This Playwork Blogger Network thing has had me thinking more about writing – why we do it, what it’s for, and how it feels.
I tend to make notes compulsively during play sessions, scribbled onto sweaty little pieces of paper then crammed deep in my pocket for later. It can be surprising how few words I need to remind me of the intensity of a moment, the details of what was said and done. Sometimes it’s a way to exorcise memories, to create a new context for something that’s troubling me.
For me, it can be a way to practice explaining myself. Mostly it’s about working out how I feel as I go along – explaining myself to myself, if you will.
So if that’s the case, why publish?
A friend of mine, a gifted playworker and extraordinarily talented and inspiring writer, recently said that she was too disheartened to write these days, that she was tired of feeling that no one was responding. I’ve felt that way too, that blogging is like talking down a well, like throwing bottle after bottle of messages into the ocean. But then occasionally I’ll be in conversation with a colleague at a conference, say, and they’ll ask how my parents’ move is going, or whether my little red suitcase survived its latest adventure. I’m always surprised, as if I’ve been caught gossiping behind my own back.
When we blog it’s partly to seek a connection with other people, to provoke a response which might suggest we’re not alone. This is the exchange we make – in blogging we share what we please, when and how we please, but we have no control at all over response or reply.
Ultimately then these modest little posts offer an invitation to our world, to our way of seeing. They’re cues to join us over here, in this little game we’ve started. This is why it’s so important that we join up together, that we read and reply and comment on what one another have written. That’s the way to transform lots of lonely writers making their solitary cues into a real conversation, into a chorus of voices all chattering about play and playwork – about everything.
What about you? If you write, why? And if you don’t, why not?
Here are some links!
Orwell’s classic essay Why I Write
A post at the Artist’s World called Why Do I Write? that elicited maaaaany comments from readers on their own motivations
A series of short essays by famous (and famous-only-to-their-Moms) writers on this very subject