When I was a kid, I kept things to myself most of the time. I didn’t talk to other people about my difficulties, doubts, fears, and frustrations. Now, when I feel stressed or confused about something, I start to blog about it.
For so many years, I bottled things up inside, afraid to honestly share my problems or my hopes with other people. Now, thanks to the internet, I give up my right to pointless secrecy. There are things to be kept secret, but there are many, many more which should be discussed, consulted upon, or shouted from the rooftops. It’s an incredible relief to let go of the CIA-like hold I’ve had on my thoughts. It makes dilemmas and minor catastrophes seem less important, in a good way–in a way that lets me know that even if I screw up royally, life goes on.
Four years of college trained me to use writing as a tool. In some ways, writing is an unfair major, because you’re required to use writing in all of your classes, not just the ones pertaining to your concentration. What if music majors were required to write symphonies about the Civil War in history, melodies about Mersenne primes in math, and concertos about Congress in politics? Or imagine a math major for whom every assignment was a formula. How do you determine the optimum value of a good book? What is the derivative of love?
The other professors–the psychology profs and science profs and economics profs–don’t care about your writing, at least not beyond the basics of grammar and punctuation. As long as you answer the basic question, they don’t give a damn if you vary your sentence length, slave over your vocabulary usage, or make allusions to Keats or Milton in the footnotes.
That’s very discouraging for someone who has dedicated his or her life to rearranging words in artistic ways.
I graduated four months ago–four months that have been increasingly filled with blogging. And in these four months, I’ve learned something:
I like writing.
I had forgotten that behind all the papers and essays and reports and presentations and test questions and speeches and spreadsheets and powerpoints and outlines there is still something beautiful about putting pen to paper and
No looming deadline.
No GPA to worry about.
No word count requirement.
No APA/MLA formatting.