Why We Write

This is the last day of my month of “power blogging.”  I wrote 29 posts in 29 days.  It was a challenge I designed for myself; an exercise in writing.  I like to write and I have been doing it for a long time, but mostly to a limited audience.  One of my aunts gave me a cloth-bound journal for my birthday in 1974 and part of my first entry, dated August 8, is the cryptic sentence “I am going to watch Nixon resign.”

I have been writing ever since.

Maybe there is something genetic about writing, but I don’t know if my paternal grandfather ever wrote anything.  He was a textile worker and farmer who came to America from Bavaria in 1924.  He didn’t speak much English when he got here.  My maternal grandparents came from farm country in the Province of Quebec.  English was not their first language either.  It seems that dirt, trees, and textiles were more prevalent in my bloodline than any written English words.

My father writes a daily journal he hides away at night.  He also scribbles things on recycled envelopes.

My brother writes.  He has been blogging for 10 years so that would make him an innovator.  He’s written two books and now, one will be published by Down East Books this spring.  I am happy for him; he’s worked diligently at his craft.  Good job, Mr. Jimmie (love you, bro)!

My nephew writes.  I don’t know when he started writing.  I was impressed when he wrote “action plans” for his hockey team as the high school team captain.  He is also one of the five greatest cover letter writers of his generation.  He encouraged me to start blogging.

I’ve had some excellent writing teachers along the way, all of them encouraging me to “follow the muse.”  I was a writing tutor, too.  When I was younger, I had some dreamy notion about being “a writer” but I wasn’t sure what that meant, so I went to work for a large corporation.  I have written according to the rhythms and dictates of corporate America for most of my adult life.  I’ve kept the writing “muse” alive by writing letters to friends.  Some people still do that, although it’s not clear the epistolary form of literature will ever be a big hit.

Somewhere along my distracted journey on the road of life, I decided it was necessary to produce some of my own food, preferably in the dirt and not in a test tube.  Ayuh, I want to be some kind of a farmer and it all started (sort of) in the Hampton Victory Garden.  With the Victory Garden as my topic and reason to write, I’ve jumped into public farming and writing at this time and place, laggard though I may be.  Thank you for reading my writing about gardening and dirt and home.  Thank you for your comments, too.  Here’s a special “shout out” to all the people who have encouraged me to write.  You know who you are.

I am glad you are here on the road with me.

Do you have a story to tell?  How do you plan to tell it?

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2 Responses to Why We Write

  1. Jim says:

    Loved the 29/29. Always fun to come here wondering, “I wonder what she’ll write today.”

    Having done something similar for a month, I know it’s no easy task to write on prompt like you’ve done. I appreciate the props, and all I can say is “back at you” (love you, too!).

    Combining growing food w/ writing puts you in some mighty fine company (think, Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Michael Pollan, Gene Logsdon, Ben Hewitt, to name but a few). Interesting how the two seem to go hand in hand.

    • Thanks for your kind feedback and support! I have a long way to go, but getting started was the hardest part! Corny, but true. Speaking of corn…I need to get busy on a longer piece about GMO’s.

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