What good does blogging do in the world? Does the world really need one more mommy blogger? These days the Internet machine is full of people sharing their opinions and experiences on blogs. It can be overwhelming to try to read and keep up with it all. Do I really want to join an already crowded parade where my words are just a drop in an ocean?
Plus, I’m no expert. I mostly blog about things I DON’T know about (which in the ever-shifting land of parenting feels like most things). So why should anyone read my stuff? And am I even ready to put myself out there like that? In case you haven’t notice, the Internet can be a little harsh sometimes. Why set myself up to get rejected by bigger sites and picked on by trolls?
Honestly, sometimes I’m not sure. All the arguments against blogging that I just listed feel like really compelling arguments to me.
But here I am anyway.
Because the truth is, I love to write.
I write because it challenges me to think and to grow. It challenges me to keep learning, about everything from new websites to how hosting/domain names work. It helps me to look at the world more carefully, to appreciate experiences more intensely. It exposes me to other perspectives and opinions.
I love writing because it helps me know myself. I love staying at home with my kids, but anyone who’s ever done it knows it can be isolating. I love my mama friends and our playdates, but it can be hard to make meaningful connections when the kids are asking for snacks and the toddler is waking up from nap. In my writing, I get to share my own authentic uninterrupted self.
I write because I suck at scrapbooking and journaling. I love the idea of leaving a piece of myself and of my family for my children to see–a real authentic piece that is honest about who I am both as a mother and in addition to being a mother. I love the idea that they can one day look back on our family memories from my point of view and maybe know who their mom is on a deeper level.
I write because I care, damnit. I care about the world I live in and I care about the world my children will grow up in. I want it to be a better place, a more loving place. I want it to be a place where we appreciate people for who they are rather than trying to turn them into something else. I want it to be a place where we cultivate healthy relationships with feelings, with boundaries, with relationship and friendships from an early age. I want it to be a place where education inspires curiosity and authenticity and growth rather than simply being a place to sit still and memorize because that’s what we’ve always done. So I write about these things. My voice may be small but I speak up because I care.
I write because it means I connect. When others read my work and agree, we connect. When others read my work and disagree, we still connect. The more I write, the more people I find that I connect with. I see other writers who encourage and support each other. I see people writing about the same stuff as I do. I see people writing different opinions and it makes me stop and think. I write because it’s my gateway to this amazing community of people who are writing because they care and so they speak up. They share recipes because they care about nourishment, nutrition, health, family. They share stories because they care about legacy and love and spreading hope. They share beliefs because they care about people, about the world.
I write because it reminds me I’m human. Not everything I write is going to be great or even good. Some posts turn out to be massive failures. Sometimes I look back on what I wrote a year ago and I wonder what the heck I was thinking. I don’t write with the intention of creating a masterpiece. I write with the intention of always growing and getting better. I got a lot of silent rejections when I first started sending out my work to be published. But instead of letting it defeat me, I tried to let it make me stronger.
I write because it reminds me to let go. Once I put something out into the world, it’s not really mine anymore. People will take it and do with it what they will. People might love my work and share it or they might hate it and bash it. They might read the first line and form their opinion without ever even reading it all. And that’s ok. It’s a hard reality but at its core, there is a valuable lesson about love.
I write because right now, it’s what I have to offer. There will always be reasons not to do something creative, something scary, something new, something that feels meaningful or something that you fear is meaningless.
But at the end of the day, those reasons start to sound a little hollow.
This week a young man who played football for the Huskers died in a car accident. A fellow writer responded with an article titled, “We Don’t Get to Decide When We Play Our Last Game”. And my first thought was, at least he had the courage to play the game in the first place.
We change the world by having the courage to do what we feel called to do, even if there are a million reasons not to. I don’t want it to be fear that keeps me out of the game.