on personal essay writing:
taken from a post by Christine Mason Miller, from a conversation with Blue Poppy (of the now-defunct blog)
When we can trust the love we have – when we know, not just believe, that we have enough love – we are free to write honestly, even knowing that the more honestly we share, express and expose ourselves, the easier we are making it for some people to not like us. This does not mean rejection or criticism will be easy, but it means we always have the safety net of genuine love and support to fall back on. With this safety net, we are able to write as honestly as possible, and it is this kind of honesty that makes for the very best writing.
These words do appeal to my own beliefs about writing. My writing (and later, my blogs) has always been a personal expression of myself, my interests, my beliefs and emotions. I write out of the sheer love of expressing the thoughts tumbling around my head. Before weblogs there were paper journals, and these are still a source of expression for me, as well. But blogging allows me the benefit of connecting to an audience, of connecting to a network and to friends. And my belief, like Blue Poppy’s words note, is that I need not write if I am not inclined to be honest. If I am unwilling to put my true self out into the world, I may as well say nothing at all. But the one thing I value most in people is the willingness to be themselves, warts and vices and passions and all. And so I write what I feel. I write what I see and what God teaches me. And I learn about myself (and others) through the exercise. If no one else in the entire world reads my posts, I am still blessed by the act of sorting through my mind and committing it to words. It’s the most precious gift my God has given to me, and it’s my treasure to be surrounded by family and friends who love me in spite of everything else. No matter what I write.