What am I doing here?

From www.images.sodahead.com
From http://www.images.sodahead.com

I don’t remember why I started a blog.

I don’t even really know why I need to write. I just know that when I don’t, I get cranky.

When I do write, I feel fabulous–whether I end up posting or not. So why don’t I simply dump my thoughts in a journal and stick it on the shelf?

It doesn’t seem to work that way for me.

For one thing, I hate writing by hand. Despite heckling my father for years about his illegible scrawl–or perhaps in karmic retribution for doing so–I have rotten handwriting. Plus, the friction of implement on paper, the dim pallor of pencil, or bleed-through of a decent pen, all render writing by hand slow and unappealing. On the other hand, I love typing. It’s zenlike, meditative. And it’s great having a place to gather my thoughts that doesn’t kill trees or add to the clutter on my desk.

I love having an audience, too–even an imaginary one–because I work so much harder. It is very, very easy to disappoint myself; to dismiss my creative pursuits as luxuries, and focus exclusively on the business of life and parenting and work and what not. But if I think other people expect something from me, I am much more reliable; I make it happen.

This explains why I meant to nurture a writing practice for years and years but didn’t actually get around to it until I signed up on WordPress. The truth is: I have a hard time kicking my own ass.

Of course, I especially love it when people give feedback of almost any sort. That means whatever I happened to say came alive, struck a chord–or a nerve–and inspired someone to respond. But just imagining that you are out there, waiting for me to drag a few hundred words out of my head–THAT is what lights the fire for me.

So thanks for reading. Let me know you stopped by, and I’ll come and visit you as well.

Published by

Beret Olsen

Writer, photographer, teacher, and part-time insomniac.

26 thoughts on “What am I doing here?”

  1. What a cool way to think of your writing….that it comes alive with feedback. I agree — connection is everything. Although I do still hold a soft spot for the contemplative journal writing.


  2. I blog for very similar reasons. I enjoyed writing when I was young, and then stopped doing it for many years as family life became busier. Having a blog motivates me and disciplines me to write. I used to keep journals but I agree that it is more fun to feel like you’re writing for an audience.

    My surprising discovery is how much I enjoy the blogging community. I initially started just thinking about my own writing; but once I made the effort to connect with other bloggers I realized how much wonderful writing there is out there. And how cool it is to find people who “get” you.


    1. It’s a good combo: discipline and motivation! I do not always feel the presence of the community, although when I make an effort to look around, it is always there to support and encourage me. That is very, very cool. Thanks for reading!


      1. Hi. Great writing. I am new to blogging, and i also love writing. Hope my skills will improve as time goes by.


  3. I started blogging just to keep my writing mind working and to give it exercise. I like to think my skills have improved as a result. When I actually try to write, I have to admit that I smile when I come back to read what came out of my head.


    1. That seems like a great sign! Have you been writing regularly? I thought I had subscribed to your blog, but it is not showing up in my reader! I’ll have to navigate over there; I always enjoy your posts.


      1. Oh! I’m not casting any stones here! I think I’ve posted twice in the past month or so. But your blog has not been showing up in my reader, that’s all. I went to your blog and got caught up. 🙂


    1. I find it easier to write freely in front of strangers. I am bizarrely anxious about my parents reading my blog. Since they’ve subscribed, I worry about offending them, dropping an f-bomb, or perhaps disappointing them with my irreverence or imperfections. I look forward to checking out your blog!


  4. I write because I don’t have anyone to tell all my stuff. There are some things I can tell some people, some other that I can’t, and in the end most of my friends only have a fragmented version of the story. I tried to keep a journal as well, but I think it’s pointless to have something that a) only I will read and b) is physically present and can be found by anyone. I started my blog three months ago and now I think I can’t be without it. Even if I only have like five readers, I still know there’s someone out there to whom I can tell my story without being worried of everyone knowing it. Now every time something interesting happens in my life I just want to post it. I think it’s a great thing, I love it.


    1. I laud your enthusiasm and bravery to put yourself out there in cyberland. Welcome! I am intrigued by your comment that your journal could be found by anyone. Believe me, the same is true to the tenth degree of your blog. Is it that you remain anonymous when folks find you on the internet, but if someone finds your journal, they know who you are? Is that the difference? In the meantime, write on!


      1. You got it right. Being anonymous makes it quite simpler; most of my friends and relatives don’t speak English, and almost none of them know about WordPress, so the risk is practically zero. I don’t mind revealing my life to people, it’s just there are particular people who shouldn’t know particular parts. And it is a big relief to let someone know, even if I don’t know that someone. It gives me peace and it allows me to put things on perspective more easily. A journal is hide to find and easy to look for; the biggest advantage of the blog is that most people won’t even consider its existence as a possibility. Hiding on plain sight, there it is. Thanks for the interest, keep writing too!


      1. I did. But it never hurts to clarify. I don’t know how old your kids are, but I imagine at some point they will care. I am already censoring myself, because I am afraid of how they will interpret what I have to say about parenting. Luckily, I’ve already titled this “Bad Parenting…” P.S. Excellent use of the double negative:)


  5. Just started my blog yesterday as I felt I needed a creative outlet and thought this would be a good place to start. I agree, even an imaginary audience makes us aim high – well done to you 🙂


  6. I like to write in journals. I like the way it can be an heirloom if ever handed down. It takes forever though! I have a travel journal that is handwritten. It takes me three times as long to get my thoughts out.


  7. I actually just found my way to WordPress after a bit of a blogging hiatus from Xanga. I missed the sense of community and the more in depth look at people’s lives. As for the actual writing part, I don’t think in great which is compounded by the fact that my brain seems to be mush since becoming a mother!


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