Which came first, the author or the blogger? If I write blog posts instead of books, do I call myself a writer?
I have written nearly 900 posts on this blog, most averaging over 500 words…really averaging over 1000 words because it’s just hard for me to shut up sometimes…over the past 6 years. I could have written about 9 books with all those words!
So….am I a writer or a blogger?
What defines a person as a writer? The format they write in? Wither there is a spot on a store bookshelf with your name on it? How many ink pens you own!?
I happen to own a lot of ink pens!!!!
One of the treasures I inherited from my grandmother was part of her journals. Everyday Grannie would write something…anything…down in plain spiral notebooks. I always loved reading them as she was writing in them. She kept the one she was writing in right next to her spot on the couch and before going to bed each night she would jot down the day’s events, as mundane as “it rained today”, to celebrations of births and holidays and who called or visited.
I recently bought a book that was someone’s journal (see info below) and as I was reading it, I thought of Grannie’s notebooks. After I was given her journals, I started reading a few, but it seemed so private now (as compared to when I was a child sneaking a peak), her thoughts on situations that had happened, how her son’s divorce was affecting her, her worry for her children and grandchildren, worry for her husband and a possible argument they had that she only hinted at. I felt like I was trespassing on sacred ground, hearing things I shouldn’t be hearing.
Grannie had always gotten on to me for reading her journals when I was younger and would never let me take the older ones to read, although I asked, begged and pleaded.
“They’re full of a lot of nothing”, she would say, “Why in the world would you want to read them?”
The question really should be, “why would you write them if you didn’t want someone to read them?”
Writers write, so that people can read. Sometimes the writing is just for the purpose of sharing information, sometimes for offering encouragement, inspiration, or entertainment.
For the most part, the writing is something the writer is compelled to do, wither anyone reads it or not, but it is in hopes that someone will. The words have to come out, like a cup overflowing, spilling onto the pages of whatever format is at their fingertips. In the spilling of the words, the writer is emptied, ready then to be filled again, to start the whole process all over again. I know from experience, that in the writing, the writer is healed in some way.
Did Grannie see herself as a writer? No and yet she was. I read them now and I see her, sitting under the quilt frame, “quilting a reach”, putting in a new quilt, piecing on another one, painting, laying out on her bed as she talked on the phone in the back bedroom. I see her with her friends, going places (a lady that never drove and yet was constantly on the move), I hear her concern for her children, waiting for them to call at the day’s end. I guess I knew, but had forgotten, how much she loved Perry Mason and that she stayed up past midnight most nights quilting. I didn’t realize that Papa left her alone so much while he went hunting at the cabin or how lonely she was or how depression would over take her and there were days she barely got out of the bed.
I’m seeing things that happened in my life, from her point of view. I’m seeing the pain of situations that I only partially understood then. I’m seeing her words, I’m seeing her emotions, I’m seeing her.
She wrote all this and more. She lived all this and more.
She was a writer.
And so am I.
We both used the pen and the pin. We both have to get the words from our head and our hearts out. There are times that we want to hide them away in the cupboard but yet we know that in the writing, there is the reading that will come one day. Someone will see that in the mundane, there was the living.
And so we write.