I’ve been running this blog for over a year now (and just recently hit 100 posts!) and it’s been so nice to have a platform to write. I wrote poetry from elementary up through high school, had a fiction/novel phase that peaked in middle school, and obviously now have moved to blogging. I’ve been writing ever since I knew how and have tried my hand at a little bit of everything.
For me, writing has always been enjoyable. I loved class essays because it was something I was good at, but I would also write more “fun” things at lunch, in between classes, free time at home, on the bus, pretty much everywhere I could. I kind of fell out of writing during the transition from high school to college, only to realize how much I missed it after starting this blog soon after. And now here we are!
Writing has given me so much. It’s not only an outlet, but it has become a piece of myself that I didn’t know was so integral to who I am. Writing is not a chore (even if some days I have zero motivation, but that’s a topic for another day) and it never has been; writing is an extension of self. You don’t always have to be cohesive and polished. You can ramble on and on, but as long as you’re putting words down somewhere, you’re doing something. It’s all a part of the process- writing is a process and that process helps us in more ways than we could ever understand.
“The writer is by nature a dreamer – a conscious dreamer.” -Carson McCullers
Here are some of my biggest reasons why I make it a point to write multiple times a week…
I write because sometimes it’s easier than speaking.
I’ve always struggled with social anxiety and just overall shyness. I get lost in the sentences that come out of my mouth, trying to keep up with the thoughts racing through my head. It’s very hard for me to effectively express all that I’m trying to say, especially if I’m put on the spot or have a lot of people looking at me.
Writing, though, isn’t like that. I can keep a personal pace in the translation from what I’m thinking to what I’m writing. I can pause and look back if I’m not sure where to go with a thought. I can edit and rewrite, say and not say, neither of which works very well in speaking. Writing allows for deeper processing than verbal communication and, as such, can come so much more naturally.
I write because I don’t have to worry whether people are listening.
Making myself heard has always been a challenge. I could say something and everyone else would be too busy paying attention to something else that the idea or answer is lost. I don’t always have the mental energy it takes to find the courage I need to say something, anything, which leads to countless regret later for not speaking up.
With writing, I don’t have to have the loudest voice in the room because my words can shout above it all. Once they’re out there, they’re out there. I don’t worry about getting lost in the noise. I don’t worry about being shot down or ignored or pushed to the side. Though the internet does have a lot of noise and criticism, my words don’t go away. They can stand strong in times I maybe couldn’t had I been speaking them.
I write because it’s healing.
Writing helped me cope with a cut-off that completely consumed me. It helped me let go and see that I was entirely dependent on being validated by one person. It helped me move on. After writing everything down, I had so much more free space to think. I didn’t have to keep drafting mental letters because I could actually write one. That particular post was one of the hardest I’ve written and one of the scariest to see go live, but it gave me the power to find the closure I never received.
When I wrote about how my anxiety affects my daily life, I felt like I didn’t have to hide anymore. I’m usually an open book, but I had never really shared how my thoughts would consume me, how they would prevent anyone else from truly understanding me, how they silenced the girl inside who was screaming for escape. When I wrote it out, it was once again me letting go. Those insecurities are still there, but if anything, writing helped me feel like I’m more equipped to handle them.
Writing is powerful because it gives you control. You get to wield the sword, you get to make yourself heard, and you get to say what you need to say without interruption. You get to lay everything on the table and out of your head. Writing also helps you to take a step back and look at whatever is hurting you from a different perspective. It can be thought of as a cliche exercise since it’s recommended all the time, but it’s recommended all the time because, at the end of the day, it works.
I write to share my journey.
I’ve found my passions. I’ve met people from all different backgrounds. I’ve taken chances and found successes and tackled failures. I’ve won and I’ve lost. I grew comfortable with being alone, I grew comfortable with being with others, and I grew comfortable with who I am.
I’m the healthiest mentally I’ve ever been. I’ve fallen to my very bottom and worked my way back up to my very top. My life is completely changed for the better because of the decision to take the road to build myself back up. There’s so much swirling around about mental health these days, but I write to show that the stigma doesn’t scare me. It doesn’t have to be something forcing you down and it’s not something to be ashamed of.
I write so that someone on a similar path can see that maybe they aren’t as alone as they thought. I write to show the real, to prove the fact that we aren’t perfect, but life isn’t either. I don’t have a 4.0. I don’t go to the gym every morning. I have the attention span of a dog who just saw a squirrel. I could never cut ice cream or tacos out of my diet. I don’t have my career all figured out. What I do have, though, is where I’ve been. I write to never lose sight of where I’ve been, because if we fight to forget our past, we lose all that has shaped us to be the amazing people we are.
I write to distract myself.
School is hard. As an engineering major, I don’t have much room in my curriculum to add a ton of humanities classes. I don’t often have papers to write and I think I’m more attached to my calculator than my phone. I write to make sure I’m still staying well-rounded, to give the other half of my brain room to work and grow and shine. I write so I’m not lost in all of the math, to make sure I’m not replacing the words I know are important with numbers that could go all over the place. I write as a break from the textbooks and exams; it’s a way to make sure I’m not overwhelming myself with technical work. Writing serves to give me a way to apply myself differently than what is typically seen as an “engineer” and it’s one of my favorite things.
I write to challenge myself.
I’ve picked topics that lead me to extensive research before actually writing and I’ve learned things I never would’ve thought to look into previously. I’ve posted things that could be seen as controversial and I’ve posted things so personal, that I’d never actually verbalized them to anyone before the day I hit publish. I try to put myself out there, both with the thoughts I broadcast and the people I reach out to. I’ve done work for brands and collaborated with other people. I push myself because goals should be made to be reached. We need to constantly push ourselves because how will we ever know the limit if we never chase after it?
I write because communication is a valuable skill.
I’ve been asked about this blog in every single interview I’ve had since I started it. I have multiple areas of more directly related experience, but yet this little piece of the internet interests recruiters before they even decide to ask about any of that. Employers want people who can write. I’ve noticed that, especially in technical fields, that skill can be lacking. When you’re in a technical major, you may not have a ton of papers to write and you lose touch with that side of your brain. Writing keeps it alive. It keeps it hungry for words, for expression, and for reaching different people. We do the work we do to help people, to connect with them, and how can we achieve that if we never practice effective ways to reach them?
I write because I have something to say.
“You ask me why I spend my life writing? Do I find entertainment? Is it worthwhile? Above all, does it pay? If not, then, is there a reason? I write only because there is a voice within me. That will not be stilled.” -Sylvia Plath
~Why do you write?