Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Purpose

    One of my good friends on Blogger is taking a break and I will miss her.  But as she has been blogging steadily for four years, and I am just now writing my 199th post, I understand the need for respite.  Especially when the weather is warm and children keep growing so fast.

In her last post, Corinne confides that her inspiration for writing seems dormant.  So I started thinking about my own purpose in writing, and why I get up eagerly at 6:00 am every day to write my daily post. And why, if I've missed my 6:00 writing time, that I go through the day waiting for an hour of free time to make up for it.

If I get too critical about this blog and start  re-reading past entries, I might just dismantle the whole thing and pretend it never happened.  The initial purpose was to help me learn how to be less of a technophobe, to be more social, and to document my progress with the business.

   One troublesome, annoying issue is that I habitually avoid writing about the business. The truth is that I am afraid to share my insecurities, disappointments, confusion and frustration.  Ironically I am also afraid to share the triumphs, the progress and the truly great feelings that come with creating big custom orders or small requests.  I don't want to hit readers over the head with bragging, self promotion or whining.  I'm also afraid to tell you that I can't get over the fact that I sell a lot more animal ears than sets of Knees and Paws.  This creates a dilemma for the analytical me: have I invested in a private college education only to end up selling headbands?

Enter Steve Zousmer to save the day and possibly this blog.  Zousmer wrote a great book called You Don't Have to Be Famous:  How to Write Your Life Story.  An armchair course for the everyman who longs to write a book (more than 8 out of 10 people say they want to write a book before they die), Zousmer delivers excellent starting points, help with structure and many other useful writing tips.  Although I am not currently writing a book, I found some ideas that helped to define why I'm blogging.

First, I write because I have a past.  It is rich and deep with memory. In this past, I was "frustrated by the weight of thoughts (I) could not express" (Zousmer, 50).  Without daily writing, I fall back into that state of heaviness, of carrying, of storing images, complex feelings, of slogging around in the mud of unsolved and confusing issues that need light and air.

Second, as Zousmer says, "writing is more than a prose process, it's a thinking process.  Writing drives you to create and develop ideas in a way that would probably not happen if you just sat in a chair and thought." (38)
This is so on target.  I remember doing a lot of thinking when I was out on the back porch with my pack of cigarettes wondering when my real life was going to begin.  Sitting there, thinking great thoughts that went absolutely nowhere was depressing.   Perhaps these posts also go nowhere, but collectively they are little fragments of thought sewn together in a crazy quilt of me in mid life.
   I wish I could say that I am developing new ideas for the business here, but this is not happening.  I keep sticking to the same old concept outlined in the patent.  Perhaps there needs to be more product development, but that is the subject of another post.  So far, no lightning bolts of inspiration to make radical changes.


Third, as Z so brilliantly reminds me, "the most relevant reason might be about journey versus destination.  In our childhood and youth, we are all travelers in a new and exciting world."  And although I am no longer a child and am getting less youthful, delving in wholeheartedly to a completely new experience makes me feel like I'm back in "the Huckleberry Finn time of life when (I) encounter most of the defining events, memorable action...have adventures, face dangers and obstacles and turning points, pursue passions and dreams, have victories and setbacks, make good friends and maybe enemies, play (my) cards right or wrong, win or lose or change course."

I blog for fun.

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