Ruled by Words

Blogging. Is it dead? Maybe so. That’s what the social media gurus and marketing experts claim.

If I’m honest, it feels strange and impersonal and also egotistical to share my thoughts and ponderings online, despite having done it often in the past. I wonder if blogging screams, Look at my life! Listen to me! As an American, this is exactly what you’re supposed to do and also never to do. Be vulnerable, share your story, they tell us. But also, stop being so self-centered. Why do millennials think everyone cares about their lives? (insert disgusted sigh and eye roll)

Yes, writing is egotistical. So is everything else unless you’re the likes of Jesus or Gandhi or Mother Theresa. But maybe not because we think our lives are cool and want to make others green with envy. We all want to be noticed and heard and accepted whether or not we publish words. And this isn’t bad, despite those who tell us otherwise. There is a balance. We believe our voices matter; we also know when to shut up and squash our egos.

Maybe these ramblings are a result of my memoir-writing fears inspired by the nasty reviews I read on Goodreads, the rants I worry will accompany the 1-star ratings for my own book someday (God-willing). Don’t read the reviews! This is what the famous authors tell you. They clearly read the reviews.

So here I am, writing a blog, or a blurb, or musing in an attempt to get out of my head and away from the impossible task at hand (did I mention I’m writing a book?). So far, it’s a positive exercise. As someone who is incessantly critiquing her work and having it critiqued by others, I find writing a pointless and prone-to-error blog plagued by idioms and sarcasm a healthy practice. It forces me to care less, to remember that writing is more about me than it is about the reader, although I’m certain that goes against everything they tell you in the how-to-write-a-memoir books.

Writing a blog feels nice, like running a leisurely mile in the midst of training for a marathon, or eating a frozen pizza. Sometimes the lack of effort required by said pizza tastes as good if not better than the homemade thin crust with garden-grown veggies. The fake cheese is surprisingly delicious.

Writing a blog also means I am finally free from some of the words riddling my brain (because the Kayti-thought-bank is endless, I’ve learned). The words beg to be released somewhere, anywhere. My journal is a good space for this, but sometimes stringing together sentences in secret doesn’t feel real enough. Knowing your crazy thoughts exist somewhere other than your mind and coffee-stained journal grants them life. Your thoughts are real. You are real. Here is the proof. 

Publishing is also empowering, even if it an inconsequential blog post that goes unnoticed. Writing and reading are how so many of us communicate our feelings and remind one another that we’re all kinda crazy. And thank God for that. Written words have more power to heal than all the medicine in the world.

When I read and write I remember humanity is something we share. I am not an alien wandering the streets, and it’s relieving to know I’m not alone. Reading and writing help solidify that truth. And as someone who very often feels alone in her crazy, it feels good to be reminded there are others out there. So I’m, once again, writing a blog. Or at least this one post.