The Right to Write

I’ve taken to proselytizing. I want to spread the joy. I’ve found myself recommending blogging to others, even repeatedly. Blogging’s given me so much and I’ve seen so many other people online who seem to have benefited a great deal from it that I just can’t believe everyone doesn’t want a blog.

I’ve found that often people respond by saying: “But I’m no writer.” or “I’m not an expert on anything.” Well, neither am I, I say. And that’s okay! But sometimes I wonder if they don’t have a point. Take me. I’m an okay writer and an okay expert in some subjects but I’m certainly no Dostoyevsky. I don’t even have a PhD. So what right do I have to write?

In the great scheme of things, maybe I don’t have the right. During most of human history, only the cleverest and/or the most distinguished have had the right to print their words on paper. After Gutenberg invented the printing press, and a few other great ideas happened, more people have had the chance to say their piece, but never more than now. The Internet gives us the chance to publish text without anyone scrutinizing it beforehand. No rules, no quality checks, no entrance examination. Horrible? Yes. Wonderful? Yes!

I guess I delayed starting this blog for a long time because I didn’t think I was good enough. But this isn’t print publishing where you have to qualify. Anyone can write a blog, and all kinds of people do. It’s like a massively over-sized choir where everyone chimes in, regardless of whether they can sing or not, or even know the words. I think from the sheer joy of doing sometimes good things can be born. Those things might not exist if they hadn’t been given ample playing ground.

I agree that most of the stuff online is probably not all that great. It doesn’t make a contribution to the world at large. Practically no one ever even reads it (my blog is part of this category). But still I think it has the right to exist, since the Internet is not only a place for experts and specialists, it’s for everyone. Just like with democracy, even if we don’t always agree, people still have the right to express themselves in their own voice. And for many people (like me), finding their own voice and the courage to use it, is one of the simplest and at the same time the greatest things these people could do to lead a happier, more balanced existence.

And from this, the whole world will profit.

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “The Right to Write

  1. “It doesn’t make a contribution to the world at large.” I’m not sure I agree with that. I think it does make a contribution, in various ways. For example, finding your voice can provide you greater confidence in being who you are meant to be. You will be both a happier and a stronger person, and in that way you’ll be better able to make meaningful contributions in other parts of your life. Also, we all learn from reading the real thoughts and feelings of other people. Yes, sometimes I need to hear from an “expert” with training. But sometimes I need to hear from an “expert,” someone who has lived through a trauma not unlike mine and is finding her way out of depression and self-hatred. Reading other people’s blogs and/or their responses to mine ha been a real help in my healing. So don’t underestimate the power of personal blogs! (And thanks for your potst!)

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    1. That’s pretty much what I meant by saying that the world will profit in the end. I absolutely agree that this is what’s so great about the blogs, that you can find people who are going through the same things and read their personal experiences. I certainly didn’t want to underestimate personal blogs, on the contrary. I’ve found them very valuable!

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      1. I once told my therapist: it’s like group therapy, except only when you feel like it and only listening to (reading) the people you want to and remaining anonymous.

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      2. I’ve thought about that too. I think it can be very empowering and the support from others is a really big element in that.

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  2. Laura! What a wonderful post! And for many people (like me), finding their own voice and the courage to use it, is one of the simplest and at the same time the greatest things these people could do to lead a happier, more balanced existence… And from this, the whole world will profit. I STRONGLY agree. It’s one of the best ways reasonable people can learn to speak up and be heard over all the loud, obnoxious chatter that goes on everywhere these days. (I laughed when you used the word proselytizing. That’s very apt, though I never would have thought of it that way.) Well said!!!

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  3. I love how you compare blogging to a choir! Whoa! In my head, I see how I fit into that choir. I can’t really sing, I don’t read sheet music AT ALL. But when standing beside someone who can do both, I can pick up on how the pros do it an try my best to imitate. Maybe falling a tiny bit short, but in the group as a whole lifts my mediocre talent up just a little bit! Thanks for the beautiful image 🙂

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    1. You’re right, that’s a very important aspect of it. We can learn to do better when we look around us and read other blogs. An excellent point. Thanks for the comment!

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