Once my students have an idea of what they want to write about, I ask them about their goal. I ask, what’s your purpose in writing?
I have asked myself similar questions throughout my blogging history, about 4 years, and I’m still working on an answer.
First, my personal reasons for blogging (what writing does for me):
Writing helps me make decisions. When I have an issue I’m dealing with, I often find myself thinking about the same aspect of the issue over and over and over. I rarely get beyond that first thought. When I write, though, I get that first thought on paper or computer, and suddenly I’m able to get to the next thought, and when I write that down, I get to the next. I don’t always come up with a solution when I write, but I definitely move forward in my thinking.
For example, I had to make a decision about whether or not to take on some part-time work in addition to my full-time job this fall. The same question “do I want to do this?” kept running through my mind. Randomly, during the day, that question would pop up. I would think of a reason to pursue the job; then I’d think of a reason not to. I was stuck. When I found some time, I journaled and realized I needed more info before I could decide. Writing down my thoughts helped me get to the next step, which, in this case, was asking for more information.
Another reason, I want to write a blog is I kind of have things to say. In person, I’m pretty quiet. I definitely listen before I speak. People may mistake my go-with-the-flow attitude as me not having a lot of preferences. The opposite is true at least on some issues. I have some pretty strong opinions on what I see going on in the world and how I think things should change. I often hold back because I don’t want to be judged. Therefore, writing this blog is an exercise in courage.
Writing helps me make changes in my life. I have a dream of having more freedom and autonomy in what I do for work and how I live. I believe teaching is a noble profession, and because I like working with adults, teaching at a community college is a great fit for me. Working for an educational institution in a conservative community, and in a time where post-secondary education is seen mainly as a means to a job as opposed to a venue for personal growth and self-discovery, leaves me with less support than I’d prefer. My long term goal is to become financially independent (FI) so I have the opportunity to retire early and/or seek other, possibly lower-paying employment if I choose. This blog is helping me articulate my goals and connect with others who are seeking similar ones.
I also write about money and my dream of becoming FI here to help me understand money better. Many people can look at numbers and percentages and understand economic processes. I benefit from writing out the money problem I’m trying to solve. I’ve taken my money information and written it out in my posts on what percent of my money I’m saving and figuring out how long it’ll take to pay off my mortgage.
I also know that I need to cultivate peace before I leave full-time employment because having time off isn’t going to make everything in my life magically better. I will still have frustrations and struggles. I’ll still want some aspects of society to change. Writing can help me examine what I’m doing to move forward to cultivate peace now so I can practice it for the future. It’s a gentle type of accountability for me.
I also just kind of want to share some of my projects and what I’m learning as I’m on this 8+ year journey to FI. I love to knit, garden, hang out with my dogs and clean my house. Yes, cleaning and organizing my house is a fun–at times. I want to share those things because they are part of me.
Back to my purpose: what I want for you as the reader (what I want my writing to do for you):
I hope people who are interested in a personal journey through trying to create a better life continue reading. I’d love to inspire others, provoke thought, and have conversations in the message section of the blog, on email or on social media.
I’d love for my readers to see themselves in what I write and apply what they learn to themselves.
I’d love to encourage people to look at things differently than they do now, perhaps through a more compassionate lens–one of the changes I’d like to see in the world.
I’d also love to connect people with resources I’ve used that have benefited me in my life whether that be compassionate communication resources, or podcasts I listen to for knowledge and inspiration or blogs that help me learn about FI.
I’d like people to simply enjoy reading what I’ve written.
If you want what I’m offering, please continue to read. I plan to post every Wednesday throughout the summer and possibly beyond.
Peace Out (and In),