“What do you hope to get out of writing your blog?” The question was a razor; it hurt, kind of burned.
In our last writing class of the spring quarter, we paired up, then interviewed each other. I paired with Michael, my initiative. While I am sure he is quite capable of taking care of himself, I am not sure how much room to say, “No,” I gave him.
After what, in retrospect, seems like a rather pedestrian opening question of him, followed by some conversation, it was his turn: “What do you hope to get out of writing your blog?”
I didn’t respond that I had written, and posted, a reflection on why I write last year, when the blog was only four months old.
“That’s a question I’ve been asking myself quite a lot over the last year,” was my actual reply. “I don’t know … I want to improve my writing.”
“Technically improve it?” he asked.
“Yes. But much more to better communicate what I’m writing. And to better convey it. And perhaps to more easily write it – to need only two revisions instead of six or seven, for example.”
I mentioned the homework assignment from last summer’s class. Three autobiographies, of two hundred, fifty, and six words, and my classmates detected a spiritual movement in mine. “This is my six word autobiography,” I said:
“I realized that I want to convey that spiritual movement; and I realized that sharing my story is enough.”
After the exercise, when reporting the results of our interview to the class, Michael added his own take, so labeled, “He wants to leave some of himself for after he’s gone.”
This is insightful. The blog says I want to shed some light in readers’ lives; making them a little brighter. My original purpose – method, rather – to do that was via personal essay, like one of my first posts What's your attitude toward "dhimmitude", responding to an inflammatory email. A personal teaching essay now seems less important than sharing my story … both as my story occurs and as I think of things that have already occurred.
I would like my story to touch you. I hope things about my story connect in some way, consciously or no, to things in your story. And I hope your life is a little brighter … even just a little bit … for having read a little piece of mine.
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