Monday, March 9, 2015

Why Blog? A "Thank You" to My Readers

Why Write?

I love this quote. "Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the content of your mind, your heart, your soul." - Meg Rosoff

I started this blog 3 years ago because I truly enjoy writing. For a long time the only people who read it were my roommates and my mom. I never expected much and I rarely posted. My reader base has grown a lot recently. I asked my students to start blogging and I promised them that I would blog right along with them. Since I require them to blog about once a week, I'm trying to do the same. I got back into this because I don't ever want to ask my students to do something I'm not willing to do myself. I am sticking with it because of how much I enjoy it. 

I write from my heart, and I write what I believe. Most of the time I have more questions than answers. I'm not trying to fix any problems. I write because that is the way I communicate best. I bare more of myself on this blog than I would be comfortable with in a conversation with most of you. I write because I want my students to see that you can write because it's fun and because you enjoy it. All writing isn't boring literary essays. All writing doesn't have to be formal. I write because I want to show you a reflection of who I am. I love what Meg Rosoff said, because I don't write in order to "seduce or flatter." I write because it is therapeutic for me. I am so grateful that so many of you have deemed my writing worth reading. It's humbling, and I am in awe of the amount of feedback I get for my blog. It's not all good. I've received my share of negative remarks and comments designed to lower my confidence and make me feel worse about myself. But I also receive praise, encouragement, and constructive criticism; the kind that is designed to make me better, not to trample my voice. 

This blog has given me confidence. Ironically, some of the negative feedback is helping me improve my self-image. I struggle sometimes with feeling like I am not doing things correctly. I struggle with whether or not I am a good teacher; am I saying this right, am I embodying the right ideals, do my students understand what I am trying to teach them, am I nice enough without being too nice, am I knowledgeable enough? I struggle with my decisions; are they sound, am I doing the right thing? Sometimes my confidence needs a boost. I've been learning lately that my confidence needs to come from within instead of without. I rely too much on praise from others instead of the assurance that comes from myself. There will always be someone who thinks I am wrong and who doesn't like what I have to say. That's ok. Each person has a voice. Mine is just one among the billions. And each voice deserves to be heard. People don't have to agree with each other in order to respect each other. 

I will blog whether people read it or not, because it is a form of emotional release for me. I try to keep it positive; I try to be transparent. I love writing as much as I love reading. I don't expect to make a career as a writer, and I don't think I would even want to. But it is important to practice the things we enjoy. It's how we keep ourselves sane. I am aware of how lame my interests are, but reading and blogging help me keep some of my sanity.  

"In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the content of your mind, your heart, your soul." I hope my readers can see my heart in my writing. Of course I hope you all like what you see, but if you don't that is your prerogative. I will respect your opinion and your right to disagree with mine. There is so much freedom in that understanding. We are all individuals and we are all different and unique. Find the way you best express that individuality and it will do for you what this blog does for me; allow you to express yourself and retain a bit of your sanity in a world where the voice of the individual is constantly repressed, where we are just one of billions. Find your outlet; the thing that allows you to be one in a billion, instead of just one of a billion - another person lost in the crowd. It doesn't matter if anyone acknowledges or notices. Do it for yourself, because sometimes that's more important than looking for recognition.

Thank you for your overwhelming support for my emotional outlet; this hobby of mine that helps keep me sane and that I enjoy so much. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read what I have to say; whether you agree with it or not, because I know you don't have to. Thank you for your support and thank you for your criticism. I appreciate all of you for making this blog so much more than I ever expected it to be.

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