I’m a terrible writer. By the time you read this, I’ll have spent well over two hours agonizing over word choice, fiddling with sentence structure, worrying whether what I write is right.
And yet, I write.
I made middling grades in English composition. While I never produced a failing paper, I was never the one whose writing made it to the bulletin board as an example of the power of words. The margins of my essays were filled with more critical comments than kind words of encouragement. Even today, as I write, I see the red marks that would fill the spaces between the thoughts I’m trying to get out.
But still, I write.
Fifteen years ago, I was asked to begin writing for an education company’s website. The pieces I wrote were sent in to an editor who crafted my submissions into coherent text. I felt a twinge of guilt with every piece I submitted as I knew there were others who could have done a better job. Today, I still write occasionally for publication, though I recognize the fact that my training as a math and science teacher left me unprepared for this role.
In spite of that, I write.
Five years ago, I started a blog. I don’t write here as often as I should to be considered a “real blogger.” I’ve got more drafts than posts because I can’t always convince myself that hitting the publish button isn’t going to cause others to think less of me because of my writing. I don’t have many readers, but that’s not a big surprise since I’m not terribly witty or brilliant. But, I’ve begun to realize that the process of putting words on paper — be it of the electronic or the pencil/pen variety — is important to me. Somewhere in the process of writing I get to meet a side of me that I didn’t know was there. I start to explore my own learning and go deeper into the connections between what I feel and what I want to understand.
When I write, I grow. While I write, I learn.
Because of that, I write.
PS. This post is also published at the National Gallery of Writing. Why don’t you submit something there too?