Why I Write

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-writing-on-notebook-while-sitting-on-wooden-handrail-3091193/
Just last fall I started publishing some of my personal writings. I have been writing various snippets since I was a teenager — journals, outpouring of raw emotions, essays. I have never been particularly consistent or disciplined about it. In general, I tended to write when I had trouble managing my emotions and thoughts in my head — I needed a way to address them, and getting them on paper seemed to be healing. I think this is why a lot of people journal.

More recently (last few years) however, I find that I write for another reason. This shift also in the driver for me to start publishing my vignettes. I realize that I want to write to express myself, quite literally. I want to put me out there. I want people to know who I am, what I think about, what I value and believe in.  I have always been very introspective. Always thinking about “stuff”.  Some of my earliest memories are of me having my own internal debates — about choices, good vs bad, interpreting the religious messages that came from my upbringing in the church. I was in my head a LOT! Most likely too much.  (I admit I was a little strange. 😊)

This tendency to inner focus is what I am now trying to address. Because I was pretty content to work a lot of things out in my head, I did not always engage with real humans in my debates.  Perhaps, I was just shy, or cautious, but more likely just a little scared. If I were to actually talk with folks about my thoughts and beliefs, they might have differing opinions, and I might be challenged in my beliefs. It was safer to just stay internal.

I would not be so bold as to call myself wise. But I am a good learner, and I have learned a lot over the years. One of my key lessons learned was the intrinsic and explicit value of real relationships. And such relationships are enhanced, or perhaps even made possible, by being authentic — and vulnerable. To have real relationships, to have others really know me, requires putting myself out there. If I am two-dimensional in my communications, then I will have flat, boring, superficial relationships. If I want to be truly known, and to truly know others, I must be willing to both be vulnerable, and to enable a trustful environment so that others can be vulnerable around me.

So, this is why I write, and more importantly, publish. I crave real relationships! I want to be known for who I am, who I want to be. I will allow others, especially those that I love, to know my imperfections, my fears, my dreams, and my talents.  And to be honest, most of all, I want my kids to know me!  The role of a father is in some ways by definition a setting of boundaries — “Father Knows Best”.  But now that my kids are (awesome!) adults, I am intentionally providing the opportunity for them to “come inside” — to know me as a human, a man, a friend, not just a Dad.

In this world of texts, of emails, of chat — I beg for true knowledge and true expression. Please be patient, as I am imperfect. But, also please engage.  Call me out if you think I’m wrong. Leave me a comment if I strike a nerve or (on those rare occasions) say something of value to you.

Let’s Get Real!

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