I started blogging for a few different reasons – one being that I have always loved to play with words. Another reason was to share my thinking on retirement transition with others – the teacher in me coming out. And still another is a desire to call myself a writer as part of my retirement persona. But many people do not consider blogging “real writing”. After reading Julia Cameron’s book The Right to Write, I have come to the conclusion that blogging is the 21st century essay writing.
If you’ve been reading my blogs (essays?) for a while, you’ve realized I love to read as a learning tool and then share what I’ve learned. So here are some of the things I learned from Julia in this book. [I’ve read other books she has written – I would more probably recommend her The Artist Way versus this book, but there is still learning to be shared here.]
- Writing brings clarity to the art of living. By writing about life, it helps you process experiences and see the path forward. My writing about retirement transition has helped me along my own path of transitioning – from sorting through choices, to focusing on action, to seeing a bigger picture of the future. Writing has often moved me from passive thought to action.
- Simply the act of writing makes you a writer. You do not need to have anything published to be a writer. You do not need to make money from your writing to be a writer. Write for the joy of writing. Yes, I still have the idea of turning my blogs into a publishable book, but I no longer look towards that as the definitive point to feel a sense of accomplishment from the creation of words on paper.
- Write to talk to the universe. My writing says who I am, what I did, what I like, what is bugging me, what I want more of. It is a conversation about my life. The act of writing is as much psychological as it is physical. I have often said my blogging is my own version of a life coach! When I write things, they often seem to happen – the universe hears me. And others sometimes hold me accountable as well!
- Your words are original; your words will resonate with someone. Even if someone has written about the topic before (and I think every topic has been written about before!), you have your own individual insight into the topic. If you care enough to write it, there will be a reader (at least one) who reads it. And if just one person reads your words, you have been heard.
- Words have power. Sometimes they just flow out of you, like energy onto the paper. Writing is more about the process than the output. Allow the words to flow and refine them later. Look inward to allow them to flow.
The Right to Write has inspired me to consider myself a (real) writer and to continue to blog. After over a year of writing and 2+ years into retirement, I was starting to feel like it’s all been said. Julia’s writing showed me, once again, that my inspiration to write about a topic comes from many things – a book, an article, someone else’s blog topic. And a topic can be written about again in a different way. Her book was a series of essays on writing where some things were “repeated” but with a different spin – almost like a series of blogs about writing!
So I will continue to write to express myself. And I am encouraged to write some other things beyond retirement transition as well – life stories and memoirs. Not with the intent to publish, but merely for the joy of playing with words!
Do you consider yourself a writer if you are a blogger?
Picture credit: Pixabay