Why write . . .

250px Saint Augustine Portrait

St. Augustine writing

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I write this blog, especially in the context of engagement with others as well as my participation in various social media such as Facebook and Twitter. There are days when I feel like it’s a complete waste of time and completely ego driven and then there are the times when I delude myself into thinking I’ve got something useful to say. My wife and I use Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith for our nightly devotionals. Today’s reading gave me pause to consider the value of writing for the sake or writing. Nouwen writes:

Making Our Lives Available to Others

One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this:
“I have nothing original to say. Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to.” This, however, is not a good argument for not writing. Each human being is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Writing can be a creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others.

We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.

That second last line is a killer: We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. Two words that I have trouble with: trust and deserve. This is the very opposite of ego, it requires healthy self-esteem. We are all just one of the approximately 7 billion humans living on the earth right now, never mind throughout all of history. To think that we might actually have something worthwhile to contribute to God’s story is hard to fathom.

I will keep writing, if for no other reason than to give me a place to write the thoughts that are in my head and in the hope that God can use it to engage with someone out in the world.

If you have a blog or other public writing forum, why do you do it?

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