First, a note: I have not had internet service at my house since last Friday. I am not enjoying this. I am allegedly going to get it back soon, but Comcast keeps making promises that, so far, it hasn’t kept. So, if you comment on my blog or leave me a message, please rest assured that I will respond once I return to the land of the online.
I have always had a thing for writing. When I was younger, I kept a journal of everything going on in my life. When I traveled abroad, I kept a journal and a log of everywhere we’d been and who we’d met and all the stories. Even now, I sometimes just write to write and get my feelings all out.
Writing does that for me. Some people can just think about their feelings and ruminate. Not me… I need to get it down on paper, as if I’m talking to the paper or the computer. The paper or computer thus becomes a willing listener who offers nothing in return except for me to think through everything I’m feeling at that particular time.
Writing is powerful stuff. It is an outlet for me to express whatever I’m feeling without limit. I can rant and rave and cry and explain and cheer and the paper/computer is happy to oblige. Well, at least it doesn’t complain.
Often, I have made major decisions by just writing out the problem. I come to conclusions. I convince myself of things. I charge myself up. I let myself be down.
Writing is powerful stuff.
And even outward writing – writing to someone – is powerful. I am reading my students’ first major papers now, and it’s amazing how writing tells so much. For example, I have read papers where there was no or little punctuation. No proofreading. Careless mistakes. I always tell my students that such mistakes make the reader think: if you can be that careless with something as basic as grammar and punctuation, then how careful were you with the analysis?
Anytime I see punctuation or grammar errors or just poor writing, I feel sad. Almost hurt, actually. Like the person didn’t take the time to think about or care about what the person was writing. I feel like I want to correct it, naturally (Dear Husband was mad at me one time when we were on vacation and there was a punctuation error on signs advertising an event at the resort, and I insisted on correcting the signs). But writing impacts credibility. If you can’t write, you can’t communicate, you probably don’t understand what you’re writing about…it all impacts how your reader views you.
A lot of my writing – most of my writing – never sees the light of day. I write and write, but only some of it makes its way to the blog or to some end-reader. It’s a good outlet for me to be alone with my thoughts, extrovert that I am…talking to someone without making anyone have to listen to it.
Today, I am at peace with a number of things I have been struggling with, all because I wrote it all down and said, “Yup.” That’s just how I worked it out. That’s how I roll.