I’ve been reading Ralph L. Wahlstrom’s The Tao of Writing lately, and in the book, the exercise at the end of the chapter says:
Write about a small act that can grow into something much larger, a rich fruit.
And so, I decided to write about an act of mine, and for other writers out there, that I believe will have lasting effects: starting a blog.
Blogs are the trees of the Internet. Thousands, if not, millions of people blog or do some kind of writing online, whether it be personal and meditative or seeking to help and inform others. When I started blogging two years ago, I planted a seed by starting this blog. And in a sense, by watering it with posts and putting up more pages and links and things of that sort, it grows nearly every day in followers, comments, etc. And as I write more and more, I grow more and more eager to share my thoughts and experiences about writing.
And I think that’s a wonderful thing.
In Ralph L. Wahlstrom’s The Tao of Writing, Walhstrom describes writing as “unified yet multiplied,” and that much of the writing we do is to achieve a “personal unity” within ourselves (87). And when we write with unity and conviction, our message has a lasting effect on those who hear it. The idea we present and our essence is cast out like seeds in a garden to those who hear it.
Wahlstrom mentions poetry slams, conferences, reading groups, online chat groups, and many other community-oriented forums that help writers connect with each other and watch their ideas spread, and while I definitely think he is right, I think blogging can be added to the list as well. It is as much a place of healing and discovery for writers as it is for connecting and reaching others.
While I do agree that nothing can ever replace face-to-face contact (nor should it), the Internet and writing, I think, go hand in hand for this reason. And if you’re reading this thinking about starting a blog or reaching out to post a comment, don’t be afraid. Be safe and smart, of course, but don’t be afraid to be yourself—to plant that seed and water it with all your hard-earned care.
Writing and understanding of yourself takes time and patience, but the fruits of you labor are worth far more than gold.