I was a writer long before I joined the Peace Corps. If you read far enough back into the archives of my blog, you’ll find tales of adventures from all over, and underneath those stories, the progression of me finding my own voice as a writer. Now, I write as an outlet, as a way to share my experience, and as a means by which to connect to the world. Peace Corps really helped me to develop an audience and write for someone other than myself.
When I look at my writing now, I realize that my reasons for writing can be boiled down to just three:
When I go about my daily life, it’s sometimes hard to see the unique and interesting qualities of my life. When I go about it with blogging in mind, I pay closer attention to details, look a little deeper into things, and most important remember to actually take a picture now and then! Blogging allows me to try to see the world from another’s perspective.
A Positive Outlook
Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough start blogging. There has been more than one occasion where, during my travels, I found myself in a less-than-ideal situation. Perhaps I was on a bus. A bus that had been scheduled to leave four hours ago, and yet was still sitting in the station. A bus full of people, many of whom had different perspectives on hygiene from my own. A bus that has been sitting in the rain since our original departure time, and the roof appears to have an interesting constellation of holes in it. Perhaps I am soaking wet, on a bus to nowhere, suffocating on breath-taking body odor, and the child behind me may or may not have just peed all over the floor.
Normally, these circumstances would certainly try my patience (and possibly faith in humanity). As a blogger, these circumstances become the fodder for an excellent and potentially humorous blog post (everything is funnier when you’re dry, sipping hot chai from behind a keyboard). Normal Hannah would sit, simmering in loathing for the situation. Blogger Hannah is busy writing prose in my head, wiping rainwater from my brow, and thinking of synonyms for “frustration”.
Because Voice is Important
I’ve become a staunch advocate for voice in the past few years, and find that the importance of speaking up grows as the world moves into more and more connected and progressive ages. I’ve come to appreciate that every single person and place has a story to tell, and everyone likes to be heard. I believe blogging is a responsibility to myself to never sit silently on the sidelines, waiting for someone else to voice my beliefs for me. So, I write. And sometimes, someone reads. And I think we become two people who are a little closer for that shared experience.