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What is the Point?

There has been a bit of a debate over the last couple of days on the sites I frequent, specifically this one and this one that has got me thinking about what is the whole point of a blog?

I have been writing in a journal ever since I could pick up a pen. When I was younger, I was much better at filling it in ever day. "Today I went to school. I have a crush on J. I hope he likes me too. We are going to the zoo this weekend" that sort of thing.

Other times, I would be more reflective, especially during my teenage years. Reading over some of those entries makes me realize just how melodramatic one can be. But, as we all know, it's the hormones, isn't it?

University came and there were a significant amount of entries but nothing about the day to day. More reflective, perhaps less melodrama and definitely less frequent.

And, somewhere along the way, it stopped. I have little or no record of many months of my life. It was like the real world had sucked all the creativity out of me.

I didn't want to write about anything because I hated most of the things that were going on in my life. I was angry at myself for many of the choices I had made, not realizing that I'm not well suited for perfection and making mistakes is all part of the journey.

Not only was I miserable, but I had lost all desire to record my life as I had always done.

And then I was introduced to blogging. It was my late friend Thea who suggested it for me.

She had actually seen right through me during my greedy corporate time. I went for drinks with her once, complaining about my job, my going-nowhere career, my lack of creativity.

I was doing the 'if only' routine. If only I was working for a newspaper, magazine, website. If only I could become a freelance writer.

Why not start a blog?, she said. Just write.

And so, I did. And at first, it was very cryptic. It was actually at another site . I haven't looked back at that page until today. Scary.

When I decided to take off on my travelling adventures, everyone was telling me to keep a journal. And since I had found this new way to write my thoughts, I decided to dedicate a blog specifically to my experiences abroad.

And so, Coulda Woulda Shoulda was born. I have been writing ever since. Between this and Mosaic Minds , I am a writer, even if I don't do it for that much money yet.

And every morning, when I sit down to my computer, I use this blog as a tool to get my day starting. It's part of the creative cycle. It allows me to use my creative muscle first thing in the morning. Feisty gives a great explanation of the creative benefits of a blog on her site last Friday which, as I was reading, had me saying 'exactly' over and over again.

What is hard to separate, sometimes, is that people might actually be reading. I know of certain friends who pay attention but I am not always conscious that someone may want to make a comment - positive or negative - to what I'm saying.

These comments would be unsolicited, and yet, I have the comments screen up on my site, am I not asking for it? If I validate the positive comments do I not also have to validate the negative ones?

Fair question however my answer is no and I'll tell you why:

This is a space for me. This is a journal and if you opened up your hard copy journal to anyone, they could say all they liked but it would still be your space to write.

I can also choose to ignore it and continue to write whatever I like.

Comments do add another dimension. They can open your eyes to your own writing or can be simply used as a tool to say,

'hello, i'm here and i enjoy reading'

or

'hello, i'm here, i don't enjoy reading but i'm obviously a big loser because why would I spend the energy writing to someone i obviously don't enjoy when I could just as easily CLOSE THE BROWSER OR CLICK SOMEWHERE ELSE!'

If I want constructive criticism, I go to people whom I trust and respect for that. I don't use this blog as a space for people to critique. I also don't necessarily post my best writing to this site. It is a stream of consciousness, a mental release, that I choose to do for myself. If others are keen to read, great. But, I've really just become attached to the keyboard as opposed to the pen.

I have also learned a lot about my writing through the process. How I structure sentences, how to end a story well, how tell a good story without being longwinded, how to focus my energy.

With all the moving around I do, this is better than a hardcopy journal. This allows me to record details, events, thoughts, hopes and dreams that I have, without having to lug around a book with me everywhere I go.

Another part of the discussion that is going on has to do with doing more than one creative task ie writing, painting, designing, photography.

Creative people get bored easily. So do Geminis, which makes this a double edge sword for me. I know I will end up doing many different things career wise as well as personally, simply because, I will go mad if I am stuck doing one thing for the rest of my life.

And I learned this early on. When I was little I took a soccer summer course, my sister took ballet. The next year, I tried breakdancing, my sister took ballet. The year after that, I gave Judo a whirl, my sister took ballet. The following year came the drama class and my sister...you see where I'm going with this.

My sister has almost 20 years of ballet training, and she continues to teach to this day. It's something she loves. It's something she's good at. It's something she will never get bored with.

Me, I have tried judo, breakdancing, soccer, canoeing, drama, creative writing, violin, track and field, field hockey, yearbook design, fencing, badminton, rowing, horseback riding, conversational french, girl guiding, creative writing...and the list goes on.

What am I good at? What keeps me from getting bored? Being creative.

And so that's what I'll continue to do, even if it means I will never be perfect at one task. I would rather be a jack of many trades than a master of one.

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