Sunday, March 19, 2006

why do people write?

I think I'll finally convert from writing in a journal to writing in my blog regularly. It gets so cumbersome and old-fashioned to carry a notebook and pen. But I still hate being confined to a computer and exposed to the world outside my notebook. And yet, I feel so much more alive when I take my journal somewhere exciting or enlightening and sit to write. I think I'll have to remember some of those thoughts when I'm out and about. I read a description of someone's blog that mentioned the blog was for 'thoughts leftover from running'. I like the thought of that. My thinking time is often out on the road or the trail. (The rest of my days are usually too preoccupied with the stuff of life to stop and think. Sort of a sad thought, really.) I love to listen to music, but sometimes it's great to just be out in the air and let your thoughts wander.

It amazes me to read other blogs and try to put a leash around the things people are trying to say and why they say them. We seem to live in such a voyeristic world. Blogging is such an interesting place where you can spill all of your thoughts, but not really have to have any ownership of them. You don't have to show your face or explain yourself. It can also be a place where you only put one foot forward and live in a fantasy world of false pretenses. You only write what you want people to read. Or is that . . . you only write what you think people want to read. It becomes a big guessing game of self-image and how you want to portray yourself and how you want to be perceived.

This world is such a social place for so many people. Why is that? We have social interaction out in the real world, so we do we need it here? Do we, as humans in our society, not take the time we really need to talk with people, to spend time with them, and learn who they really are? Is it just easier to write to them and not be face to face? Or is it a beneficial extension of socialization - a way to connect with people of other cultures and lands that on land we would never get the chance to meet? Is this a place to boast our accomplishments or share our feelings and interests?

I guess all of my questions come from questioning my own need to write. I think I like to write better than I like to talk. I feel that I can express myself better. I guess because I can delete and change until it reflects what I want. sort of perfectionistic. I don't like to make mistakes. But why write so people can read it? I mean, who really cares? I guess my hope is that someday something I will write will have an effect on someone. Something profound and amazing. I like to affect people. Not really for the recognition. I like to do it anonymously and watch the result. I think it's a powerful thing for me. Perhaps a way of seeing my place in the world - how everything affects everything else and how I'm a part of it. I spend a lot of my thinking time, simply thinking about what I want to write about. I've been through a lot of life - not in years, but in experiences, and I've learned so many lessons I could teach people. I guess that's another reason to write: to teach, or to share lessons learned. For me, there is no real way to categorize them - they all have nothing in common other than they've all been experiences along the journey. I think, though, all that I've learned has opened my eyes to the ways of the world, and the reality that exists from day to day.

I suppose the reality that is my life comes in the forms of the people around me, the activities I participate in, and the society I live in. Well, my reality isn't those things, but the perception of those things. So, then, writing about my running and my kids and the food I created for dinner and the weather in the mountains and the strangers I encountered and smiled at along the way . . . I think I worry that I might use this place to vent or to complain or to give play by play action of what transpires throughout my day. I'll guess I'll just have to write what comes out and use the delete key when I see fit.