Monday, April 11, 2011

The wonderful distraction of blogging

I think I know what to say the next time someone asks me what my dream job would be: blogging.

Not just writing a blog or two or twelve, but reading and interacting with other blogs as well. It doesn't even really matter what the blog is about--books, food, sports, movies, healthcare, music, lava lamps, or trampolines--for some reason, the world of blogging is just fascinating to me.

There are many social media sites out there, but I'll admit that blogs are the most distracting for me. I like to broaden my understanding about the world and impress myself with my much knowledge. While some bloggers have a large audience and must follow certain protocols, many bloggers blog for personal reasons with no plans to impress (unless they're posting pictures of their kids, of course). It is through blogs that individuals can really make their writing voice shine, and I just can't get enough of it.

Not to mention the fact that I am more addicted to writing than I perhaps ever have been.

My Grandma Rushton gave me my first journal when I was eight years old, and since then it has been weirdly cool to me to ink out my own adventures on a coarse piece of paper. And then it became a religious habit to write every day whether I had anything interesting to say or not; I'm pretty sure I wrote one of the longest, most thorough records of the life of a teenage girl. (That is, if you count boys, school, boys, emotional breakdowns, and boys as thorough.)

Journaling wasn't my only outlet, however. Until I entered high school, I had several "trashy Mormon novels" (as Mr. Dahlquist would call them) in the works, many of which involved softball, my stuffed animals, and 'N Sync. I'll be the first to say they weren't very good--the stories were mostly what I imagined my life to be like in a perfect world; they didn't really involve much plot or originality.

By about high school, I had kind of given up on the notion of being a writer when I grew up. In my mind, a "writer" constituted someone who wrote chapter books, and I clearly didn't have the imagination to write a publishable novel.

It wasn't until I started my own blog that I really began to discover my passion for writing again. I enjoyed writing papers (minus the research part) for my college classes, but it wasn't what I would call thrilling. It didn't cause my heart to race with excitement when I was trying to fall asleep at night. I enjoyed it for the thinking and brain stretching it required, but that was about it.

When I started my blog, however, I finally combined the "funness" of writing a novel with the stimulating brain stretching I had come accustomed to in college, and found a marvelously entertaining pasttime. This was more fun than writing in my journal, and not nearly as frustrating as trying to force the creativity necessary to create whole new worlds. I could write about the world as I saw it, using my own voice and style.

I read somewhere that Brandon Sanderson writes for like 12 hours a day. At first, that seemed inspiringly crazy to me. I could not imagine spending that much time doing anything, no matter how much you liked it. But he insisted that he loved it; his career was also his favorite hobby, so the time he spent writing never felt like work to him.

I wasn't able to understand that until recently. I have always been a bit wary of pursuing a career with something I was passionate about. That is one of the main reasons I decided not to pursue music in college. I was afraid that I would get sick of playing the piano, that it would become work rather than play.

Now, however, I believe that work and play can in fact be one and the same. I am one of those strange individuals who needs writing to live a happy, peaceful life. You know--one of those people who isn't always entirely in this world. Writing is how I work through my problems, how I express myself, how I manage to function like a somewhat normal human being.

So my favorite thing about blogging is this: it is never ending. As long as the human brain continues to work, fresh ideas will continue to circulate and people will continue to write about them in interesting ways. I don't know what I would have done in a world where 10 books was a vast library. I probably would have just been really bored all the time.


  1. I love it! Pal, you and I are surprisingly alike - even when we haven't lived together for 5 years (has it really been that long?).
    Although I'm not "quite" as into writing as you are, :) I think we both discovered the world of blogging at around the same time. Even though I have narrowed my focus mostly to sewing blogs lately, I love that it is a way for me to connect with other people who love doing what I love doing! It has become a daily ritual for me every morning to check all of my blogs. I don't know what I would do without them. And it is nice to be able to express myself every now and then without feeling too vain for talking about myself all the time! :)

  2. You know, I think you're right. Sometimes it seems like we haven't changed at all in the past 10 years.