogging ten years ago remain really good friends—almost a second family. Including a life partner. Hurrah for blogging!

    1. That felt so dramatic when I wrote it Dave, but it really is true. My whole world view changed. Hurrah for blogging and new life partners (me too!)


      The change in your blog over the years is so extraordinary – could you ever have imagined?

  5. Welcome back. I hope you stay.

    While I don’t think that blogging was so significant that “I wrote my way out of one life and into another”, it was a significant change agent for me as well. Perhaps blogging was just one part of finding a way to a richer life.

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