Words are kind of overwhelming. Combinations of 26 letters contain the ability to cause outrage, weeping, laughter or anger. It’s been said before and in so many different ways that words have this kind of power, one that’s sometimes illusive and quiet and other times loud and in your face. To write is to attempt to harness that power. And it’s daunting and dazzling, all at the same time.
I used to keep a journal. It was me and my writing and no one else, and my words went unread. And to me, their power mattered less back then. No one cared about my writing because no one knew about it. It was free from judgement, free from criticism, and free from anyone ever saying that they liked it. I wrote every day, and I had the freedom to write poorly, and occasionally, I wrote something good. All the same, my words, my passion, sat in a desk drawer in a 70 page journal I bought for 99 cents with a few coffee rings on the cover from carelessness and overuse. Beginning a blog was a fantasy, like being in an all-girl rock band or making it as a famous actress and becoming best friends with Jennifer Lawrence. Not gonna happen.
After my first year of college, summer stretched out before me. It felt infinite. I was bored, and at the same time, enamored with a writing class I had just taken. One day, I pulled up wordpress, and this blog happened. I threw an article or two online, and swore to myself that I would keep it up. This wouldn’t be like everyone and their mom’s abandoned blog, taking up cool domain names. This would be active, this would be quality.
And then the fear came. The fear that my writing would be shit. Here I am, now compare me to every experienced blogger and short-story writer in existence. Go! Something scary happened. I stopped writing. Don’t get me wrong; I thought about writing every day. But it felt like a chore. Like I wasn’t writing for myself anymore.
So here’s my solution. I’m going to write every day, and sometimes badly. I invite your criticism, and I refuse to be afraid. Maybe this blog will flop. Maybe someone will be annoyed that I took up a cool domain name. Or maybe my words will make people feel. Maybe they will cause a few people outrage, or laughter. Maybe I’ll harness word power, and other people will know about it.
And that’s something a cheap journal can’t do for you.