Who is the Writer?
What kind of writer are you, I was asked last summer. A hen? An iguana? A pig? Or a turtle? It took some thought, but we were only given five minutes to free write. Five minutes! As a writer, I quickly chose pig. Hens make me think of quick movements and chicken scratch writing, while turtles move slowly and methodically. I’m ignorant about iguanas, so I chose pig. I’m a glutton for words, big words, little words, words that roll off of my pen like the sticky scraps of food sloughing off of a pig’s snout as he gorges himself at the trough. I want to take in all of the vocabularical splendor of words, stringing together, slopped together, but carefully tended to, too.
When I write, I find myself deluged with words that I can’t get on the paper or computer fast enough as they trip over themselves to be said. In graduate school, professors would set page limits for papers and I could never adhere to their requisites. Three pages? But I have so much more to say! I was asked to aim for short and sweet, clear and concise, but I loved the words so much. Even my Masters’ thesis ended up fifty-two pages, when they asked for twenty-five. I couldn’t help it. I’m a glutton for language!
When the pig finishes eating, he wallows in the mud. I tend to wallow in my words, rubbing my “back” in the cooling mud of a word well written. This analogy is getting too dirty for my brain, but in truth, I may be thinking of stinky pigs. We pig writers have moments where we are all full of poop. (Some of my papers in college could qualify for the BS moniker…)
Why and Who?
So, what kind of writing do I enjoy? In my delusions of grandeur, I would love to someday publish a novel, but I know that my attention to detail is deficient as I am not interested in itemizing the heroine’s wardrobe choices, dimples and wide blue eyes fringed with dark lashes, and her dainty feet. Insert eye roll here. I love to read it, but write it? No thanks. Give me the meaty plot. I write poetry, prose, song lyrics, and I journal excessively. I find writing to be therapeutic, entertaining, expressive, and a time of both self discovery and self realization. I enjoy researching and learning where I stand on a subject and why I take this stance. I learn about myself as I write. I write what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling. I write to remember. I write to vent. I write to create.
Who do I write for? From the time I was seven, family members and teachers encouraged me to write. “Be a writer,” they said. And although, I loved writing short stories and little poems, my writings and ramblings were always just for me. I share my spoken words like a wastrel and write like a glutton eats, but when it comes to disclosing what I’ve written, I can be frugal and protective. I write for me. I don’t necessarily care what others feel about my writings as they are all created when I was in the midst of discovering some facet of something educational, spiritual, personal, or artistic. Family members, friends, and colleagues still exhort me to write, blog, get published, and get my work out there. I’ve started many writing projects and halted works in progress because of timing, professionalism, a lack of desire to be sued for libel, and the ever present question: why is my opinion important to anyone other than me?
To Write or Not To Write
I recently posted a poem on Facebook. It revealed my frustration with recent political events and how persons on social media have reacted and dealt with dissension on these topics. I guessed that a handful of my friends would read the poem. It was long and that of course is an obstacle many people don’t want to climb. I also guessed that many of my friends would not respond because they would either feel affronted, convicted, annoyed, or angry. In the poem, I expressed sadness for both democrats and republicans, professing Christians and “non” Christians, that we all have such a hard time getting along and discussing anything civilly. At the end of several days, more people had liked and commented on my free drink at Starbucks than my political poem. So, I ask myself is my opinion important? Does what I have to say/write need to be heard/read? I don’t think I will change anyone’s mind, but as I have shared earlier, I do not write to persuade, I write to discover more about who I am and what I believe.
If you’d like to take this journey with me, please read my writings and ramblings. Grab a chair and some coffee, introduce yourself, join the civil discourse that we humans should be engaging in, learn with me, and thank you for taking the time to read my words.