It wasn’t that I always wanted to be a writer. I’ve just always liked writing and I’ve always been pretty good at it I think. I’ve always written by the seat of my pants. I’ve been known to churn off 20 pages in a day, and not just on anything, but challenging academic papers that I probably shouldn’t have waited until the day before to complete except that it worked for me.
Actually, my liking for writing started even before writing. It was more rudimentary than that. It started with words, as soon as I heard them, understanding them and tying them together for communication. I learned early that if I grasped words with a certain tenacity I could get my point across. I don’t remember this, but according to my mother I started stringing long sentences together at an early age. And I’ve always had a particular affinity for vocabulary and spelling. In fact, it’s the very action of writing letters, their shapes and sounds… I loved it and I was good at it.
I’ve always appreciated the fact that two words that mean virtually the same thing can still have minute differences that set them apart. For instance, delicate and fragile. A bird’s bone is fragile while silk is delicate. The nuance of words and choosing the appropriate ones has always been an interesting challenge to me. Writing has been the natural progression.
Because then there was always so much to say.
I think I am a creative person. I’m not afraid to let my mind wander outside the bounds of normalcy, and in fact, that behavior was highly encouraged in my family. But I’ve never really written fiction. I’ve tried it, but even my fiction closely mirrors my life experiences during the time that I am writing. I think it’s just that there’s so much unbelievable… STUFF happening all the time all around me and in my life and I see it and I can’t believe it. And it’s not always good. Sometimes it’s good. But whether it’s good or bad it’s often unbelievable. So before I start making stuff up, I need to just write about what is there in front of me and you and us and everyone. Don’t get me wrong. I love fiction. I admire and sometimes envy those writers who can come up with such fantastic alternate realities while still relating the human hardships that are common to us all. But my need is to put out and put down the Observations. I write Observations with a capital O because these days I find my Observations to be too much. My brain and my heart can’t process all that I’m seeing and hearing. The world feels like too much always pulling and pushing in different directions. Observations with a capital O.
And so, I find myself writing because it’s my default. It’s what I know how to do and fairly well. And I find myself as a writer who hasn’t written nearly enough in content or quantity to feel right. What I mean is writing is therapeutic for me and when things were getting bad and got bad and had been bad, I wrote about it because what else was there except my words? I had a less than idyllic childhood. I know: wah, wah, wah. The point is it’s made me a writer just in the way it’s made my brother an artist.
I’m somewhat ambivalent about blogs. I think there are some really good ones with thoughtful, intelligent writing on important topics. Or people that post wonderful photos and film. There are bloggers who work really hard at what they write about. But it’s something anybody can do, can start, and here comes the New England elitist in me, but it’s probably not everyone’s calling. So I’ve shied from this endeavor for awhile now because, honestly, what sets me apart from all those other writers out there who start blogs and what would make anyone want to read what I have to say? The answer is I have no idea. I really don’t.
However, I’m not really doing this for everyone else. I’m doing this for me. I’m doing this because in the words of Harriet the Spy, who so poignantly stood up and said, “I have something to say.” It comes back to those Observations with a capital O. With everything I see and hear in the world, the world scares me. People get smarter and smarter. We build and we capitalize on everything we create, and while I ultimately believe our increased intelligence is a good thing, I worry that we are diving in before we fully know what we are diving into.
I feel like fewer and fewer people are taking time to Consider. Yes, Consider with a capital C. We have become better at activity, but I don’t know about the thinking. We scurry around from activity to activity, and maybe even more disconcerting is that in between each activity we are still doing. We are absorbed in our smart phones and tablets. We have sufficiently managed to anesthetize ourselves in every moment. We have made sure that if we don’t want it, we don’t have to Consider it.
Now I have taken into account that maybe some people are Considering when they are on their smart phones and tablets. Maybe they’re working on intensely thoughtful projects to cure cancer or they are writing the next great American novel. However, the realist in me fears that these people are in the severe minority. I think what is closer to the truth is that people are more familiar with Kim Kardashian’s latest butt selfie than who the new head of the Federal Reserve is. (It is Janet Yellen by the way. She is the first woman to head the Federal Reserve. And I can’t emphasize enough how sad it is that little girls and young women will be more familiar with Kim Kardashian’s butt than the true achievements of a women like Janet Yellen.)
So frankly, this lack of Consideration scares me. With less and less of it, who are Americans to become? There are plenty of possibilities; I’m just not so sure if any of them are good. So with this blog I declare a Consideration Revolution! Ha. Just kidding. Kind of. Maybe not a revolution, but I do want to make a difference. I can think. I can write. And I can Consider, so I’ll see where that takes me.
As a last point of discussion, I can’t promise people will like my opinions or Considerations. And there will be a lot of opinions. The thing is I make a lot of compromises in my life and while I feel compromise is ultimately good, I also feel that too much of it makes one risk losing the essence of who they are. I’d like to regain some of my essence. I think maybe I can do it through this blog. What I can promise is that I will share my musings and my, at times, ridiculous thoughts. I may make you laugh or I may make you sad or mad or confused, but mostly, even if you disagree with me, I hope I make you Consider.