Clogging Along

living life in a multicultural world

Writing for One Person

I haven’t posted in a while. I decided to post today because my New Year’s resolution was to make 2014 the year that I actually wrote instead of the year that I only thought about writing.  I realized today that we were nearing the end of January and that I needed to post something ASAP in order to feel somewhat like less of a loser.

The problem is that I have so many issues with writing, so much ambivalence about blogging.

First of all I feel like I am Sybil when I am writing. One moment I think I am a genius, the next I am lamenting the fact that I totally utterly and completely suck, so much so that even after countless years of studying and higher education I am incapable of writing a coherent and grammatically correct sentence.

That was why I  was so happy to read somewhere that Elizabeth Gilbert (who I am a huge fan of) likened writing to being a mom in a minivan trying to create order among the fighting writer “children” that live within her — the arrogant writer, the lazy writer and the insecure writer. Yup, that would be me. Gilbert’s says that her job is to rally the kids and make them behave in the car while she drives. The metaphor resonated with me and perhaps it will help me overcome my debilitating writer’s illness.

The thing is that I love to write. I become alive when I am tapping away and am able to create and play with words. My problem becomes who am I writing for? Some people will say, “write for yourself,” and I have often told myself the same thing — that I should write for the joy of writing alone.


But the bottom line is that I find that wierd. Writing needs to be read. That’s the point. To share your ideas. That is where the trouble begins for me. Who will want to read what I write and even more troubling on a blog — who will want to read my writing about me or my ideas? My husband thinks “personal” blogs are inherently narcissisistic and useless and I cannot help wondering if he is right.  Am I being narcissistic or vain by writing about myself and my experiences and ideas and thinking that someone “out there” on the internet will actually take the time to read it and give a damn?

Well, I am not an exhibitionist by nature and since I am fairly insecure I don’t think that the driving force behind my wanting to write in general is a vain endeavor. It is a more of a push your limits, cod liver is good for you, just cut loose and who the hell cares endeavor. I want to get out of my comfort zone and explore something new. I want to grow and become a better person, a more open person, a better writer.

So who am I writing for? Anyone who will read me. I guess women who are also multicultural and mutilingual, who have lived in different places who are raising little citizens of the world, who feel lonely sometimes because they don’t feel they belong anywhere and who feel strong sometimes because they don’t belong anywhere. I am writing for my alter self, the person that is confident and opiniated and open.

Who is reading me? Sometimes I see that someone in The Phillippines looked at the blog or someone in Germany. I wonder who they are and what they thought. Did they laugh at me or with me? Did something resonate with them? Will they ever come back? I try not to do that because it gives me anxiety and then I return full circle to all the problems I mentioned in the beginning of this damn post.

I guess the most reassuring thing is that I know my sister in law and best friend Femke is my one faithful reader. And even though we speak almost everyday I enjoy imagining her smile at something funny I wrote or recognize my personality in my writing.

I guess if you make one person smile or get to know you a little bit better, that is enough.


5 comments on “Writing for One Person

  1. Rebecca A. Watson
    February 2, 2014

    It’s too bad your hubby thinks that about personal blogs. BOO to him! Of course, I disagree. I’ve found plenty of inspiration and help from other people’s stories. I think it’s great that you’re going to write more this year. You’re excellent at it 🙂 Keep it up!

    • cloggingalong
      February 2, 2014

      Too kind! Thank you for the encouragement and I agree with you that sharing is indeed valuable.

  2. Femke
    February 5, 2014

    Incredible proud sister in law here, I know I am biased but you have to admit this girl knows how to strike a chord!

  3. Noelle
    February 16, 2014

    I read your blog and other personal blogs, but never stop to comment. It is a wonderful outlet as you examine your thoughts about living in a foreign culture. I am American, husband is Norwegian, and in the past we have looked at the Netherlands as a future expat assignment. I hope we do get to move there. I loved the image of the sheep mingling with the children on the playground. How quaint 🙂

    • cloggingalong
      February 18, 2014

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It really means a lot to me. NL is a great place to move as an expat — good balance between efficiency and charm. Keep me posted!

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This entry was posted on January 27, 2014 by .

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