I have signed up to a Blogging U course called Everyday Inspiration so the majority of my posts over the next 20 days will be in line with the course assignments. I fear that I might stray a bit off topic (i.e. away from autism posts) but I hope you will bear with me if I do!
Day One: Why do you write?
My initial reaction to this question is “do I write?”
The term ‘Writer’ feels like too grand a word to use in relation to myself, I don’t think of myself as a Writer or indeed as someone who ‘writes’. I’m a relative newcomer to the whole world of writing. I started my first ever journal about 18 months ago at the age of 41 and I only started this Blog in January of this year which together don’t exactly add up to a wealth of writing experience.
I guess my writing, such that it is, is really a by product of various other labels that I definitely can apply to myself. First and foremost I am a Thinker, I mean I think and think and think, over anything and everything, and I can’t stop myself. When it comes to thinking, I have no OFF switch. But I’m also an Observer, a Reader, a Listener and a Learner. I think that years of being all of these things have ultimately lead me to writing if only to try to get thoughts out of my head and free up some space in there!
I’ve found journalling to be a great way to quieten my whirring mind; I think my thoughts, I write them down in my journal and then I can leave them be. Writing just for myself in a journal is one thing though and writing more publicly with a Blog is quite another. I don’t think I would have thought to write more publicly if it wasn’t for the advent of Facebook. As I’ve said already, I don’t and never have thought of myself as a Writer but via Facebook I seem to have inadvertently stumbled upon a writing voice I never knew I had.
I write often about my children on Facebook. I like to turn the everyday happenings and conversations I have with my children into little stories. I like to show the humour in the frustration that can be parenting and I like to inject interest and sparkle into the mundaneness that can exist in routine family life. I think for me it’s therapeutic; to find a lighter side when life feels overwhelming. But it also acts as a reminder not to lose touch with what’s really important and to be grateful in my life.
I’m a classic introvert by nature and can often be ‘the quiet one’ in social situations. Facebook, it turned out, has been a great social vehicle for me. On line I have a voice that isn’t hindered by the shyness that often accompanies me in the real world. And what has been most surprising to me is that other people find what I have to say entertaining. I have had numerous comments from friends of “I only go on Facebook to read your posts” or “You should write, I love your Facebook posts”. Of course, the more people said these things to me, the more I started to think ‘perhaps I should write’.
Really this Blog is my first foray into the world of writing for a wider audience. A friend encouraged me to start this Blog with WordPress and follow a Blogging U course in tandem with her so that we could encourage each other. When I considered what I was going to blog about, Autism seemed the natural and obvious choice. I have a teenage autistic son and over the past ten years or so my understanding of Autism has gone from zero to very comprehensive. I’m at a point now in our journey with Autism where I want to add my voice to the debate and bring my perspective and insights to the table. I also feel passionately that I have a responsibility to further awareness of Autism and introduce it in an accessible way to people who don’t have any personal connection or experience of it.
My life and that of my family is more than just Autism. There are any number of other things I could happily write about in my blog but I suspect those posts would not be terribly interesting to others! When I write about Autism however I feel that I am writing with a purpose and a passion and these things give me the confidence to believe that there is a value my writing.
Well I think I will wrap up this post here before I over think the assignment. 🙂 This has been a fun exercise into a bit of self reflection and I’d love to extend the same question to you; why do you write?