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What Did I Used To Write About?

November 18, 2006

If you only knew how much I wish I had had a blog way back when.

I used to write about all sorts of things with no venue whatsoever to post it. Oh, sometimes, my good hearted friends at the local papers would humor me by allowing a weekly column of my rantings and ravings. It was always therapy for me…but never failed that somewhere out there someone else would contact me about how it touched them in a special way.

I never did really expect to get rich …  writing. I really just wanted (and still do) to make a difference. I just wanted to be read. But if I did make a few dollars along the way … well, that’d be okay too.

I picture myself as a bit like Andy Rooney who offers life commentary on 60 Minutes. Or perhaps, I am sometimes like Lewis Grizzard, a humorist who spoke plain language that everyone understood and appreciated.

My slices of life could help me resemble the style of Erma Bombeck, who tickled the fancy of many a reader.

I love telling stories about people I know…and places I’ve been and messes I’ve gotten myself in to. These seems to always either bring a tear or a chuckle to the life of someone else. I like doing that…

I love writing plays. It reminds me of playing paper dolls with my sisters. We would make a whole community of friends and families from the Sears catalogue. Then we could make them say and do anything we wanted. After we cut them out, we’d play for hours and then put them in a shoebox under our bed or in the closet. (until Mama would clean and throw them away)

I wonder, “do girls play with paper dolls anymore?”  (See, that sounds like Andy Rooney, huh?)

I also like to write poems. Rhyming just seems to come easy for me. When I am especially inspired…you know that sort of ache in your heart or fire shut up in your bones that just has to get out…well, then the rhyming words just flow like water from a fountain.

I’ve scribbled notes, ideas, poems and dialogue on napkins, deposit slips, scrap paper, bulletins, anything that I could find to write on and with.

I’ve passed on pieces of my work to “whomever” may have inspired it at the time … probably never to see it again.

Getting a computer back in the 1990’s was a great thing for me.  Microsoft Word was a God-send…and then the Internet and blogging has been like heaven in cyberspace.  And this “laptop” technology and wireless Internet is the best!

But still, there are times when it takes picking up a pen or pencil … holding it between my thumb and ring-finger (yes, I know that’s an odd way to hold a pencil) … and sitting down with a blank sheet of paper to start the words a’flowing.

I love this outlet. I love being able to express myself through writing.

Imagine how absolutely confining it is to be restricted from something that is so much a part of you.  It’s a lot like having to hold your breath … and when you finally get to write, being able to exhale.

For a couple of months, I have felt completely restricted in this way.  And so of late, I’ve searched my mind to try and discern what “I used to write about” that provided a venue for “exhaling.”

I know it was not so much the topic as it was the confidence … and freedom.

I know that blogging opens up access to the whole world to read what one writes.  That’s not scary to me … but it does cause me to be very guarded about my thoughts, words, ideas, etc.

I attended a writers’ conference several years ago and the point was made that “writers must write.” Plain and simple.  Those who want to be writers but find all sorts of excuses as to why they can’t write: no ideas, no time, no tools, no outlet, no readership, etc… are probably not really writers.  Writers can’t NOT write!  I knew right then that I WAS and AM a writer.

The point was also made that there are times when you write for an audience … there are times when you write for yourself … and you may never make one thin dime writing for either.  That doesn’t change the fact that you are a writer … and though it is a gift or talent, it is also a calling … and words will ultimately impact a life and possibly even a society.  But not if they are NOT shared.

Will everyone like your writing?  NO!

Will everyone agree with what you say or appreciate the genre, style, content or verbiage that you use?  NO!

Will everyone ever understand your writing?  NO!

Does that diminish your call?  NO.

And so, I blog!

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