4 a: wish, choice, or opinion openly or formally expressed b: right of expression; also: influential power
Just yesterday, I was pondering why I write this blog. Do people need to read my questions about things large and small? Do people care how I am parenting a child through a crisis, failing another child unintentionally or getting some small parenting thing a tiny bit right? Do I need to think though things in writing to properly process them? Is it obnoxious to post my inner thoughts and feelings on a blog for the world (OK, let's be realistic - a few dozen people) to read? Why bother? Couldn't I get most of these benefits from just writing privately in a journal?
This isn't the first time I've had these thoughts. I've gotten discouraged about my blog before - whether it's my low reader stats, a lack of comments being left and my own inability to properly articulate my thoughts. But God always seems to send someone to encourage me when I get close to thinking I should just pull the plug. This morning, the encouragement came in the form of a facebook message from a friend. Her message said, in part, "Thank you so much for your blog posts. I can't tell you how deeply they touch me & inspire me to be a better person, wife, and mom. You are truly blessed with a gift from God my friend" This is not someone I'm close friends with, which made her encouragement all the more touching.
I got my friend's message right before I got on the treadmill this morning and while I walked I reminded myself of one important reason for this blog: to help me find my voice. To help me say in writing the things that lay on my heart, that percolate in my mind, that tingle in my fingertips - things I would otherwise leave unvoiced. Writing - and my writing on this blog in particular - helps me find that inner voice, helps me probe my heart and mind for the good, the bad and the ugly. Writing here helps me begin to know and understand who I really am and who I want to be.
In writing this post, I've realized another important reason to write here. Without this blog as a writing venue, I would cease to compose posts in my mind about cute kids doing the luge down the stairs or how much I'm learning from my daughters. And maybe if I ceased to compose those posts (either mentally or on the keyboard), I would also cease to notice those things in the same way. Maybe if I didn't take time to exercise this writing voice, I would lose my voice altogether. Because a voice that's not used is not so different from not having a voice at all.
So I'll keep writing. Not to make you uncomfortable, but to make myself uncomfortable. Because if I stay in my comfort zone, I'll never change. And isn't change the whole point of 2010?
Art: Barbara Kruger