A friend asked me why I blog. Fortunately I had just been forced to come up with a reason when I received my Liebster Blog Award, but he made me think. Yes, I write to keep the voices quiet and to keep the EIC at bay, but there’s more to it than that. I write because I have to. It’s something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. I write because my grandmother told me I should (I still hear her telling me “You should write” in her strong Lon Guyland* accent). Mostly I blog because the stresses and losses of the past year(s) didn’t kill me, but they managed to kill my creative spirit. Fortunately, my creativity, like Wesley, was only MOSTLY dead.
My mother introduced me to Erma Bombeck’s column in the newspaper. For those of you too young to remember, a newspaper was something that was delivered to your house by a boy on a bicycle. It had articles on world and local news, local events, coupons, obituaries, advice columns (Ann Landers anyone?) and comics (which were especially fun on Sundays, when they were in color).
Erma Bombeck was my role model. She was smart and funny, and offered important life lessons on surviving suburbia with sanity mostly intact.
She’s the real reason I write. I want to be Erma Bombeck (well, not literally, because she’s dead). I want to help other people survive suburbia. It’s an intimidating task, not only because suburbia is Truly Frightening, but because I am one of many voices. There are many bloggers who post about the perils of the suburbs. Tracy Beckerman is one of my favorites – not only because she has a great name, or because she gave me an ego boost (and gift basket) when I talked about becoming an Accidental Mother. Her posts make me laugh out loud. I used to let the competition keep me from writing. The EIC tried to convince me that there were already a lot of bloggers out there, and that I couldn’t possibly write as well as they do. He told me that even if I could write as well as they do, I didn’t have anything new to say.
The EIC, was lying, of course. In my personal experience bloggers are not competitive – at least not the ones I’ve had the privilege to meet. They are warm, welcoming and supportive. They cheer each other on whenever there’s a success, and mourn losses together. They are quick to offer support, advice and constructive criticism. More importantly, I have started to find my own voice. Yes, I am one of many, but I might just have something new to say. I’ve decided that even if I don’t, perhaps I can offer a fresh perspective, or twist suburbia so that it’s not quite as scary (Ha! See what I did there?) .
I’ve been trying to write 2-3 times a week, but just wasn’t up to it this week. This week was a rough one. The triple Ds tried to drag me down. No, not “the girls” (I’m not THAT blessed). I’m talking about Doubt, Despair and Depression. My creative spirit got caught in the fog, but the today the sun is shining through.
I believe that Life is a teacher, and that we are meant to pass along what we’ve learned. This, then, is the real reason I write. I’m not saying that I know everything (please don’t ask me about statistics or string theory), but I’d like to share I’ve learned so far. It may not stop you from making mistakes, but (hopefully) you can avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made. Avoiding my mistakes will allow you the freedom to make BRAND NEW MISTAKES. 😉
This week’s life lesson was a reminder that yes, life is a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes it’s important to get out of the car and dance through life instead.
So that’s why I write. What brings you here? What drives you to you write/dream/create?