Somehow over the course of the last 10 years (that’ll be since I was in highschool, for those of you doing the maths), ‘writer’ became the noun that somehow was supposed to encapsulate my destiny. And so, since then – through the end of highschool, four years of university studying journalism and political science, and three years of not knowing how to make it as a journalist – that word has been looming large over my life.
It looms internally – from the moment you start pinning words to yourself it’s difficult to un-pin them, and they sort of just sit there, staring you in the face while you go about your daily life, not being those things.
It looms externally too – you see, if you thought it was easy to pin handy-dandy little words to yourself, it’s even easier for other people to do it to you. I’m guilty of this, myself. I meet someone for the first time, and I begin storing away easy-to-recall nouns and adjectives about them in an effort to not embarrass myself when I talk to them again. ‘Writer’, it transpires, is a very easy word for people to remember about you. And once they have, even your driving instructor (to whom you once casually mentioned ‘blogging’ – thinking that, to him, it probably meant something as alien as llama farming) will recall that ‘You’re pretty good at writing, aren’t you?’
The thing about looming is that it becomes a lot like procrastinating – the longer it’s been looming, the more you want to ignore it. That’s how I feel about writing. The truth is, however, I’ve never wanted to write. Somehow the ‘writer’ label has made me feel like I ought to want to write, but I don’t. And I don’t understand people who do.
Here’s why: writing is a medium. To say I like writing is like saying I like to yell, or whisper, or paint, or even photograph. The truth is that many people claim to love doing these things (myself included), but these media don’t mean much divorced from the subject that you yell or whisper about, paint, or photograph. Here is what I have always wanted to do: I’ve wanted to pass on knowledge that I find interesting. There’s always been a little corner of me that’s itched to teach, which I think flows from this desire.
So where does a blog fit in to this picture? This blog is my way of giving myself something to write about. I have a few topics that I find interesting, so I’m making a project out of writing about them. I can’t promise that these topics won’t be niche, mundane, superficial, or unrelatable, or even that I won’t run out of things to talk about! But this blog is my way of taking action. And, while I’m not un-pinning the word ‘writer’ from myself (as a matter-of-fact I’m attempting to embrace it), I have determined not to let it bother me unless I have something to write about.
N.B. – Despite my husband’s constant, gentle encouragement that of course I should write, and blogging would be a great idea, it was a somehow-magical-wait-a-second-I-could-totes-do-this conversation with Morgan (of The Otter Dance) who inadvertently convinced me to actually do this thing. You may hold her fully responsible for the results.