This week I’ve been invited by a blogger I really admire, Bec Shann from Think Big Live Simply, to be a part of a blog hop and share a little bit about why I write. What’s a blog hop? Well, we all write on the same topic, then ask some fellow bloggers to share what they have to say, too. So down the bottom, I’ll introduce you to three beautiful bloggers who will be sharing their thoughts on why they write, this time next week. If you want to read more from other bloggers participating, you can click here and head to Always Josefa’s blog where some of us have linked up.
Did you know that I’m a published author? That I’ve been paid for my work? That’s right. In primary school, a newspaper paid me five dollars for a poem I wrote. It was a big deal. Now whist my professional career has been on hold since then, the writing never stopped.
But Why Do I Write? I don’t think I even know. The question seems so abstract… I know it seems a little contrary, but I think it’s an experience that is hard to put into words. I’m not sure there are words for it. Not for me, anyway. Not in a way that’s going to fully capture all of the why. Thankfully, this post isn’t actually asking specifically why I write, but is narrowed to some specific areas. Here we go.
WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
Currently, I’ve got twenty-three partially written posts sitting in a folder, and another folder full of ‘ideas’. I’m sure this is small change to some writers, but that’s where I’m at. There are so many different things I want to talk about, but sometimes it’s hard to focus. Or I lose interest. Or with other things, I know that I want to sit with them awhile longer because it’s a topic particularly close to my heart, like masculinity, feminism, marriage, friendship… I don’t know. Maybe I should just say what I have to say now, because there is certainly something valuable in that genuine in-the-moment honesty. Stay tuned I guess.
HOW DOES MY WRITING DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN MY GENRE?
I’m the only one writing about my family? I assume? No, really, does it have to differ? I imagine like so many of us, I think I’m mostly like everyone else, trying to be faithful to my beliefs, to my family and loved ones. What I write is simply my experience of that. My truth in those moments. My memories, opinions, frustrations. I’m just trying to make sense of it. And sharing it. And saving it. It connects me to my readers, and it connects me to myself. It etches memories and moments down to circle back to. So no, maybe so not different. But honest.
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
I’ve always written. Diaries, stories, deliciously bad poetry. Blogging for me is simply an extension of this. It’s another way to get words and thoughts and images down, somewhat processed, and clumsily communicated. To share, connect, encourage, be encouraged. This blog isn’t our whole lives, but I like to believe it’s an honest account of the bits I am sharing. I think in general, writers write because they have something to say, as Schopenhauer noted. There’s something in them that needs to be outside of them. They have a story or a feeling or message that can’t be contained. I’ve certainly felt that, and written many stories or bits of stories, just for myself. Once it’s on the page it can be played with, processed, or forgotten about if need be. Now I wouldn’t say that everything I’m writing is the result fulfilling that need – I didn’t desperately need to get that recipe for Russian caravan hot chocolate out, I just thought it would be nice! – but some of it certainly is.
HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I suppose it depends on what I’m writing. Some things are written in one sitting. Others are built piece by piece over time. I am awful at editing, and will often have my husband picking me up after the emails have already been sent out. Thing is, once it’s complete, I just want to get it sent out. So there’s the rub.
Much like Bec, I would love to figure out how to dedicate more time and space to writing, but I suppose it’s not the right season for me, or for us, rather. I love having a quiet space to just focus on my muddling, but it rarely seems to happen. It’s just not the way things work out for me, not right now anyway. Like most things, though, I know that my time and the way it works is fluid, and things change. Who knows how it’ll all evolve? We’ll see I suppose.
SHARING THE LOVE
This was honestly one of the most exciting parts about writing this post – gathering up some other bloggers I love to share with you. They’ll be sharing their thoughts on why they write this time next week. In the meantime, you can click on the links and find out why I like them so much in the first place!
Mel Leesong at Coal Valley View
(Do you know how excited I am to be including Mel here? So darn excited. She is one of my favourite bloggers and I can’t wait to read what she has to say on this.)
Mel lives on a farm in the Coal Valley wine region of Tasmania with her husband and their five young children (one girl and four boys, including identical twins). They share their life with a long-suffering whippet, Remy, some bossy chooks and a menagerie of other woolly and feathery friends. Her blog began as a way of documenting their road trip around Australia as they made the journey from the Big Smoke back to a simpler life in Tasmania. It now chronicles their family life on their small farm in the Coal Valley, their adventures exploring Tasmania, and Mel’s very modest but slightly obsessive attempts at being creative. Along with all this, and keeping up a beautiful blog, Mel and her husband are also working hard at setting up an agri-tourism business. You can click over here to find out more about her, follow her adventures and get lost in her beautiful images, beautiful words and beautiful family.
Seriously, if reading Heike’s blog doesn’t have you questioning why you haven’t sold your house, bought a caravan, begun traversing the wonders around you, all the while indulging in experiences like a weekend at the Agrarian Kitchen in Tasmania, then really, I don’t even know.
Heike quit her gainful public service employment, relinquished her fixed address and threw caution to the coastal breeze. This former hobby-food-blogger, gave everything else up and got so much more in return. She has spent the last 9 months travelling around Australia with her husband in their caravan, Sheila. They are still on the road, currently in the Northern Territory, and Heike now shares all of her travels and a little of her food with you here.
Jess is putting a neat twist on the why I write topic, by writing about why she draws. I’m a new follower to Jess’ blog, but have quickly fallen in love with all her beautiful images. Honestly, it’s kind of depressing going through Harry’s readers each day for kindergarten knowing how beautiful a story could really be made.
Jess Racklyeft is an accomplished Melbourne based Australian illustrator (amongst other achievements, she’s also had two of her artworks selected for Lurzers Archive “200 Best Illustrators of the World 13/14″ to be published later this year!). She likes drawing sneaky faces and aims to capture fleeting expressions with ink, watercolour and paper cuts. With a love of Japanese art both modern and old, cand beautiful fabric patterns she loves creating simple but soulful work. Her inspiration comes from nature, rainy city streets, dreams and memories. Have a look here to find out more about her work, and what she’s got coming up.
Also? Do go and check out Bec Shann from Think Big Live Simply, who invited me to be a part of this blog hop. I so admire Bec in how she is choosing to steer her life. If you’re interested in responsible living, understanding more about our food supply, how to grow your own food and live more simply, then I’m sure you’ll love her too.
(Note: as I was preparing to publish this, I came across this article, which looks at George Orwells insights into why I write (or why he does. Obviously). It absolutely puts my off-the-cuff insights to shame! Well worth a read.)