Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why I write. & What writing is for me.

What is writing?

Writing is so much more than jotting down stories and ideas; it introduces, explains, touches, directs, persuades, befriends, informs, motivates, guides, and transports among countless other things.  Additionally, it’s benefits are bestowed on more than just the reader.  Writing presents an unparalleled avenue for me to learn from the deepest wealth of knowledge available; my soul.  Through writing I do depend heavily on the knowledge of others, but most important for me is the inquiry, discovery, and debate that occurs internally.   It is in me the author AND you the audience that written words induce a range of reactions:  denial of opinions, and affirmation of belief; grasping of the never understood, and discovery of the never known;  discarding of previous views, and acquisition of new faith; joy invoked by the fictional, and sadness induced by reality... it’s all experienced by both the writer of the work, and the reader of the work.   

This is a reality that I am not sure many readers fully understand. For me as a writer, the act of getting my thoughts in words is very often part of the process of my learning.  I write about what I want to know and understand more completely.  Incomplete, shapeless constructs are formed in my mind, and as the ideas make their way from my brain and out through my hands they develop into neatly packaged ideas.  The process simply continues, as my recently born (discovered) truth then spawns (leads to) new shapeless constructs which begin their journey to birth.  

Why do I want to be a writer?

If I answered that question based on pure emotion I would say:

I want it because I never feel more like I am tapping into my true self than when I am using text to bring my thoughts to life.  Writing is the vehicle I use to travel my mind, and I always feel more alive during and after the exploration.  Verbal communication is amazing, and I am more than happy to get engaged in a conversation anytime; but for me dialogue is a young, reckless teenager, while completed writing is the developed, polished adult.  The ‘soul’ of each is the same, but ideas that are written have been given the opportunity to 'age,' and therefore achieve a higher level of maturity.

If I answered that question based on logical thought these would be the 3 reasons that explain why I want to write:  

Reason 1 - I want to share what exists in the call center that I have for a brain.

Like a call center it is as if my mind has many lines ringing, and being answered simultaneously.  The ‘conversations’ are loud sometimes, with some being more prominent than others.  When I focus in on one line I am confident in my ability to tackle the problem, evaluate the information, and extract a deeper meaning, which is what I plan to do in my writing.  I feel extraordinarily accomplished and at peace after completing a work that I feel fully expresses my truths, ideas, and feelings on a subject.  While eventually new lines alway ring, I at least temporarily reduced the noise level up there after finishing a piece.  Through writing I have an opportunity to share my truths, which I consider to be insightful, and useful.

(Reasons 2 & 3 are technically 1 reason with two completely different, and individually important meanings for me.)

Reason 2 -  (Freedom #1) I want to do what I want to do.  

Classroom teaching is absolutely amazing.  Managing a group of children while giving instruction is simply a natural gift of mine.  On top of my ability to do it well, I truly love doing it!  If I did unshackle myself from the classroom I would certainly find other ways to directly mentor and help children, but the shackles themselves are often too restrictive in education.  When it comes to standardized testing, support is too strong of a word to use, but I don’t have the typical disdain for them.   Without getting into too much detail I’ll say that I fully understand the need for accountability, and measurement, and I have no fear of it.  The limits and control over what I do does bother me greatly though.  
Writing would free me, and allow me to evaluate my own wants, needs, and desires.  The freedom to decide what I do and do not focus on would greatly improve my happiness, and reduce the amount of frustration I have with my career.  This doesn’t mean that I expect to always write what I find most important or fascinating, but it does mean that the ultimate decision would be mine to make.  I prefer to not be shackled by outside parties who get to decide in detail the subjects of my daily work.

Reason 3 - (Freedom #2) I want to do what I want to do.

In addition to content, the classroom has me shackled to schedules, calendars, and clocks.  I fully understand that a career in writing includes deadlines, meetings, and other requirements that would dictate my schedule.  The difference once again is that I get to make the ultimate decisions.  Additionally, even when I agree to a framework, I for the most part get to decide when and where my work gets done.  This allows me to write, visit family and friends, take trips to the beach, procrastinate, get a workout in, sit and stare at the wall, cook, read, and ANYTHING else that I decide to do when and where I want to do them. This is a freedom I would greatly appreciate.  

I am not hoping to give up teaching, and abandon my love for Education by writing.  I am planning to use it as a medium to teach, while helping to shape the future direction of Education through writing. 

Write Right, Right-now

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