This is me...

This is me...
I'm having a mom moment....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why Do I Do This?

I have gotten about 4 emails this past week asking me why I write this blog. They want to know what is my niche. What is the point of this blog. "Counting Caballeros" is not a very descriptive title. I don't do reviews. I don't share recipes. I don't offer advice (at least not any that I expect anyone to take). And I don't talk that much about current events, entertainment, or politics. People have asked "What's the point? Why do it? What are you contributing?" Well, I dunno what the point is. I write it because I NEED to. I am not trying to contribute anything most days except to say that if I didn't write it, I'd be crankier. I guess I write it as much for me as I do for all of you. My blog is more mine as a result. It's all about whatever I want to write about on any given day and I guess I put it out there for everyone to read because I need to somehow be validated.

Most of the time, I think we, as humans, just need to be heard. Acknowledged. We need the rough spots to be smoothed over with words that say I know your struggle. I hear you. I get it.  Through this blog, I hope that I have made some of you feel understood.  I know that you have done that for me by reading.
for me, words are a form of action - capable of influencing change.
- ingrid bengis
Words are powerful. Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx or flowing from our brains down to our fingertips to be transferred onto the keyboard. They have the power to build someone up, or tear someone down. As a writer, I am able to wield words like a sword at times. I apply them like a compress when I can. I can use them to tickle a reader into hysterical laughter or to smack them upside the head and make them think. Words can be a weapon of mass destruction. They can be the foundation for great change. They can comfort, control, destroy, dismiss, acknowledge, validate, and a whole host of other things. I do not know if my words have done any of these things for anyone besides me, but I hope that they have.

So why do it? Why write this blog, or the host of children's stories that I have yet to be able to get published, or the countless articles and commentaries that I have penned, or the novel that I have started and yet it sits all but abandoned on my hard drive? What is the point? Well, as much as I wish it weren't true: EGO. Yep. The desire to be heard and thought relevant. I found this quote from George Orwell on why he wrote that is so very fitting:
Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen -- in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. The great mass of human beings are not acutely selfish. After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all -- and live chiefly for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery. But there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money .
As a mother, I find this to be more true than it should be: "After the age of about thirty they almost abandon the sense of being individuals at all -- and simply live for others, or are simply smothered under drudgery." Yes. I don't want to succumb to the drudgery. I don't want to drown in anonymity. I want to be my own person. I want to believe that what I think, feel, and say MATTER -- not just to me, but to the 150 or so of you that read what I write.

I have always wanted to write. I won my first poetry contest at 8. I wrote my first play and my first song lyrics at 10. In high school, I made up my own sources (even their publishers, dates published, and addresses) because I knew what I wanted to say about whatever subject I was researching and didn't want to comb through obscure books to find someone who had thought of it first (apologies to Ms. Spencer, but not one source on my "Invisible Man" research paper was real). I have always loved to create something from nothing and that is what words do. They can spin an entire world in your imagination. I have found nothing besides writing that gives me the high of creativity that I have found that I NEED. Even when recounting actual events, the creative way that it can be told fascinates me. Instead of the "Who, What, Why, When, and Where" of journalism, I can relay all of those facts while focusing on the HOW.

And as a mother, the most diverse and complicated career ever, I am consistently faced with new material. Being a mother, while shortening my writing sessions, has not dampened my desire to write, but has given me more to say. It has changed my perspective on so many issues. I find that when I am faced with a new parenting challenge, just coming here and writing about it will clear my head, help me to organize my thoughts, or help me to recognize the real issue that I was blind to before.

So, I guess to answer those who wonder why, I'd have to say because writing is as comfortable for me as breathing. It is almost a compulsion. Regurgitating my random and seemingly incoherent thoughts out here with the knowledge that a few other people might see them helps me to find the patterns and to identify that what I thought was chaos makes much more sense than I thought it did. And because writing makes me accountable. Although many of you don't know me personally, some of you do. Writing out what I am thinking, feeling, dealing with, etc. keeps my head where it needs to be. After sharing so much of who I am and what I think, I have welcomed all of you into the chaos. Most of you have stuck around. Thanks for that. Writing for myself and having you even a little interested in what I have to say, makes me feel a little important. Relevant. Sane. Even a bit normal at times.

That's why I do it. For me.

And FYI -- I may never get published. That doesn't mean that I will ever stop trying or that I will ever stop writing. So thanks for sharing in the crazy, random, thoughts that I post here. And just remember, if I fail, I will tell you all about it.

"A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood." -- Leo Rosten
Never underestimate what words can do.

**Oh, and I write for votes. So please vote for me at either or both of the sites I am listed on. Just click and you're done. Thanks.


nitty gritty mommy said...

this was nailed it

Untouchable said...

Signing in... the things I do to post a comment...

One thing I notice about writers, it isn't how they say it though that does matter and seems to be my issue, like I play with different styles on occasion and all seem to have the same issue... either one person takes the syntax to an extreme and gets tripped up on a noun, or I use an accurate noun and everyone else misses the whole point somehow...

Anyway, the bulk of writing is thinking. It's like any art. It's not about how you say it as much as what you have to say. It's not regurgitating the stuff that's out there but taking every day things and looking at them from a unique perspective.

Basically... to switch up a Descartes quote originally, "To doubt is to think. To think is to be. I think; therefore, I am."

I write;therefore, I am.