Why blog? It’s a question I’ve been asked a few times, and I admit I had to think long and hard about my motives.
Firstly – I love to write – it’s a passion of mine and has been for a long time. I’d dreamt of being a published writer – and lets be honest here – that’s something that a lot of people do. But for me, I need to go back a fair way to find the origin of my actual writing.
Many years ago I was studying for my Diploma of Applied Science in Nursing at Sturt College of Advanced Education in South Australia. It was a course for distance education, but we had to actually spend a week in Adelaide at the beginning. One of the subjects was English Literature – something I’d really enjoyed at High school. However I wasn’t too thrilled when the lecturer explained that one of the requirements was to keep a journal! She meant we had to write something everyday – groan!!
So I reluctantly started my journal – like a diary really – and found myself addicted. I discovered that, as I was the only one reading it, I could write whatever I wanted and no one would criticise me. Then as I progressed I realised that it was a truly emotional outlet, it made me feel better, more in control of a life that at times threatened to be totally out of control.
Here I was, a mother of three young children, working practically full-time, studying – and that meant assignments, deadlines etc., and looking after my family. There was shopping, cooking, washing and housecleaning to be done as well as study, which didn’t leave much – if any – time for me.
I immersed myself in my journal, reasoning that it was actually part of my study and inadvertently discovered another world.
Money was rather tight, but I selfishly put myself first and invested in an old clunky typewriter. Made of dark green metal and very heavy, I loved it so much as it represented another world for me.
Over the years of journaling, I amassed a couple of A4 folders of printed pages. I didn’t do it every day, sometimes I’d go for weeks without writing, and then I’d be writing every day, sometimes twice a day. It became a lifeline. Those around me seemed a little amused by the growing collection of pages, but at last I’d found a way of coping with some of the dramas that were part of my life.
Journaling became a documentary of both the important and superficial things in my life. I still have the originals, some of which were later saved on my computer – when I became involved with technology.
I still prefer to feel the paper when I reread these jottings.
I also wrote poetry occasionally, and that too was an expression of my feelings at the time. Kelly was also into poetry and wrote prolifically. I believe that her poetry kept her alive for many years, as it gave her an outlet. Sadly the year she stopped writing, was the year she took her own life.
For me, being able to journal my thoughts and feelings in times of crisis kept me sane.
When Kelly died, I wrote letters to her telling her of the goings on in my life and what she was missing. Those letters were my sanity; my way of coping when it seemed my world had virtually ended. I remember writing the first letter to her, after the funeral and not being able to see the computer screen most of the time because of the tears. But it was vitally important for me to tell her what had been happening and how I felt.
Secondly it was my way of coping in a small world where everyone around me was grieving in their own way, and when I felt I couldn’t talk to them, but was able to talk to Kell.
So that’s what this blog is all about. Just because it’s been almost sixteen years since Kelly died, doesn’t mean that I don’t feel grief and sadness. Most times now I can talk about her death and all that it meant, but there are times when I really need to express my feelings privately.
Though I may seem to be really in control most of the time, its because I make the time to let my grief out on the computer. Then if I choose, I can share or not.
Finally, life can get too busy and its easy to forget to record special or interesting moments. So blogging is a way of disciplining me to take the time to write, plus I’m getting in practice for the next book – lol.