Why I write and what I write about

a.k.a. Why I chose this tagline

This post is based on a Writing101 prompt: “why do you write?”

I write to clear my mind

I tend to think too much and let my thoughts affect my mood with unfortunate results. Everything seems to be fine one minute and I start crying or get angry the next. Any person witnessing this would think that I was crazy and needed to get back on my meds, but there is always a sensible reason behind these outbursts – usually fear, bad memories, or resentment that wouldn’t exist had I not overthought a situation.

Writing allows me to get rid of all the things that clutter my mind. I usually just have to write about them to know that they won’t be bothering me for a while. Sometimes it means writing truths to get myself to accept them and stop worrying about them. It can also mean writing lies, half-truths or “truths to come” to make myself believe them or at least get my brain to focus on something positive for a while.

I write to remember, understand, and evolve

It is no coincidence that these words make up my blog’s tagline: they are the reason why I started my self-monitoring project and this blog in the first place.

Remember

I tend to only remember things that made me sad or angry, which makes me unhappy. Writing what goes on in my life helps me notice the good things as well as the bad, and guess what? There is actually more good than bad, and way more good than I remember. Something I write today could help me in three months when I feel like crap and need to be reminded of the issues I have overcome or the progress I have made.

Read Letting go – one piece of furniture at a time for an example of a day I want to remember.

Understand

Sometimes you need to look back at what happened before to better understand what you are going through. It can mean recalling childhood events or investigating last week’s schedule. Going back to what you wrote during that period can be useful, but writing about the issues you are facing can be invaluable, like writing about a problem and its possible solutions or writing about a bad day and the things you could have done to improve it.

Read 12 things blogging taught me to find out what I understood after a month of daily writing and self tracking.

Evolve

The more information and the better understanding you have about what you went through and who you are, the easier it is to figure out what you want to change about your life or yourself and what steps to take to achieve these goals. I use the data I gather – whether numbers or blog posts – to decide what areas of my life need improvement and identify changes I can implement – or at least experiment with – to evolve.

Read Gratitude for the past and hope for the future to discover one step I decided to take to evolve.

Why I blog

When I started this blog to document my self-monitoring project, I wanted to explain how and why I was keeping track of my sleep, diet, etc. to help others understand the impact self tracking can have and how easy it can be. I wasn’t trying to pose as an expert, just to share my experience and hopefully find some support to keep me motivated throughout this project. Here is what I wrote in my very first post:

I will explain everything I can about this project, from what I am hoping to achieve to the system I use to gather data about myself and the benefits one can reap from self monitoring.

I assumed this would be the focus of this blog, but I didn’t want Keeping Track to only be about that. I knew it would be boring both for me and for visitors if I only shared self-tracking reports, and I wanted this blog to be more personal. So I decided to take part in blogging challenges, starting with BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo, and added:

Along the way, you will get to know me as you learn about my life, including my hopes, dreams, struggles, but more importantly, my efforts to remember, understand, and evolve. As language learning takes a considerable amount of my time, I should write about that as well.

This isn’t a blog about self tracking, languages, or my job as a translator. This is a blog about me, about the things that I feel like sharing, about the challenges that I take on, about the reality of my life and my efforts to live it in a more satisfying way. Maybe it will become more, but for now, that is all it is, and that is fine by me.

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10 thoughts on “Why I write and what I write about

  1. Languages and cats… two of my interests. I’m loving your blog and your writing style, and now a follower :) Good to “meet” you here, looking forward to reading more of your posts.

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  2. Pingback: Who I am: 3 things about myself | Keeping Track

  3. Saw your post on Writing101 Commons. I love the way you organize your thoughts. You have things dissected and well thought out, and it is easy to tell that you have spent a lot of time reflecting in general. I appreciate what you said about sometimes needing to write about lies or half-truths just to figure things out and allow yourself to believe them. That’s definitely something I can relate to.

    I took the prompt a little more abstractly and expanded it to several things that I do each day and explaining a one-sentence reason for each. I’d love to hear your feedback.

    https://whistlewhileyouwalk.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/i-write-because/

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