Four Hundred Texts on Love (Second Century) 26

Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

94. A man writes either to assist his memory, or to help others, or for both reasons; or else he writes in order to injure certain people, or to show off, or out of necessity.

In this age where we have made publication easy for all, the above text is perhaps more relevant than ever. Why do we write?

For me, there is an element of necessity. I have always written, though I have not and do not always choose to publish. Sometimes it’s the only thing that will stop a train of connected thoughts from constantly bouncing around my head. Sometimes it’s the way I figure out what I think or believe about something.

At other times, especially at work, writing is a way to construct a perception of a problem that leads to a solution. Even if the discussion ends up being in person or via conference call, I find that writing a paper beforehand tends to frame and shape the discussion. Providing something written in our literate culture accomplishes something that words alone do not.

Why then do I blog? As I’ve written elsewhere, I decided to start my blog when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I believed and still believe that capturing my thoughts, discoveries, and experiences with the disease could possibly help others. Although celiac related posts are only a part of what I choose to publish (and then only when I have something I believe is helpful on the topic to post), I do notice that most of the search results that land on my blog are food or celiac related searches. I think my original goal of helping others remains valid.

Once I decided to start my blog, I also decided not to limit what I post. I hardly post everything I write, much less everything I think, but I’m not looking for a niche. I have no desire to focus my blog in a single area. I also have no desire to gain readership. I deliberately chose and customized a very plain and boring theme and most of my posts tend to be little more than text. Both decisions were and are intentional. If you read what I write, it’s either because you already know me personally or you find something I write either interesting or helpful.

I’m aware that the things we write can injure others and I have no desire to injure anyone. I’m cautious in the things I choose to say. I know that words have power. As children we say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” not because we believe the refrain is true, but because we know it isn’t and we are seeking to ward off injury. Words can damage and change us in deep and lasting ways. Physical injuries heal. Words can stay with us a lifetime.

If you’re reading this and you write, why do you write?


2 Comments on “Four Hundred Texts on Love (Second Century) 26”

  1. 1 Weekend Fisher said at 9:03 pm on August 24th, 2010:

    Some different things bring me to write:
    sometimes it helps me research and organize my thoughts … especially when i’m researching something that will take months to complete and I don’t want to forget what I’ve found so far
    sometimes it’s part of a conversation and I want to respond
    sometimes writing is just keeping notes on thoughts I found useful

    and I certainly hope it helps others, but I would write even if I had no readers at all (well, not the “conversation” parts, but the other kinds of writing), just because I find it so calming and meditative and clarifying.

    Take care & God bless
    Anne …

  2. 2 Scott said at 3:29 pm on August 25th, 2010:

    I don’t know that I find writing to be calming, but clarifying is a good word. Sometimes I may not even really know what I think or believe about something until I’ve gone through the process of writing about whatever it may be. Poetry also helps me clarify what I feel and how I am reacting to something.