I would like to think of myself as a writer and I have spent some time trying to figure out when it is that you become one. What makes you a writer? Is it the quality of your work? The passion you put on doing it? Or is it the fact that you just feel the need to write? I have been giving a lot of thought to these and doing some research to know what people say out there, all kinds of people. I found so many opinions and ideas about what makes a person a writer in contrast to “just” someone who writes, I have to admit for a brief moment I felt discouraged, even inappropriate. After some reflecting, I decided that I really do not care about the label. I just feel like writing, want to write and that is exactly to what I will devote a big part of my time from now on.
It all started about 6 years ago, when writing for Expatclic. Back then, I wrote about my experience as a new expatriate, about my journey going from an independent, working, single woman to a happy stay at home expat wife. It was great to find out how good it felt to share my feelings and how other people related to what I had been through.
Later, the urge to write became stronger when I became pregnant. I felt like sharing my experience with friends and family who were far away, who were not going to live my pregnancy with me. I also thought it would be good to tell my pregnancy story in an honest way, without sugar coating my feelings and fears, admitting to all the nice and “not so nice” things that come with pregnancy and with the beginning of motherhood. This need to express myself made me start my “Recuento de una espera” blog.
Since then, I can´t seem to stop. I have written small pieces for a local club´s magazine, one piece for a motherhood blog, I have started a private blog for my daughters and also wrote another public for my second pregnancy. I have continued writing for Expatclic and I have several unpublished posts and drafts in my computer and many notes in my phone (and even more ideas in my mind). It is as if every time something comes up, I just need to make a note and think about how I would like to write about it. And it is not only the need to write but also the feeling of wanting to share what I write, like putting it out there. Really out there, to expose myself.
When I stared my coach training, I heard and learnt a lot about the power of writing and its benefits. It was quite surprising for me how, unconsciously, even though I had starting writing by chance, I had kept doing it for exactly the reasons it is good to do it, but without knowing or thinking about it. It helps so much in clarifying ideas, in giving perspective and getting some distance from and actually understanding your own thoughts. It is liberating. A great way to let go.
It is also good for making plans and setting goals, it has been scientifically proven that it is a lot more likely to reach those goals that have been written down (and even more likely if you have shared them with people). It´s like things you write become real.
Why do I do it? I think mostly for selfish reasons, but also for some self-less ones. On one hand, as I said before, it is a great way to reflect on my own feelings and to bring self-awareness, to get things out of my system and to understand myself. Like a window to my soul, a window that sometimes I can only open by writing.
Also, in a way is a mean for me to reach out to friends and people I know, to let them know how I think right now, how I have changed, how I have grown after years of living abroad, how my life is or, more in general, how I view life. It is the best way I have to share, share everything I want to.
On the selfless side, writing is my way of trying to inspire people, to show them they are not alone; that we all struggle (with the same or different things), that there is always someone else going through what we are going through. That it is OK to feel the way we feel. I have come to realize people tend not to say what they really feel, maybe because it is not the “right” thing to say (or even worse, the “right” thing to feel).
People often dismiss other people´s feelings or comments with arguments like “yes, that´s how it is”, “that´s life”, “it is a process”, “we all go through that”, “you won´t be the first or the last”. I am guilty of doing it too. And sure, I agree. Life is hard sometimes, we all go through a lot, lots of things are processes and things are like they are BUT that does not mean that we are not allowed to have feeling about all of that regardless of the fact that we can rationalize what we are going through to keep going, to not quit. I want people to know they can feel whatever they feel and that it is also OK to admit it, to say it aloud, maybe if more people share their emotions, we can start having deeper conversations and be closer to each other… I know that for me it works and I know that it works for others as well.
Above all, I want to write from the heart, about things that resonate with me, things that make me think, about how I feel. Everybody says one needs to set a narrow theme for a blog to work, my theme will be just “Life”, life seen through my eyes. I don´t know if it is narrow enough, probably not, but even if I am going against all the available marketing or blogging advice out there, this is what feels right to me right now, what I feel like doing. And although I would love to get lots of likes, shares, comments and praise, that´s not why I am writing, I just want to touch someone´s heart with every post. One person´s is enough (but hopefully there will be more!), it would make it worth it.
So this is it! My first blog post of this new blogging adventure. I hope you enjoyed it and hope to have you back every week (see how I am setting a goal in writing and sharing it with you so I am more likely to actually reach it?)!