Writing, like making art, is one of very few things I've liked for as long as I can remember and still practice. I've written consistently in a journal since I learned to use a pencil and have all these filled diaries, hand-bound books, and journals friends have given me, placed in an old suitcase. With all the social networking going on today, it's enchanting to be able to write a thought privately.
Would I mind if someone read all of those books one day? No, not if it were the right person.
When I was a senior in high school, I let the right person read the journal I kept then. The combination of my ability to trust and his unflinching courage to know something deep about someone else was enough for us to fall in love, at least for a time.
The first time I wrote online was for a collaborative blog a few years ago. I fell in love with writing that way, knowing thoughts I formed were being read by others. Sadly, that blog seems to have run its course, or maybe I have run my course with it.
My thoughts often formulate as if I am writing a paper or writing to someone. They come together with a proper introduction and a body in which different points are expounded upon.
Although this is how I think, I couldn't sit down and write for myself when it came to anything outside of what I expressed in a personal journal. I had to write somewhere where I knew someone, if they wanted, could read it. It wasn't worth it to me to sit down and write if it was going to be in a book that no one would ever see but me. That's why I began this blog.
I like it but resent it too. Most of what I think about goes unwritten because someone could actually read it. I could write anonymously, but that seems very similar to writing in a journal no one will ever see. The point for me (for bloggers) is to express and for that expression to be received. Isn't that what everyone wants? Isn't that why Facebook and Twitter are what they are?
I still hinder myself, and maybe that's ok for now, but I'm beginning to ask myself why I do, and if it's worth it.
When I was younger, I was so shy, it hurt. I had a teacher tell me to yell in front of my whole class, trying to cure me of being so soft-spoken. I was like Todd Anderson standing in front of Mr. Keating's classroom in Dead Poet's Society. But real life is never like the movies. I could not YAWP there in front of my class.
That teacher was an idiot, by the way.
Writing (and painting) has helped ease a frustrating inability to express myself verbally. My YAWPs have been few and far between.
When I was in high school, I read a poem I wrote in front of my English class. I read it quickly but with vigor. I didn't look up until it was done, and when I did, the faces of my classmates were delighted, speechless. My face was flushed when I walked back to my seat. I was embarrassed but really happy.
I am really thankful for the ability to write. I don't mean to write well, but to have the capability and the desire to.
This gratitude is shaping into letter writing for me. I've recently bought stationery, postcards, even stamps to make my own. I also bought a pack of No. 2 pencils.
It's felt a little strange to sit down and write to someone that I don't need to thank for giving me a gift. In the first ones I've sent, I've felt the need to explain that I'm beginning to write letters. I assume the recipient, my friend, would wonder why I felt inclined to sit down and hand-write about the movie I just watched or the walk I just went on. I don't really know why I am, but I am.
I'm looking forward to the second round of letters I send, the ones where I won't have to explain what I'm doing, I can just go for it.