The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Thinkwright August 23, 2012

I think I figured it out. I came up with a word that explains what I do. I would like to call myself a thinkwright. A builder and an expresser of thoughts. First I create them in my mind, then I put them in tangible form. I mull, I muse and I consider things as I go about my day – and in my solitude here there’s plenty of time for that – the ideas percolate to the surface, then I sit in my chair at the end of the day, and I write. (I might also be called a writewright I suppose, but I don’t think it sounds as good. And of course, it might make sense to use thinkwrite as well; it implies the word ‘wright’, yet it represents literally what it is that I do. Hmm. Still mulling this over. A quick google search comes up with very few thinkwrights, so maybe I’m onto something.) Maybe you haven’t felt any reservations about calling me a writer, or a blogger, but I have. I still don’t quite feel like either. Recently, something happened that had me thinking more closely about what it is that I hope to do with my writing. In this world people expect growth, change, progress. So what am I growing towards? What might I hope to do, be or achieve in the process? Never really thought about it before, but these days I’m wondering.

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of joining an online blogging support community in order to get a better idea of how I might expand my readership or maybe even tweak the look of my blog a bit. It doesn’t cost too too much ($20 a month), but in my world that’s an expense that I really need to justify before I commit to it. So when I get those super-upbeat emails from the director of the program, telling me that she has “seven proven steps to make my blog go viral” I experience some mixed feelings. The first one is from my ego. I think, wow, that might feel pretty good. The fourteen year old girl inside me who still wants validation from everyone really likes that. But then the second, less needy voice appears, and it says wow, think of all that connection going on. Think of all those people sharing the same stories, the same take on things. Think of all that connection – with old friends, with new ones. Maybe even readers connecting with each other. Not sure, but seems possible. I have nothing to sell. I don’t want my readership in the hundreds of thousands for any other reason than to build a sense of friendship and community, of mutual support. When my stories resonate with someone, that means they share some sense of agreement with me. They get what it is I’m expressing, and in so doing, we all share an understanding of sorts. And that’s a good thing.

So when this very peppy blogging guru told me I could go viral – I simply had to be the annoying kid in the room with my arm up. I just couldn’t imagine my blog going viral. Why would it? What would drive this crazy upsurge of activity? I asked her, embedding a challenge in my question, a prideful dare. I was being a bit arrogant, ignorant too maybe, but it seemed like she could take it. And I was pretty sure she could dish it out. Indeed, she was very professional – and kind – and responded. She’d read a post of mine in the past and had commended me on the writing. Yeah, that’s nice, and I’d appreciated it, but what of this viral thing? Might that magic work on me too? She told me that I had too many “I”s, “me”s and “mine”s and that I needed to turn it around and offer my audience some concern for them, using instead “you”s and “yours”. I had to offer my readership a solution for a problem, and I had to make it about them, not me. Hm. Didn’t sound like it applied to me. Decided to let the idea sit for a while. So I went out to work in the garden. And I thought about it. And I came to a conclusion which suits me for now: I’m not a blogger who writes, I’m a writer who blogs. I’m not offering solutions here, just perspectives. Perhaps I’m a memoirist without a publisher. Yeah, that feels more like it.

I don’t have anything to offer except my life and my own take on it all. That’s it. And I apologize if there really are too many “I”s and “me”s in my writing – but hey, that’s kinda what this experiment has been about thus far. And if you weren’t kinda curious or interested, you wouldn’t be reading. And I’m sure you don’t read when it doesn’t appeal. You’re all busy, just stopping by takes time. For that gift of your time alone I’m so very pleased. I really do hope reading these posts gives you some joy, maybe even some sense of connection. That’s why I started this whole thing to begin with – to feel some connection with the outside world. I needed to throw out a lifeline because I felt so very alone. I just needed to get it all out. And for me, it’s worked pretty well. So if the circle grows, great. If not, that’s just fine too.

So I guess that kinda gives away my true colors. I’m no blogger. I’m just one person trying to understand my world. Just one person hoping to connect with fellow residents of this difficult planet. A gal just trying to express herself. A writer of thoughts, a thinkwright.