Why I Write What I Write #OpenBook

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor

Yesterday, I read Stevie Turner’s post for the Open Book Blog Hop and the topic really struck a chord, as did the accompanying quote, which I copied above. The question Stevie poses for this week’s hop is why we write what we write.

I mostly write personal essays, journal entries and other works of autobiographical nonfiction. It may surprise you that I didn’t start out this way. As a child, I wrote fiction more than I wrote diaries. I wasn’t too imaginative, but I tried my best and my parents and teachers were pretty impressed. I always wanted to be a writer.

I started writing a regular diary when I was thirteen. About nine months later, I read Anne Frank’s diary and pretty quickly decided I wanted my diaries published when I’d grow up. That never happened and isn’t going to happen either, not even here, since my crazy ramblings of the time are none of my current day readers’ business. It was 2000 at the time, so online diaries already existed, but I was unaware of their existence.

I continued to write some fiction on a semi-regular basis and aspire to get at least some pieces of fiction published at some point until my late teens or early twenties. Now, I don’t have any aspirations for getting any fiction published.

As for why I write what I write, there are two main reasons. The first is to express myself. I revived this specific blog in 2018 in an attempt to allow myself to write more from the heart than I was permitting myself to do on my old blog.

As an offshoot from the wish to express myself comes the wish to find likeminded individuals. I blog in English because the English-language blogosphere on WordPress and Blogger is much larger and by extension more diverse than the Dutch one, which consists primarily of wannabe “influencers”. Through my writing, I aim to connect to people who share similar experiences to mine.

With respect to my fiction, this has always been the goal of my writing, really, too. My fiction always had very strong autobiographical components and I was looking to diversify young adult fiction. I am sometimes surprised at how well-represented people in minority positions, including multiple minorities, are in fiction nowadays. As a teen, my goal was to be part of that movement. I guess by merely writing openly about my experiences online, even though I’m no longer engaged in activism, I may be doing this.

14 thoughts on “Why I Write What I Write #OpenBook

  1. Welcome to the blog hop! I sometimes worry about the lack of “writing from the heart” on my blog. But I don’t want to have my personal life and that of my family out there for everyone to see. I’m a private person and it’s a balancing act each time I blog.

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  2. I always find it interesting to read about why other people write what they write. For me, one of the best things about blogging has been connecting with other people and being able to connect over shared experiences is such a powerful thing. Interesting too to read about your choice to blog in English and the differences between the English blogosphere and the Dutch blogosphere. I love that quote you shared at the start of your post – it’s certainly one that I can relate to as well. #MMBC

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing. I definitely understand you’d want to connect to others who share similar experiences to yours. As for the Dutch blogosphere, maybe I’m not digging deep enough, as there are indeed some bloggers out there who have some similar experiences to mine. However, like I said, the English-language blogosphere is much larger.

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  3. Looks like you blog for much the same reason I do. I’ve “lost” a few blog friends to facebook, instagram, etc., so really appreciate the ones who stick around and still enjoy blogging. Nice to learn why you blog in English.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing. Yes, it seems Facebook and Instagram are replacing blogs in some cases. That’s sad. However, people have been predicting for at least ten years that blogging is dying and yet it’s still very much alive.

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    1. Yes, that makes so much sense. I don’t think most teens’ diaries would be suitable for publication. I mean, Anne Frank was an extraordinary writer for someone her age, but part of the reason her diary is so well-received too is the fact that she died during the Holocaust.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So true indeed. My years of writing my offline diary were quite bad for the most part, so I tend not to revisit them. However, reading those entries may help me realize how far I’ve come. Thanks for the tweet. I’m not too active on Twitter but will tweet your post anyway.

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