I started out like many of us did: confidently and boldly sharing my unsolicited opinions online. +1. I would weave humor, context, citation, and plenty of Simpsons references (only seasons 1-10, obviously) in order to descriptively and passionately share my thoughts on, well, whatever. I had these ideas and questions in my brain that I needed to get out, and writing was my outlet. Writing was the question to my answer, and the answers to my questions. Kind of like Jeopardy!
Inevitably, the questions arose, "Who are you? And what are you doing here??" Strangers talking, rather, writing to strangers with the safety of an LED screen separating the interaction can lead to false confidence, empty syntax, and misunderstanding. The computer and phone screen are the only impervious armor known to mankind - take that, Kevlar! Still, invincibility, I want not. I just want to write. To share. To learn. I don't want boundaries, I don't want protection, no, I want freedom.
Writing gives me the freedom to ask questions to an audience I have never met. To get answers from experts I never knew. Writing allows me to express myself with deliberate thought and execution, without jabbering on like an over-caffeinated auctioneer.
I keep writing, reading, learning, and experiencing. When people ask me questions, I answer them. When I have questions, I ask them. When people share their opinion, I address it. When people respond to mine, I welcome it. I did so, and continue to do so, with respect, with courtesy, with diligence, and with integrity. I do so because I love to write. I want to learn and to share; to experience and to know; to be cut down to size and to blast off into space. Words flow from my brain to my fingers with the friction-less fluidity of olive oil in space, and words flow from my eyes to my brain like beer to belly on
St Patrick's Day any day. The right words float all ships, even those without names.
Written words are a way to deliberately filter thoughts and experiences into mental pictures, specific to one's own photo catalog and spectrum of filters therein; ah, the human brain, the OG Instagram. Verbalized speech looks on with envy, surely exclaiming, "Why didn't I think of that!?" Well, it's because you spoke it before you thought it through.
Written words allow the imaginations of the writer and reader to combine, blossoming into a whimsical portrait of opinion, fact, fantasy, reality, and the broad spaces in between. I task myself with painting that portrait; making it as beautiful and engaging as possible, so that lines between fact and opinion, fantasy and reality, are defined but complimentary.