November 17, 2010

I Will Keep Writing

Drawing by Rick S. Hall
Am I the only one with 23 unread books piled on my shelf? Each seemed so urgent when I found it, mostly at the Library’s Used Book Sale. All were titles I’d heard of, and intended to check out, so why not buy? I feel stressed!

Am I the only one unsubscribing like crazy from e-mail lists? Skimming blogs I used to savor? Am I the only one who doesn’t keep up with all 583 Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter friends? I feel stressed!

Now the question arises — if I’m stressed and slowing my reading down, maybe others are too, and I’m still writing this blog — is anyone still reading it? Well, yes. I do check stats now and then and see people stopping by from all over the world, and bless all of you who leave comments.

BUT ... I’m keenly aware this could change. Any day. On a whim. The day really could come when everyone turns off, unplugs, tunes out — for a day, a month. Maybe for good.

So what will we all do when everyone is too stressed out to connect with the amazing always-in-touch tools and toys we own? Will we keep writing? If nobody is reading?

My commitment and suggestion is YES! Definitely. I will keep writing.

I will keep writing because writing makes me feel good.

I will keep writing because writing lubricates my creativity.

I will keep writing because I find out what I really think when I put pen to page.

I will keep writing because writing keeps my blood pressure down and helps me deal with the stress of piles of unread stuff.

I will keep writing because writing is my practice, a form of meditation, a form of prayer. Spirit mixes with ink.

I will keep writing because I’m a writer and that’s what I do. On keyboard or paper, I write.

Who will read what I write? Maybe my descendants. Maybe blog readers. Maybe I’ll post more stories on various sites, or publish another book, or an eBook. Maybe I’ll explore digital publishing.

Or maybe nobody will read another word I write. Does that matter? Do I need reader acclaim to validate my skill? My story? Myself? Most definitely not! First and foremost, I write for me.

But, on balance, I think I’ll continue to blog, to read with groups, and generally hang out and share with writers, because that’s my calling, my mission to help people discover and use writing to find and heal themselves and build connections. I want to help heal the world, one story at a time.

And, because I learn writing by reading what others write, I will keep reading books and blogs for sure. As soon as I write my stress away.

Write now: jot down your thoughts on why you write. What keeps your fingers moving? How important are readers to you? How important is publication? There are no right or wrong answers, and by writing down your answers to these questions, you’ll surely learn something about your motivations and reasons for writing.

6 comments :

Serena said...

I very much enjoy reading your blog, Sharon. I've always loved buying blank notebooks but it was only in the past 11 years that I really became serious about keeping a written journal on a regular basis. I love the whole process of putting pen to paper. I enjoy reading back over the years from time to time as it connects me to who I was then and to who I am now. And yes, I write for me.

Serena :)

Sharon Lippincott said...

Eleven years is long enough to give you quite a broad perspective on your life. Good to hear from someone else who appreciates the inherent value of writing for self.

Linda said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog but I hope you keep writing it. I, too, teach memoir classes and I find your ideas and thoughts inspirational and energizing. I look forward to getting better acquainted with you and your blog.

Linda

Sharon Lippincott said...

Hi Linda,

New readers are one of the reasons I will keep writing this blog. Thanks for checking in! And how nice to hear from another teacher. I have a growing sense that the Age of Life Writing is about to hit the tilting point.

You are doing a powerful work with your blog. Poetry! I missed out on that gene, much to my sorrow. Let's keep on keeping on together.

Pat's Place said...

Good insight. I have taken a few weeks off from my nose to a computer for several hours a day since my computer is residing at a neighbors house where they have internet access and I don't intrude on their family life every day. It has really changed my reading and writing habits, but not my stress!

Sharon Lippincott said...

Pat, times of turmoil are often the most important times to write, if only for a few minutes on whatever is at hand. At HAND. Hope your puter is back in your lovely new home within a few more days...

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