I write. I do it because it’s fun and challenging. I do it because it allows me to connect to others like you who support, entertain, and inspire me. I sit down and write because I want to, but honestly, I write because I need to. It’s an impulse I can’t ignore.
I started Adventures in Low Vision nearly two years ago with the reasons above guiding me. The blog doesn’t write itself though and every week I must create to keep it running. How do I do this? Well, to foster my writing, I maintain notes on my iPad with ideas and plans. From there, I type or dictate drafts. Sometimes I write my posts days ahead and let them marinate in my subconscious. Other times a subject pops up and I feel compelled to release it sooner.
No matter when I want to go live, I prefer to allow a holding period, a time to edit. I read my writing aloud to catch inconsistencies and weed out excess. Except when I forget WordPress uses military time to schedule posts and I end up publishing–with typos and run-ons and redundancies–prematurely. Whoops.
Naturally as a writer, I read a lot, too. Books, internet stuff, articles, I consume it all. I came across a piece from the New York Times Wellness blog about writing I think many of you will find interesting. It talks about the known importance of writing for understanding, but adds the element that editing is perhaps more important to lead people to greater change and happiness. As Dr. Groppel, a researcher interviewed said, “When you get to that confrontation of truth with what matters to you, it creates the greatest opportunity for change,”
I enjoy the recreation of editing more than the clunky first drafting in writing. I like cutting words for precise sentences. I like switching phrase order. I find I go into an experience from one angle and through edits and consideration, I learn more is there than I assumed. Editing is discovery.
Writing allows me to uncover different meaning in my disability and my experience. It encourages acceptance in order to move forward and be open to change. Whatever comes my way, you can be certain of one thing: eventually, I’ll write about it.
Whether you keep a journal or use social media or scribble professionally, how do you write? And why do you keep writing as the years go by? Tell me about it.
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I had to think about this for a minute because up until I started my blog I only considered myself a business writer. But, after reading your post and reflecting back I’ve always written. Before losing my sight it was standard practice for me to carry a steno pad where I would jot down notes. With the advancement in technology especially with cell phones I can take notes, dictate notes and reminders and the list goes on. My approach to writing is project based. Even if I’m writing a letter I typically begin with an outline (mostly in my thoughts for organization purposes), and depending on the subject matter research.
Like you, I find that editing can take me in directions I hadn’t previously considered and many times the outcome is better than my original intent.
Your blog shows this organization and planning of yours well. You can break down complex subjects into understandable pieces and still have some fun Stephanae. Technology sure helps make writing anywhere easier for me, too.
First of all let me say that I am so happy you started this blog. You are compelled to write it and I am compelled to read it because I find it so enjoyable and it brightens my day. 🙂
When I was a child I thought that I would grow up to be a writer but life took me in a different direction. I do try to write my thoughts and feelings down on a daily basis to keep track of triggers to depression or to track changes in my health. I like reading back even a few months and seeing how problems I thought were the end of the world tuned out to be not so much other than a bump in the road. It teaches me not to panic so much when things don’t go the way I want them to. I sometimes think writing out my thoughts helps to keep me sane.
Thanks so much Casee, I appreciate your kind words. Writing definitely helps me to clarify things and I can imagine how rereading journaling from just six months ago would illuminate frustrations that, in hindsight, feel overblown. What a great resource.
I tend to write and post more spontaneously. I always say I’m going to write and let the piece sit and marinate, because I can see the value in that, but I never seem to get around to it. I think doing things haphazardly is the only way I know how to break through being paralyzed by perfectionism.
One thing I’ve found after several years of blogging, is that I often feel differently (always more positively) about whatever I’ve written about. Writing is definitely therapeutic.
Embracing spontanaity is a great way to stop internal judgment from scoring us against pesky perfection. Your open and fluid blog style always entertains me and leads to contemplation.
Thank you, I’m relieved to hear that! Often I think I should plan and focus more but then I would never get anything posted. Haphazard is the only way it happens!
Great post, especially the quote about editing. I love how editing is your favorite part because that has always seemed like a chore to me, so it’s helpful to learn that it is in the editing that transformation within occurs. And when I think back on posts that have been turning points for me, I do see that it is usually in the 2nd or 3rd draft when it hits me. I write for most of the same reasons you and others here have mentioned. It’s the way I express myself– my art form. My issue is that I leave so many posts “marinating” that some end up drying out or sticking to the bottom of the pan and never end up being published!
I have a few of those dried-out-never-to-be-published bits, too, Joy. And thanks for commenting on posting consistently the other day, it in part led to this piece! I love to learn and develop with the encouragement and curiousity from other writers and readers in our corner of the web.
Let me say first that I really enjoy your blog, the humanity, humour and information and links. With the encouragement of friends I started my blog full of trepidation. I’m not very adept at using WordPress so my friend Lizlibro actually does the posting for me. The process I follow is to make notes, check references and think. Then I write up my blog, sleep on it, edit and send it to Liz. Choosing subjects isn’t always easy. Sometimes they come spontaneously but other times frankly I have difficulty motivating myself. It is difficult to tread the line between being too didactic and pompous and writing about serious subjects with balance and some ightheartedness. Susan, you manage this perfectly and I shall keep trying!
Thanks for the high praises, Bridget! I always enjoy your thoughtful commentary. There is a quiet authority in your writing that reads as confident rather than pompousness or humorless styling. And I enjoy the flashes of your dry humor as experiences are shared about living with a visual impairment. Not taking ourselves too seriously always takes the edge off like a nice cup of tea.
I love your blog. Every entry.
As a fellow blogger, I struggle with my editing process. Most notably, the obsession with “doing right” by my ideas. I am not the best at grammar. I have lots of writer’s flaws. But that aside aside, I obsess over expressing myself properly through writing, and presenting the best possible blurbs that I can on my blog. Too often, articles remain word docs in process, keeping each other company in the many ‘in process’ folders on my computer, because I can’t decide how best to better them. It is a terrible internal struggle. If my blog updated as often as I write, it would be well populated. I think I need a blog therapist. I wish I could get over that hump better… To let creativity take precedence over obsessive perfectionism. Even then whatever I make is never perfect, so why do I tie myself in knots?
Perfect can be the enemy of good in writing. I’m imagining files talking to one another on your computer, “will I be drafted next for the big leagues?” It can be tough to be the managing editor.
Your blog is so interesting because I can see how passionate you are about Miles and the doggie world when you write about it or post photos.
Thank you. I agree with you — and to up the ante a bit.. Perfect is the enemy of good writing. I am happiest with the passages I write when I am relaxed… Which is rare… So clearly it is a systemic problem — I need to work on being less high-strung, and in turn, less worried about perfection, in order to write optimally!