Good morning world, and welcome to my blog.
I like how WordPress made a little post for me here in the blog section that said, “This is your very first post.” I’m not sure it was entirely necessary to make a post like that, true though it might be. That’s the thing about Captain Obvious: he’s not wrong.
But I don’t stop with Captain Obvious. There’s more to it than just “here it is, look, a blog post. Yep, that’s a blog post all right.” I think it’s important– actually, it’s vital– to stop and ask why. Why a blog? Why spend a portion of my limited time writing (or reading) words here on this screen? What is the value here? True, anything worth doing is worth doing well, but the first question must be “Is the thing worth doing?”
I wrote a blog once. Or at least I tried to when limited wifi allowed me to post. It was a travel blog detailing my adventures in Northern Ireland during my study abroad trip. It was fun to write, and for my family and friends back home, it was fun to read. It had a definite beginning and end purpose: write about Ireland. This is different because I don’t really have a topic or a purpose in mind here. The end goal is simply to write.
To be transparent, I started this blog for selfish reasons. While I appreciate you taking time to read this, really the blog is for me.
The fact of the matter is, I fancy myself a bit of a writer. But like any art or skill, writers don’t just wake up one day as great writers. At least I hope they don’t, or I’m a lost cause. In my experience, translating thoughts, emotions, colors, tastes, and textures into letters and paragraphs takes a heck of a lot of work. And often coffee. And sometimes miserable hours of staring at a blank word document, muttering “words… words… words…” (My roommate can testify to this.)
I’m bad at analogy. But I’m pretty good at playing the flute. When I was little, I dreamed of being a great flute player. I had this idea that flute was the instrument of charm and elegance. All the flutists I knew had long flowing hair, so that might have had something to do with the idea. Unfortunately, when a 6th-going-on-7th grader first picks up a flute, the result is rarely a sound of Rivendell-like grace. But when said 6th-going-on-7th grader is determined, and takes lessons, and practices regularly for upwards of 10 years, and goes to band camp, and joins orchestras, things tend to get better. The awkward sounds of practicing can be painful to listeners. There are good days and bad days, but if the flutist is persistent in practice, the good days grow more frequent and bad days rarer. Tone develops, muscle memory works its way into her fingers. Eventually, picking up a flute and making a beautiful sound becomes natural and in fact enjoyable to all who may hear.
So, I apologize to those who may overhear my awkward practice, here on this blog. But know in the end that my purpose in writing is not to be melodious all the time. It’s not a performance; it’s a practice session. It’s to drill technique, to establish my voice as a writer, and most of all, to develop the discipline of consistent practice. In the end, my hope is that I’ll become the kind of writer who naturally picks up words and crafts them into something beautiful.