Tuesday, March 4, 2014

They're Valid Words, Even if Nobody Else Validates Them

Back in July of last year, when I decided to start writing a blog, I had no idea who would read it. I didn't know that people who are no longer in my life would crawl out of the woodwork to read it - friends, family, former coworkers, etc. And yet here I am, 8 months in to a blog that is updated at least 3 times a week (my goal is 4), with posts being read hundreds of times. I have seen my posts repinned over and over on Pinterest, and I have watched friends retweet them on Twitter. They've been shared on Facebook and from what I can tell, this little blog that started with 3 readers, now has quite the following.

I don't write this blog to impress people or to teach some valuable life lesson. I don't write things for other people, and I don't censor myself or monitor my content based on who is reading what I'm writing. It's my blog. I write it because I am a writer, and it's what I feel driven to do. I write this blog for myself.

Don't get me wrong, I love that people are reading it. Every time one of my posts gets shared on Facebook or Twitter, I feel like what I wrote in that post mattered to someone. And that's what I want. I want my writing to matter, I want it to be the reason someone laughs in the morning or the reason someone's mood changes. I love that my best friends read it, that my family reads it, that people I haven't seen in years read it. And I love that strangers read it. My writing is out there, it's being read and shared and valued, and that's all I have ever wanted.

I will never censor my writing to appease someone. If you don't like what I write about, by all means, don't read it. In the past 8 months I have written anything and everything, from why I am still single, to why I hate dogs, from why my Grandma's house will forever be home to me, to why I feel like a stranger to my own family. I've blogged about sex, about drinking, about romance and even about how to properly have phone sex. This is an open book for me, and I have never written a word I've been embarrassed about or regretful of. Because again, this is my blog, and I write it because as a writer, this is how I need to express myself.

This blog, and the content in it, is not about you. Not everything is about you. In fact, everything I have written in this blog since last July, has been about ME. I have processed through feelings about my family, through feelings about men and dating, through feelings about sex. I have worked through ways to establish boundaries, ways to find happiness, ways to eliminate negativity from my universe. This blog has been healing, therapeutic, and a voice for me. Me. Not you. Blogging actually started as a homework assignment from my therapist - my therapist cares about me, cares about my healing process, my progress. She doesn't care about you - "you" being the outside influences, not a person in particular. I have never been assigned homework to deal with someone else's crap. I have been assigned homework to deal with my own feelings about things that happen in my life.

I will never stop writing. Whether this blog continues to grow and become something bigger, or I write a novel or a series of children's books about Juno the Cat, or I write for a newspaper, I will always write. And I won't censor what I say. I won't damage the integrity of my written word to satisfy someone who has the power within themselves to close the page and choose not to read something. It's very simple - if my mom opens the page and sees that my post is about sex, she often closes the page and makes the choice to skip that one. If you open my blog and see that I have written about something you don't like, don't ask me to change it or delete it, because I won't. Don't ask me to edit my thoughts or alter my interpretation of my own feelings. Recognize that it is not about you, and don't read what you don't want to read. Close the page and make a choice to not read what's in front of you.

My words are mine, not yours; they are reflective of my thoughts and feelings, not yours. How you choose to handle that is your responsibility, not mine.