The Truth about Writing? Why do I do it?

The excitement of our upcoming holiday is building to bursting point and I feel the increasing need to write something to get the holiday happening in my mind earlier. With only 24 hours until we begin our trek to the airport it’s so close I can almost reach out and touch it. Having said that, let’s talk about the why behind writing. After all this is a blog and writing is what it’s all about. But why writing, and why in a public space like a blog? Why not just write something in a journal or talk to someone. I thought I’d do a little googling to find out why other people write. I came across a website that said the following.

 I feel like myself when I’m writing. I write not for the purpose of being published or the intention of being read, but for the thrill of putting pen to paper.

Geoff Goins

I thought that those words were somewhat lovely, but then, just as I was about to click away a pop up advertisement appeared with “Want 100k readers a month?”. I feel that somewhat undermines the point of why writing was important for the author. Despite the contradictory advertisement, the words resonated. I like to write as it’s a way of expressing that voice in your mind that talks a whole lot faster and without the filters that we place on ourselves when we talk to people. It’s a way to express how I may feel about a particular situation and a way of making sense of things that don’t always make sense. There is a thrill of achievement when a post is complete.

The thrill of writing…

The enjoyment of writing about travel for me is also about making the moment last a little longer. The situations that I’m lucky enough to experience while travelling may only last a brief moment in time. Writing about them lets me relieve the moment and make the memory last just that little bit longer. It’s also about planning and then reflection. The journey of travel starts the moment after those synapses in my brain transform into the idea to go somewhere. The planning then begins with reading and researching possible destinations and planning an itinerary to make the most of the journey.

That’s not to say that writing is always easy. Sometimes it can be hard to get the words right and be true about the experience. It’s sometimes easy to just focus on the excitement, or talk about the history, or gloss over the negatives or even focus only on what went wrong. In the past my travel blogs have been primarily reviews of flights, hotels and experiences. While I’ll continue to do that, I also want to start telling a bit of a story. What that story might be, I’m yet to decide.

Why do I publish…

The decision to do it online, in a public forum is something that I’ve been asked about. Why does it need to be online? Who do you want to read it? How many people read your blog? What if people know it is you? I publish online for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s much cheaper and more accessible than writing an actual book. I also can’t see the point of writing something to be filed away in a cupboard or cloud server for only me to read. The enjoyment i have in reliving the memories I’ve been fortunate enough to make while travelling can easily be shared with others if I publish. Maybe it will encourage others to travel and explore the world. I find travelling makes you realise that humans across the world aren’t really that different.

I’ve spoken about in an earlier post about how I like to play around with WordPress and web editing generally. Writing gives me the content that I need to learn new ways to publish information. Creating a website, whether it be using a template or starting from scratch is a creative outlet. I enjoy trying to make the content look good and be easy to digest. Without publishing content its hard to be creative with the way it looks.

Finally the freedom that we have to be able to write something and share it to a global audience is pretty special. Instead of just being a consumer of content, we can all be creators in our own little way. I’m not particularly fussed if people know it’s me who writes this, thus the change of name to ‘Travel with Carl’. Not everyone will agree with how I’ve characterised my experience or how I felt about a place I visited. The beauty of writing, provided it’s done respectfully, it can encourage discussion and help us learn from each others perspectives and experiences.

As the start of our next adventure nears I look forward to sharing my writing with anyone willing to read it. Whether it’s just me reading it later or anyone else. I hope you enjoy the journey I’m about to begin. Now is the time to travel with Carl.

Photo Credits: Cover photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters via UnSplash

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