What am I doing here? Why I write.

Sheila Scarborough at BlogHer 2007 (courtesy Elizabeth from Table4Five at Flickr CC)
Taking notes at BlogHer 2007 conference (courtesy Elizabeth from Table4Five at Flickr CC)

A fun blog theme/blog tour request came in from a friend in Australia – a reminder of blogging’s younger days before people started turning off comments and worrying quite so much about where they showed up in Facebook’s News Feed.

Des Walsh, a business coach and LinkedIn expert, tagged me as someone he’d like to hear from on the topic of writing, specifically why I write, so here are some quick thoughts to fold into the theme that was originally started by Susan Foster.

1)  I’ve always been a writer, probably because I’ve always been a reader.

Even as a young person I’d write stories, and even experimented with a sort of graphic novel (I distinctly remember drawing lots of hoop-skirted women during a Jane Eyre phase.)

My parents and teachers encouraged me, and only lightly edited my voice….first person suits me, like that’s any surprise, right? 🙂

2)  I wrote a lot even in the Navy. During my seagoing career, there were always reports to write, official message traffic, performance reviews, award citations, instruction manuals.

Performance reviews and award citations were always fun to write for top performers; I could make the words sing and people usually didn’t expect recognition, so that made it even more gratifying. One Commanding Officer used to ask me to edit this or that write-up with my “Golden Pen.” I still do something similar today – LinkedIn recommendations!

It was much more painful to write about people who were not doing so well, but that happened, too.

I even tackled the impact of the web and technology on Navy culture in 2001, for the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings professional magazine – there are a lot of parallels to social media’s disruptive effect today on every industry.

3)  I write like I speak. If you hear my voice coming through my written words, it’s because there’s not much difference between the two.

When I write travel articles I have a terrible time taking my voice out of the story. I don’t try very hard to do so, I confess. My travel writer friend Pam Mandel has thoughts about first person singular, too.

4)  I love blogging because I say what I want to say, the way I want to say it. It’s that simple.

Here’s my very first blog post – I blogged on the BootsnAll travel network for almost 5 years, until I simply ran out of gas writing about family travel.

5)  I’m working on a book about entrepreneurship and social communications for women over 40. I’m procrastinating horribly because it isn’t perfect. This is very “me” as well.

I’d love to hear about why YOU write (or shoot photos or video or whatever you do that brings joy.)

Do tell, down in the comments….

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9 Responses to What am I doing here? Why I write.

  1. Pingback: Why I Write - Then and Now - Des Walsh

  2. Pam Selle says:

    +1 to writing because you were a reader! I kept very infrequent journals as well when I was younger, but because I didn’t journal daily or really religiously, I didn’t think of myself as a writer …

    If I had to sum my reason for writing, I’d say it’s because it makes me feel good. I feel better once I’ve put something from my brain out to some output of some kind. It’s like there’s stuff in there and when I get it out, the room feels more organized.
    Pam Selle´s last [post] ..My problem with pairing

  3. Tina Christiansen says:

    What a fun post. I am unusual in that I didn’t do much writing before college. I am glad I discovered the joy of putting words together and that people pay me for it. Sometimes I do wonder if I’d write if it wasn’t my “work,” but given that any down time gets filled with volunteer work, I suspect I would.

    • Tina Christiansen says:

      OH MY! Where did that icon come from? Your website has decided I’m a scary face!

    • Sheila says:

      Thanks, Tina, glad you’ve found your calling (and the comment avatar is auto-generated; I’m sure it’s not related in any way to the real you!)

  4. Yes, yes, and yes! As other interests have waxed and waned, writing has always remained a part of my identity. Like you, Sheila, I also credit it in part to being a reader in my formative years. My print of choice, however, were usually magazines and newspapers. Anything from Newsweek, to Sports Illustrated, to the Los Angeles Times. I love that content marketing allows me to embrace my journalistic side every day. Just subscribed to your blog and looking learning more from your insights!

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