Writing. Why do I do it? Is it for the pure enjoyment of it? Is it because I must? Is it because I feel an overwhelming need to put onto paper what I feel is going to explode inside my head if I don’t? And why do I blog? Is it the same as writing? Do I do them for the same reasons? I guess I should start at the beginning.
When I was a wee little girl, probably around 4 or so, I used to spend a lot of time at our next door neighbor’s house. Maybe it was because there were 5 kids in the family (at that time) and then when my parents added #6 I may have felt I wasn’t getting the attention I needed at home so I would wander next door and pester the crap out of old Mr. Brown. I absolutely loved Mr. Brown. I think mainly because he listened to me. Even as a kid I think I understood the concept of someone actually hearing you and even at that young age I had the need to make people laugh. And Mr. Brown would laugh at me and my stories I’d tell him. I’d make up all kinds of stories to tell him and I can still hear him telling my mom “That kid is gonna be a writer someday cuz she sure loves to tell stories.” And I do. And I still like to make people laugh.
I think I consider myself more a “story teller” than an actual writer. I have always loved to write and I used to love to write poetry when I was younger but as I got older I think I lost more of my creative writing abilities but retained my love for the written word, whether it be from the perspective of my writing it or from my reading someone else’s words. The biggest problem I faced then was time. I never seemed to have enough time in the day. I was raising a family and working full time yet somehow I still managed to wheedle into my jobs in the accounting field a way to stay connected writing, even if it was simple letter writing.
I used my gift of gab and writing skills to write letters to plead our client’s cases with the IRS and then when I worked as business manager for a chiropractor I used my abilities to write letters to the insurance companies to convince them to pay our clients insurance claims and then when I went to work for a property management company I wrote letters to the water department and the mayor’s office and whoever else we needed to write to in order to plead our tenant’s cases. I volunteered or was volunteered to do this. It seemed like wherever I worked my love for writing (and talking) became evident and I was always given those jobs to deal with people through words. My biggest problem was trying to cut it short… dang… I still have that problem!
Back then I still didn’t have time to “write” for pleasure. I still had a child at home and still worked full time and my kids were always involved in sports so I usually never got home before 9, 10 or 11 at night and then by the time I got things ready for the next day it was midnight and time to go to sleep so I could get up the next day and start all over again. It was a vicious cycle. I spent my weekends either going to sporting events for our kids or catching up on housework and essentials that got ignored all week. I’m not complaining. I love my kids and I loved doing things for them and with them. I still do. I’m just giving my “excuse” for not writing for the pleasure of writing.
The one thing I DID always seem to have was a commute to work. I used that commute lots of times to bug my poor sister to death with my stories. See? I still had a captive audience! I would call her and tell her all the stupid stuff I’d done all week and she’d laugh hysterically at me. Or she’d pretend to… if she was pretending she was pretty good at it! I would tell my tales to people I worked with. To people I sat with at the sporting events. I was always finding a way to spin my tales.
Then a few years ago, fate stepped in and gave me an outlet. My sister started blogging. At first she didn’t tell anyone because she didn’t want anyone in the family reading her stuff (I can SO understand that). Then she confided in me that she blogged and I devoured her every post. I
loved reading her stuff and talking with her about them and we’d still manage to fit in time to talk about my wild tales. One day she mentioned to me something called “guest posting”. I had no clue what that was or what it meant or what it would lead to. I had told her all the time about all the weird doctor’s visits I’d have and she asked if I’d write about it for her to put on her blog. I had told her I didn’t think people would be interested in what I had to say or that I could be funny or entertaining enough and she convinced me it would be fine. So…. I wrote a guest post which got favorable comments from her readers and I was hooked.
At her urging and since her readers seemed to think I had something worth repeating I decided to start my own blog with Suzi’s help and the rest is history. It’s now almost a year and a half and 530+ posts later and I can’t imagine how boring my life would be without all the wonderful people I have met through blogging. I could not have imagined that I had enough “material” in me to do 500 posts but I guess I did. It has morphed into more of a history of our family. I’ve tried to remember stories that I think would entertain my kids or ones that I think they might want to pass down to their kids. And of course, I’m still trying to make people laugh.
And even more than that, it has become a “therapy”, if you will, for me. I write to release my emotions. I write so that I will remember things. I write because I feel the need to get onto paper (or into my computer) the thoughts that crowd my head. I write so they won’t forget (and hopefully I won’t either).
Alzheimer’s runs in our family. My grandfather, before he died, most times didn’t even know who his kids were. There were lucid moments but he really didn’t remember. I have watched many of my aunts lose their memories little by little. Again, there may be lucid moments but a lot of things they don’t remember. It scares me, for them as well as myself.
Every time my mother tells me the same thing for like the 10th time I wonder “Is it starting with her? Is she getting Alzheimer’s?” OR is she just being “forgetful”? Is there a difference? Is one a precursor to the other? Every time I stumble over a word trying to remember something that just flew out of my head that I should know really well, I worry…. Am I getting Alzheimer’s? Or is it just a byproduct of menopause? So… as weird as it may seem… I write so I won’t forget. I write to try to keep my mind sharp and hopefully my memory intact. I write so my kids will know who I am and who I was when I can’t anymore. I write because I must.