Bonnie, Me, Carla and Elisabeth last night. I like holding hands.
On a snowy, slushy night (last night) in the magical Story Telling room of the Orem Library, I joined Sandra Taylor and a room of bundled, bright people to talk about blogging. Do you know how I really, really started blogging? In 2002 I read Paula by Isabel Allende and was impossibly convinced that the best thing in the entire world would be to write the human experience with a devotion to sensualism.
Have you read the way Allende describes life? It's gorgeously mastered, sculpted with textured words, leaves you desperately moved. I consumed the book and decided then and there to become a writer. To tell my stories with vivid accounts would be my power to really exist.
And writing does that for me. It asks me to exist in a bigger, richer, deeper way.
Blogging specifically, with its intense immediate feedback function, has stretched my spirit to places I never knew I could reach. The feedback of a blogger follows closely behind everything I write and I've learned to listen. I even learned to see how the haters have an important place in my journey. Yes, I know.
Blogging has taught me the hardest lessons of compassion for others and for me. It's taught me to respect the inner workings of the minds of people I will never really know. Blogging has ripped open the windows of my life and offered me a wider view of humanity I never thought I'd see sitting here in Provo, Utah.
But man, it's a hard profession. Sometimes it's easy to be smothered by the natural competition, the incessant checking of numbers and adoration. And it's hard to let people love you and it's hard to let people hate you. And it's hard to write the things you know you want to say but might hurt others who read it.
I have committed my lifetime to blogging. A lifetime. That's a lot of stories. But still there are so many days where I have to talk myself out of quitting. It does get easier, I've noticed. For instance yesterday when I wanted to quit it only took an hour to remind myself that I already made the choice to be a writer and that quitting isn't an available option. But the sinking feeling of failure is a hard one to shake. That desperate hour of self-encouragement yesterday robbed a lot of my energy.
And then, only a short time later, I went to the Orem Library and had such a beautiful experience talking and discussing and meeting with people who were so kind to come. I mean, the rewards for pressing on cannot be discounted. The support I feel daily is amazing to me. It really is something I feel that sits beyond what I can see.
I shared this quote by Isabel Allende, and it serves as a daily affirmation for me as a writer blogger:
Give, give, give--what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don't share it? I don't intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, the world and with the divine.
Thanks Orem Library, Sandra and everyone who came. You filled me up!