I often use my blog as as a means of saving thoughts and ideas for “later” or for storing the ideas of other people for future reference or reflection. Sometimes I feel like it is silly to do this–why write a blog post that primarily consists of quotes that I want to remember or use in the future? Why not just trust that I can eventually go back to that book or article and re-find the good stuff then? I’ve often chided myself about it–don’t use your blog to “store” stuff, use it for original ideas. Quit writing short little posts and work on your books instead. And, more cruelly, don’t bother, no one cares. However, I’ve also realized that I don’t have the space in my life right now for the sustained concentration it would require for me to write my books. I have ideas for four of them. My miscarriage memoir is almost finished and I do plan to publish it this year, but the others are not and I’ve accepted that they won’t be likely to get any of my attention until my kids are older. I can barely find the time to write any articles lately, let alone books. But, then I realized that in a way, when I collect words and thoughts in my blog–whether just transcribed words from something that caught my attention, or fresh words of my own–I am working on my books. I’m preserving, collecting, storing, and refining ideas, words, memories, and thoughts, so that I will have a rich collection to mine when I’m ready to fully develop it. I might dismiss it as “just blogging” and some posts might just be short quotes from other writers, but I think there is good value to me in this collecting process after all.
From the anthology Sisters Singing, here is a quote from a longer poem called, A Writer’s Prayer, by Sarah Jones:
…The body of a writer
is a political action
with each swing of a letter
each truth written
the world is broken open,
a vein of truth exposed.
A writer’s prayer is for herself.
That she will hold to slowness
that she will hold to the beauty of a candle
that with the dirt and the grit of living under her nails,
she will write her body into language.
I write to remember. I write to share. I write to preserve. I write to collect. I write to store. I write for myself. I write for my children. I write for others. I write for perspective. I write to play my life’s music. I write because I just can’t help it.