Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Why Do I Bother Writing At All?

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.

I write (privately) because I have to. I share my writing because when my son was three, and we wondered why he didn’t really talk, I wanted community. I thought that I could be his voice

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.

I love writing! My main character is so quirky and unique. She

You get utterly sucked into it.  To the point where it actually feels easy.

when writing, there

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.

In writing, eventually, you get a little bit stuck, and think that your main character is boring and whiney.

You take a little break.

Sometimes writing means needing a 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.

when wondering why you write, you find a reason and boom, you

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.

when wondering why you write at all, you get 6,000 words in your memoir and decide to look for a publisher.

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.

should I blog? Writers think? And then a little fairy visits them and says yes.

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.

i want to connect with special needs writers but we don

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!

as a writer you come out to friends and family with your blog and realize you forgot to put on your shoes.

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.


kristi rieger campbell finished post for finding ninee

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.

Finish the sentence Friday writing prompt

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  • Dana - I miss your drawings! I know you still do them sometimes, but this was a treat to have so many in one post. I’m not sure if I read your original post, but even if I did it was so long ago.

    Whether or not I keep writing, or you keep writing or blogging, I will always be thankful that blogging introduced me to you. Your voice is amazing, strong, and important. xoxoApril 7, 2016 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - You know what? Posting these drawings last night made me miss them too. I think I’ll start doing more of them again. I’m SO glad that blogging introduced me to YOU Dana. So very. And aww, shucks. Thank you!April 8, 2016 – 3:09 pmReplyCancel

  • clark - love it

    (“I blog therefore I am“*)

    I can say, similar to what I read in what you write, which is, I suspect, in part, how you are (about this), that my starting a blog is one of the all time significant things/acts/consequences in my life… serially!

    Speaking only for myself, I cannot think of any other stage/phase/transition in my life where there has been such a bounty of good people** in such a short time. I mean, if you count growing and going to school as one event, that was spread out over 12 or 16 years and the circle of friends did not change all that much.

    Speaking only for myself, I would not have come here (the virtual world, in general, the blogosphere, in particular) had I not made the decision to write a blog.

    for me, the proof that my venturing into this strange (and cool) place has been a good thing is that, no matter what my original reason, not matter how much my circumstances may have (surely have) changed, I’m still here and so are you and the others whose thoughts and perspectives on life and the world and such, I so value.

    * please don’t be old/tired/the-second-thing-the-first-bloggers-wrote-on-green-and-white-computer-monitors-in-the-1990s…!
    **being defined as the people who I count among my online friends and suchApril 7, 2016 – 11:10 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Awesome concept that the school years pretty much had the same scenery of friends around where as the blogosphere? So cool. YES. I know what you mean too about not coming to the virtual world were you not writing a blog yourself – I never read blogs (or knew how many there are) before starting this place.

      LOL to the green and white computer monitors.April 8, 2016 – 3:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb - I laughed! Then I sighed. You are wonderful. I miss writing so much. More so these days for some reason but I barely have time to breathe. Maybe some day again. I’d love to tell stories again about my baby girl and my big boy so they know this phase too. That’s why I write I think. For them.April 8, 2016 – 12:32 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Kristi, I love that you resurrected this from your earlier days and honestly just so glad that you did decide to blog and write here as I feel blessed that we got to know each other this way and become pretty close friends through this still, too. And looks like we had similar thoughts, as I am resurrecting an earluer post that pretty much fit tonight’s theme and linking up happily with you, as well 🙂April 8, 2016 – 2:05 amReplyCancel

  • Sandra - I am so glad that you write…and draw cute little cartoon characters who drink wine and say ‘shit’ a lot. This was hilarious, and I do believe that hard work pays off, and one day, something extraordinary is going to happen related to your writing (I realize Tucker is extraordinary, I’m talking about the stuff that’ll bring in cash and objects of great value!) I’d love to hear about the crazy-ass Internet troll…Okay, maybe I wouldn’t since I worry about everything all the time already. I’m just glad you’re writing. Did I already mention it? Well, it’s because it’s true.April 8, 2016 – 2:36 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - From your lips, my friend. From your lips! And yeah, the stupid internet trolls got me for a little bit but I’m over them and over it and the piece they hated is buried and anonymous now thank goodness. And aw thank you. I’m glad you’re writing, too. xooxApril 8, 2016 – 3:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily Nichols Grossi - I adore this! Every bit of it. Favorite parts include the quickly-moving arm motion drawings when you’re mad typing your brilliant stuff; “that he’d rather shave a cat than read another memoir;” and last but not least, your reminder than doing this makes us more human. That we need voices and that writing can help elucidate those. Thank you! xoApril 8, 2016 – 2:46 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - haha…This was utterly hilarious, Kristi.
    On a side note memoirs sure are many but then every story is unique so, darn it if publishers don’t favor it…there is also the power of the author to self publish it 🙂

    Go ahead bare your soul and may you write beyond 6K words!
    xoxoApril 8, 2016 – 3:35 amReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - Oh my gosh how I just LOVE this, even the second time around!! Didn’t you add more to it? I swear you did. You ARE Tucker’s voice, and you ARE HEARD and with YOUR VOICE you are touching SO many hearts, everywhere!! I’m so glad you kept going, started a blog, created this incredible place of worth, of beauty, and or validity for us all. I love you. And I’m SO glad I know you now…

    (You gotta do more funny drawings. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!)

    (Also? Sorry I SCREAMED SO MUCH in my comment. I promise it’s justbecause I LOVE YOUR WORDS AND DRAWINGS!!)April 8, 2016 – 3:55 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - I love that post! My start was different, but some of the same feelings. I once thought writing (blogging) would/could make me famous, too. It didn’t. It hasn’t. It probably never will. It has given me something better, though. It has given me beautiful friends and helped me tap into a part of myself that I hadn’t fully discovered before. That’s why I write and why I keep coming back to my blog even when the words aren’t coming to me.

    Maybe I should put all that into a post and link up, huh??? 😜April 8, 2016 – 9:07 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yes Lisa! Put that into a post and link up! I’d love for you to! And yeah, the whole famous thing… oh well. But you’re so right – the friends and the tapping into ourselves really is better than fame and money. It really is.April 8, 2016 – 3:31 pmReplyCancel

  • A.J. Goode - Kristi, I just love your blog. You always seem to say what I’m thinking, only better. Thank you for sharing your world with us, and for Finish the Sentence Friday.April 8, 2016 – 9:58 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aww thank you AJ. That means so much to me although I disagree that I say it better than you do. I love your writing and your blog! Thank YOU!!April 8, 2016 – 3:32 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - —–Kristi,
    you continually have a way to dig inside my heart, which doesn’t happen often…
    but when it does, I feel like screaming, “I LooooOVE YOU!”
    Your VOICE matters…
    For Tucker.
    And for all of us.
    As for the trolls: They can kiss my A*s !! xxx
    O, Ps–somebody the other day said, “I just have a little blog. I’m not trying to change the world.” I said, “I Am!!”April 8, 2016 – 10:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - KIM! I LooooooOVE YOU TOO! Your voice matters. All of our voices matter. And yeah the trolls can kiss my Ass too. Here’s to us changing the world!April 8, 2016 – 3:33 pmReplyCancel

  • April - I’m glad that I have chosen to write. I have met so many wonderful people, learned so many things and written SO much. LOL about the name. My goodness, even though my blog name IS my name, I still wonder if I should change it. Too much of my mind is consumed about the proper name! I never thought that it would make me famous, even though I do now, I thought it would generate a better income sooner.April 8, 2016 – 10:15 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL to too much of your mind being consumed about the proper name for your blog. I didn’t think about it all and now wish I would have. And yeah, the income part of it’s hard…April 8, 2016 – 3:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I remember this post the first time…laughed so hard then and laughed again so hard now. For me, I know WHY I write (because like you said, I have to), but I still can’t figure out why sometimes I go through periods where I just don’t or can’t write. It’s not writer’s block, but it’s more like apathy or laziness. I’ve been that way with my blog lately, although I’ve been writing lots of essays on the side. I’m just not putting them on my blog..yet.April 8, 2016 – 10:37 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - hee hee thanks Emily! I’m glad it made you laugh the second time around too. 😀 I think all of us go through periods of time when we don’t feel like writing. It’s part of why I’ve kept Finish the Sentence. I have to write at least once a week. I like that it forces me too. That’s cool you’ve been writing a lot of essays! Post something so I can read it (because it’s about me). 😀April 8, 2016 – 3:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I enjoyed this post even more so than the first time around. I tickled me as a writer and knowing how long we’ve been on this blogging journey together. I’ve never been super serious about quitting but when I do get in a funky mood about why I’m doing this, I think of all you guys. And FTSF has made me write most of my best posts. Deadlines don’t motivate me though, they throw me into writers block.April 8, 2016 – 11:00 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya, you did? That’s so cool, thanks! I changed it a little and combined part one and two of the originals but I love that you still enjoyed it! And yeah, the years go by fast, don’t they? When I wondered whether I should just quit, I thought about all of you guys too and just couldn’t.April 8, 2016 – 3:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Lana Lindgren - So good. Writing seems like a solitary thing, but in the end, it’s all about the connections. You are a brilliant voice for your son, and for yourself. Whether in a book, or on a blog, your words are so important, and I’m so glad you share them with all of us!April 8, 2016 – 3:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - That’s like how writing is for me. Or blogging, rather. It’s like all of my dreams rolled into one – wanting to write creative non-fiction, wanting to be my own boss, wanting to publish my own memoir. Boom.
    Without this? Wah. I’d die a little.April 8, 2016 – 4:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Lewis - Love the illustrations of your super-fast typing. And your reasons. I’m glad you wrote. And that you write.April 8, 2016 – 5:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - I love hearing about how you started writing! When I first started my blog, it was called “Echo Can Cook” and it was terrible, LOL! I realized that I had more to say and I needed to branch out. I feel like I got into the best blogging community and I have learned faster than most! We ride the lightning, my friend and we carpe diem, baby!April 8, 2016 – 11:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL thanks Echo! I’ll bet Echo Can Cook wasn’t nearly as terrible as you think but I’m glad that you blog the way you do now and that I get to be one of your friends through writing. Carpe Diem and boo yah to riding the lightning!April 9, 2016 – 5:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Katia Bishofs - Never listen to trolls, you’re amazing and I love this and I want more of this! Reading this I realized I miss the cartoons, but then again when I read the touching stuff I always remember how much I love your touching stuff, I’m so so glad the evil blog fairy payed you a visit, even if for my own selfish reasons. I can’t wait to get my hands in that memoir some day soon!April 9, 2016 – 3:50 amReplyCancel

  • Allison Barrett Carter - I love you. This is perfect and please don’t ever stop. ❤️April 9, 2016 – 8:03 amReplyCancel

  • Kerry - That is sweet Kristi. You wrote because you wanted to be the voice, when your son couldn’t quite find his.
    Glad you’ve kept going writing. I love all these varied answers for why people write, what they feel and think about their writing.April 9, 2016 – 10:16 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks Kerry! And yeah, I’m really enjoying everyone’s answers to the sentence too!April 9, 2016 – 5:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - Yes! Yes! Yes. I so relate. So relate to this piece. I often feel like you are my twin sister. Hugs to you.April 9, 2016 – 1:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - My new favorite Kristi post, hands down. Damn, we’ve had almost the exact journey! Novel, memoir (I misspell it, too), blog. The drawings are precious, and so are you! Thanks for laugh, and the encouragement!April 9, 2016 – 1:24 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL Thank you Allie! Had to laugh that you spell memoir wrong too – it’s a weird word!April 9, 2016 – 5:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Leanne Russell - Kristi, I loved your post this week. I also love your hilarious illustrations….how do you do that? We should have a finish the sentence friday where we have to write an entirely ficticious story… about ourselves. I know I struggle with making stuff up but would have a go. Loved this…it was funny and so true. I could have approached this weeks sentence a thousand ways but a mood took hold of me and I’m sorry I produced a kind of morose poem!April 9, 2016 – 2:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Little Miss Wordy - This was beautiful Kristi! I had never seen this post and am so glad you brought it back. It was perfect for this prompt! I love the community I’ve found through blogging (which I was clueless about too when I started a blog ha!). I often try to explain it to those who are thinking of starting a blog, but unless you experience you just don’t get it. Loved this!April 10, 2016 – 12:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Angel the Alien - I love your pictures! I would totally read your memoir. You could always self-publish it. You could be like, “We don’t need no stinking publishers!”April 10, 2016 – 2:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Angel, thank you!!! I’d so read your memoir too and love “We don’t need no stinking publishers!!” 🙂April 10, 2016 – 11:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Corinne Rodrigues - I love those drawings, Kristi and every one of your reasons for writing. I know that you have made the blogging world a lot richer with your words and your ability to build community.April 10, 2016 – 9:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - I’m glad you write for all the reasons that you do. And I’m very glad to have found you as a result. This is great – first or second time around. Community is definitely the thing that keeps me here in this world of blogs and facebooks and twitters and stuff. It’s the people, for sure.April 10, 2016 – 11:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Vasantha - Great to participate in the libk up even tough it was closed. After all this is the pleasure why I write …. And here’s my link for you …….

    Thanks for the prompt.April 11, 2016 – 3:01 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Vasantha, I’ve added your link to the link-up and am so glad you participated!April 11, 2016 – 6:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - Kristi, as others have said, I love your drawings. I also love the way your story unfolds through them. You’re saying something similar to what I did, though with a lot more laughs!

    I love “This shit is awesome” followed by, “God, I’m dumb. Stupid book.” It’s so universal for writers to feel that way, and yet when you’re going through it, it feels as if you are the only one!
    And your reasons for starting to blog is awesome – as of course are the reasons you carry on!April 11, 2016 – 4:38 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yvonne, it’s so very true about going from thinking we’re awesome to awful in the matter of minutes. It is so universal but you’re right – it feels as if you’re alone when you feel that way for sure. So glad you wrote and linked up!April 11, 2016 – 7:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni - I’m so thankful that you write because that’s how I now know at least one family personally who have been changed for the better because of your encouraging words! And, I love that you spend so much time and effort in making the world a better place! <3April 12, 2016 – 4:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Ivy Walker - A little fairy told me the. Last post you put up was pride worthy….stupid fairy….she was totally right!!!! I laughed out loud at finally spelling memoir correctly!!!! Did i spell that right???? Oh well! This WAS lovely….April 12, 2016 – 8:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Mo Lux - Writers like you who bravely spill their soul while bringing comfort and community to others are saints. Evil internet trolls are worse than devils. I love reading about the start of your blog and love, love, love your illustrations!April 13, 2016 – 2:14 amReplyCancel

  • Julie Martinka Severson - Ha! Oh, this made my day! I was on a spring break trip with family and didn’t link-up, but I loved the prompt and wanted to read some and so glad I did. What made you think of adding the bald cat one? So random it cracked me up!!!! You’ve created a such a welcoming, interactive link-up of fabulous writers in which we can all relate to the quirky thoughts whirling around in our writer brains.April 13, 2016 – 12:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - OH how I have missed you.
    I loved this post and your drawings. I love that you are giving such a BIG HUGE voice to an already BIG HUGE SPECTACULAR CHILD and in turn you are bringing comfort to a community…and you are educating people like me who don’t understand what you — as a parent go through, who don’t understand what Tucker goes through. You help me educate my son too.
    Don’t ever stop writing babe. People are reading and absorbing your words and maybe they don’t comment all the time but they are reading.
    You’re phenomenal and one hell of a Van Gogh
    xooxApril 14, 2016 – 1:26 pmReplyCancel

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