I sat at our kitchen table, helping my first-grader prepare for tomorrow’s spelling test. “Come on, Buddy, just a few more words,” I said as he put on a voice-changing mask. “It might help me be smarter,” he said. I opened my arms, gave him a hug, and considered letting him skip school tomorrow.
I thought about him crying at his desk yesterday after Innocent Looking Girl With Adorable Glasses bullied him. I thought about how he was too shy to tattle on her and wondered whether that was a terrible thing or a just a thing thing.
I thought about Finish the Sentence Friday, and how grateful I am to this link-up for giving me a writing deadline each week.
I look back to why I’m here, why I write publicly, and realize that my reasons have evolved over three years.
You all – each and every one of you, whether we talk regularly or I don’t even know your name – has given that to me. I will forever be thankful.
So tonight, rather than writing a long and (hopefully touching) essay about how writing has saved me, given me hope for my son’s future, hope for my own coming into less loneliness, I thought I’d share a revised post from when I was brand-spanking new to the blogging world.
The writers among us may find it funny. The people among us who don’t write because they have “real lives” or whatever that term is may find it enlightening to why it is that us writers and sharers keep on keeping on.
Why Do I Bother Writing at All?
You’ve written in journals for years and one day read a book that sucks and think “I can do better than that!” You sit at your keyboard and get really excited to write the next best novel.
You get utterly sucked into it. To the point where it actually feels easy.
You skip showering in favor of having a few more minutes to write. You know your words are powerful and will influence millions.
Eventually, maybe, you get a little bit stuck.
You take a little break.
It turns into a longer break.
The days pass, and one morning, you realize that your life is unique and that raising a boy is something special, and that raising your particular boy is extra-unique. You think about how you didn’t find what you wanted to when Googling speech delays and special needs. You smile, create a new file and title it “Memoir” and start writing.
And you write some more. You bare your soul. You get to the point when you have 6,249 words in your memoir, and finally have begun spelling “memoir” correctly. It only took 2,349 times asking auto-correct.
You get excited that you’re onto a book and then you read that publishers hate memoirs. That he’d rather shave a cat than read another memoir.
Time goes by and you wake one day and think “I’ll blog some of my memoir!” Where you came up with the idea to blog is a mystery. Maybe there’s an evil blog-fairy who visits sad little memoir-writers while they sleep and plants the idea in their dreams.
Because although you’ve never read a blog in your life (unless Perez Hilton counts?), you get this crazy dumbass idea to start your very own.
Because you’re completely clueless, you consult the almighty Google and figure out how exactly to start a blog. You start and think, OMG, I’m posting all the helpful things now!
Because you don’t know whether you fit into the autism-mommy world, and you want to connect with other parents with special needs kids, you decide you’re part of the “Middle World.”
And so, you name it. And it is born.
You name your blog, maybe something like “Finding Ninee” and later wish you spelled “ninee” like “niney, but whatever.
You come out to your family and friends. You feel on top of the world!
Three years go by. During that time, you submit your writing to other places and sometimes they share your words and you’re on top of the world again. Other times, you share your words and Evil Internet Trolls open up new twitter accounts to tell you that you’re awful and terrible and you have to wonder if maybe they’re right.
You cry for five days because there are people behind their keyboards who forget you’re a human raising a human. You think about shutting it all dow, because you started writing to remind us that we’re all more human.
One day, you realize you’ve written a lot more about writing than you’d ever thought you would, and think about the amazing friends you’ve found through writing online. You’ve even helped a few mamas who wonder why her three-year-old isn’t really talking.
You write online to give your son memories of how loved he is. And somewhere in there, you realize that you love this. You love writing, and you love the connections you make through doing so.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s topic is “Sometimes, I wonder about my writing. I keep on and on because…” Feel free to adapt the sentence to “I write because…” or “I wonder why I write…
Your host is moi, Kristi from Finding Ninee.