Monday, May 1, 2017

On writing and blogging

I always feel a little embarrassed and humbled when friends or family tell me how often they read my blog.  Which seems a bit silly, because when you write something and put it on the world wide web, well, you should expect that someone is probably going to read it. But it still takes me by surprise when I hear that people are actually looking forward to new posts.

Why do I blog, anyway? First and foremost, like all bloggers, I do like to write. I started a journal when I was 10 years old, and I had a number of pen pals growing up, mostly cousins who lived on the east coast. Blogging is a bit like both of these things.  It's a great way to keep a record of my life, especially because I'm rather forgetful. Sometimes I read my old posts and they are like finding new stories. Ha!

Blogging is also a lot like having pen pals -- writing posts and then reading other blogs and leaving notes, and then that blogger comes back to mine and leaves a note. Sometimes we email in between.

For me, writing brings out the color in life. I'm forced to look for more details. It isn't enough to say that I love to garden or that I like flowers. I want to learn how to make the colors appear on the page. The blush of the peach rose, the soft velvety red of the geraniums in a clay pot. The tender green shoots of Lily of the Valley striving to reach up and burst into little white bells of fragrance. It takes practice and commitment to come to the page, and I often coax myself with pretty notebooks and favorite pens.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh says that "The writer must stay centered in the moment. Both fear and hope are in the future and one should not be thinking of the future. To write one must be steeped in the present."  I think that is writing's greatest gift for me, the ability to be in the present moment.



Flat Rock Creek Notebook: Memoirs of the Here and Now said...

I like reading your blog because of your writing voice and your superb photos. In this post, I was thunderstruck by "It takes practice and commitment to come to the page, and I often coax myself with pretty notebooks and favorite pens." I am likely to find an insight like this or turn of phrase that resonates with me as well as your rich and sumptuous images of flowers and nature. Keep blogging!

Mildred said...

Hi Karen, I know how much I fell in love with your blog recently when I first discovered you. Just your description of red geraniums in clay pots and Lily of the Valley here bring to mind sweet memories.
It is such a joy to visit and have a return visit from folks all over the country/world. I appreciate your blog friendship very much.
Have a wonderful 2nd day of May!

Dianna said...

I love that you wrote out why you blog. It was an exercise that I had never done until I started back blogging in Jaunary of this year. But I wrote it out and put it in a prominent place (like on a tab at the top of my blog) where I would see it often so that I did not lose track of my purpose.

I love the descriptive reasons you've given...the blush of the peach rose...etc. I could see the rose, the Lily of the Valley...all of them in my mind's eye.

Melanie said...

I have the same reaction when a friend or family member tells me they read my blog - I'm both a little shocked and embarrassed! My next thought is, "Then why don't you leave comments?!" Like you, I started writing in a diary at a young age, and then as a teen, had a ton of pen-pals. I guess we've just always loved writing!

Dewena said...

I love this post, Karen, so true. Love Melanie's comment too!

There are lots of us out there blogging for many of the same reasons, which is why we find friends through blogging.

Anne's quote should be a daily reminder and I too think that part of my life has progressed through the practice of blogging, although I'm not nearly as consistent with regular posting as I should be. Sometimes the dailiness of life crowds out writing about it.