Monday, November 28, 2011

I write for my friends

Wise professors once instructed, "ask first, who is the audience?"  This thought is the door I walk through during blocks that turn white pages into content.  I have difficulty keeping up with a regular paper and pen journal because the audience is boring old ME, who's brain is already full of my voice. It is easier to begin writing when I address the top line,

"Dear Friend,"

Writing is about reaching out into the void, connecting oneself to another.  It is about sharing the beauty of one's imagination, desires, philosophy.  Writing is a brave act.  It is the stamp that says

"I was here."

To write a book that is published in a publishing house, a physical book with paper pages and a binding, must be the ultimate validation for the writer's existence.  The problem for me with this type of writing lifestyle is that while buried in a huge writing project, the physical world fades.  I don't go outside much.  Family and friends hang in my peripheral view, not front and center.

During the beginning of our romantic journey as friends and lovers, I wrote for Richard.  Long letters, poetry, post it notes, greeting cards.  The rest of the world fell into a haze.  For the first time, I was experiencing something only read about in books, yet intensely real and three dimensional.  It used to be that a good book would satisfy my mind and emotional well being for weeks.  I haven't read anything that did that in a very long time.  Perhaps my tastes have changed.  Perhaps I've discovered that I no longer need my armor of books to live a brave, experiential life.  I looked for love in books.  Occasionally I discovered it in a secondary kind of way.

Emily's middle school English teacher once said, "books are my friends.  They have been my friends all my life."

At the time, I related to that statement.  Not today.  Today, books are books.  They are not my friends, although I do enjoy being entertained by writers and the classic authors.  Books are not friends.

  People are.

And this is why blogging is a good habit for me. Whereas books brought me to more books, blogging is bringing me to people.  It is helping me to answer that question, "who is the audience?"

The audience are my friends.  They are light hearted, faith-filled, inspiring people.  They have helped to shape a new world view; one that is not dominated by the news media's lens that shows only a dangerous, fearful world, perpetually on the edge of self destruction.

So that question, "who is your audience?" is now answered in a way that I did not expect.  I write for my friends, although I did not know they were my friends until I reached out into the void.

And they write for me.  It is a gift to receive their stories, pictures, humor, and thoughts on life. 

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