Writing for the Right Reasons

This morning while searching for a possible post, I came across a comment I’d written to a dear writing friend, Christine Grote, in response to her post, One thing’s clear — re-evaluating blogging.

One things clear--re-evaluating blogging Christine Grote

We both self-published around the same time and often shared ideas and information. Although different genres, her’s memoir and mine a book about creativity, her writing touched me deeply then and still does now. Christine’s honest prose has a way of helping writers to cut through the cultural values of fame and fortune and write for reasons not always marketable.

The quote she posts on the front page of her blog is a perfect example of her liberating perspective:

“And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

William Shakespeare

I’d sure like to reword this quote for us writers:

And this, our writing, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

So I share my comment for those feeling drawn towards the pen and yet struggling with the reasons you write. May you never stop writing regardless of how successful you see yourself as defined by a culture where bigger is better. I hope Christine’s and my experiences help you to define yours:

Christine,

I read your post and your wrestlings resonated in my soul. I so highly respect you and have experienced similar struggles to build a platform to sell a book. In fact, I had just written similar thoughts down in my journal right before I read your post.

I find it so ironic that the contemplative people of this world are forced into a lifestyle of marketing in order to promote book sales. Doesn’t it seem like a backwards system? The marketing craze is anything but contemplative, the very quality needed for good writing.

We’ve both worked so hard to do all that the experts told us to do; and yet for me, the platform building path took me further and further from the reasons I wrote my book in the first place. The writing in my book resulted from honest attempts to sort through my creative life and to return to my artistic roots.

Then last year, I left the classroom and took a job as an instructional support specialist, training teachers, planning professional development, and overseeing and expanding high-tech literacy programs I know will help hundreds of kids. God had other plans for my creative energy, and I had to embrace a left turn in my imagined path.

With all of this said, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will continue to blog and share my thoughts and artistry with the world, whether that ends up being for only 1, 1,000, or 100,000. Writing is good for my soul and sharing with others expands my spirit.

You have a gift of putting the human experience into words. Please continue with your writing, blogging, and sharing with others. You have inspired me along my self-publishing path, and I can’t bear to think that you might not be in the blogosphere.

Thank you, friend, for the gift of inspiration you are to me.

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