Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Agenda: Why & What is Written

Last week, we started a new series of lectures with a new professor for our history class. In the intro lecture, the professor mentioned that the way we learn about historical events is through two sources-archelogical finds and historical documentation.

Both have their pluses and minuses.

The minus about historical documentation is that it is always written by a fallible human being.  Mistake making is human, right? Some historical writers definitely colored the truth, if not outright lied. But, all writers are hobbled by agenda.

And, I do mean agenda in it's purest form. No person can ever write every single detail about anything. Even in striving to be truthful and present the whole picture. No one can hit every fact and detail. There isn't time. Each writer must make choices. What to include? What to omit?

(The BFF and I are having dinner in 2 hours. I don't know what we will talk about, but I do know we will fill those couple we are together. And I also know that we will part knowing that we could have talked for hours more, and still not have covered everything.)

Every writer makes their choices based on interest, or environment, or personality. Even writing about the same event, two writers will emphasize different points or write from polar opposite positions based on personal interests, views and passions. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Martha Stewart would write two completely different accounts of the past couple decades.

A classic historical example of this would be the four Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all wrote about Jesus' 33 years here on earth. Yet, they wrote vastly different books with only some correlation. Some of the exact same miracles or events or parables are shared. But, each has a slightly different emphasis. The author's back ground comes through in their gospel. Luke's gospel has more medical term because Luke was a doctor.

So, how does this play out in my life?

-I write about homeschooling and cooking and running and current events and time management and the Bible, because those are my passions. Someone else writes about organizing or their kids or fashion or art, because those are their passions.

-I also weigh discretion and vulnerability, especially here on the internet. I want to share my struggles. I want to share my story. My goal is to be real. My goal is to inspire each of you.

But my story intersects many other people's stories. How do I share transparently and authentically while at the same time honoring others? How do I vulnerably share from places of hurt and struggle, so others can realize they are not alone?  How much is too much?

-I know that my story is my story, and if someone didn't want me to write about what they did to me, they should have thought of that before they did it. But, I think it often isn't as clear cut as that. It isn't as tit for tat.

-Nurturing my marriage and my kids is more important than baring my soul on the internet. Dealing with hurts and issues IRL is more important to me than having a viral post on the internet. Approaching someone face to face is far better than hurting them if they happen to read my post on my blog.

-I want to be recognizable from and in real life. If you know me in real life, I want you to hear my personality (voice, laugh) in my writing. And if you only read my blog, but happen to meet me someday, I want to be recognizable to you. To be consistent. This is how she really and truly is. 

-Also, once you put stuff on the internet, it is there for everyone to see. It becomes public. And I try to remember that when I write. Do I want everyone and their neighbor to know such and such about me? Whether good or bad-some stuff is too private for the very public forum of the internet.

-I don't want to rose-color everything, but I do want to be positive. I want to encourage and inspire you all. I want you to be glad you took the time to read my blog on any given day. Because, really, this is my blog, but it isn't all about me. It's about you all too.

So, these things are all the filters in my writing that form my agenda. My passions and personality, vulnerability and real, protection and discretion, public and private, encouraging and inspiration. It is how I choose my topics, and my words. The things I write about are the things I am thinking about. Sometimes it is just that simple.

Historically speaking, would my writing present a clear picture of me and my life? My family and my passions? My dreams and my day to day?

I hope so.