26 July 2006

I have my reasons...

Yesterday at the Writing Center, I was talking with Jon about my blog, and he asked me if I write what I write "to criticize or to be criticized"--meaning a review of life or a creative work, I suppose. That caused me to think for a while about what this blog really is, thus far.

I guess the main purpose is to keep me writing. Daily practice makes any skill better, and writing is no exception. (Neither is chemistry, if you ask Dr. Shirts.) The exercise of condensing my thoughts into (semi-)coherent paragraphs with structure is like lifting weights for my writing brain.

From this purpose springs a secondary one: I use this blog to get my thoughts out of my head. I have a habit of having great epiphanies and never writing them down. As a result, my brain becomes so clogged with trying to remember the things that it knows that I don't have anymore space to write something new. Writing these ideas down is a way of saving them to permanent memory, freeing up 'brain-RAM' to work on expanding these ideas with further connections and thoughts.

Writing also allows me to clear up in my head what my position is. Take my as-yet-unfinished trilogy of posts on homosexuality. My main purpose in writing it was to clarify to myself exactly why I believe what I believe. (Which is probably why parts 2 and 3 haven't been written. Merely planning them clarified my position in my head, which sort of used up my motivation for writing them.)

I guess that doesn't really answer the question. To criticize or be criticized? Hmm. Can't I have both? Really, I have no desire to separate my thoughts on the world from my creative writing. There's no reason that a work shouldn't be both critical and creative.

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