Tuesday, 13 April 2010

www.alishasanvicens.com & why I write


How exciting is this? I've just claimed an address on the world wide interweb – not bad for a technophobe like myself.

I though I'd celebrate by uncorking a topic that bubbles up nicely in the heads of people like me who, 1. keep a blog, 2. get a self-named URL and 3. attempt to write a memoir of a season of their life (ie four years in England). Because to do any of the above seems pretty audacious, even a bit pretentious. And pretense is never nice.

So I thought I'd share a little bit about why I write. Because even I struggle with the accusation of being pretentious. I definitely don't want that. When I hear people say “Oh, I could never keep a blog because I don't think anybody would be interested in what I have to say” or voices in my head whisper, “Who do you think you are to write a book about yourself?!” I start to second guess myself. Who do I think I am? I have to have an answer.

I must admit that these voices often come with a British accent, because though England has many fine points, it doesn't exactly encourage wild and lavish dreaming. And it's a country that sees vulnerability as a more a liability than an asset, so spilling your soul on-line or in print does indeed feel a bit counter-cultural there. I know I've drawn in my boundaries markedly during my Britification process. I'm much more hesitant to tell all, and I definitely test the waters with a big toe before diving into the waters of confession. {Brits, please chime in if you disagree! And you know I don't mean everyone in England, I just mean in comparison to America.} Being in England often made me anyway second guess wanting to keep a blog or write a book. But I do it anyway.

The main reason is that I think vulnerability is a precious thing. And while I'm thankful to England for teaching me to be more protective of it, I still think it's important and powerful. When I read or hear people's stories, the one's they've vulnerably opened up and shared,  I'm thankful. Their stories make me feel like I'm not crazy for feeling how I do and not alone in my experiences that often seem unorthodox.

So that's really it: I just like to share the things I go through in hopes that they can encourage other people. In my efforts to protect myself I don't want to hoard the little gems of understanding I find along the way. Every time I sit down to write, I want to be thinking how can I serve other people with my story? I don't always think this, but it's a good thing to at least try and think.

When you put yourself forward for anything in life that requires vulnerability, it's really hard to not come across as pretentious. But I think it's a risk worth taking & I hope you agree.

So, that's why I write, in a nutshell. And also I must say I am so grateful for everyone who stops by my blog and tells me that what I've written has encouraged them – it really makes it all worthwhile. So...

Thank you.

Photo by Brandon Page


Rachel H. Evans said...

Great post, Alisha. I second-guess myself sometimes too, especially when I hear the classic, "Oh I could never blog because people don't care about the boring details of my life" line.

But then I remember that if I write well, I will hit on a universal nerve here and there and my experience will be reflective of the experiences of my readers...which is like a little gift of truth to them.

It doesn't happen all of the time - or even most of the time - but when it does, I feel pleased to have reciprocated their kindness.

Great post. I can't wait to read your memoir!

Nadine said...

Beautiful post and congrats on the address!

I love why you write and I love your writing. Honesty, often a rare element in this world, is refreshing.

I love sharing stories. My best friend in my 20s said, "Learn from my mistakes, cause life is too short to make them all yourself."

When I open up to people, through talking or through my writing, it brings me closer to them, and vice versa.

Thanks for being honest and vulnerable and thanks for encouraging me. :)

alisha said...

Thanks Rachel and Nadine. It is indeed that universal nerve that I'm aiming for, even if I only hit it every once in a while. :) And it is a way to get closer to people, even if just through the sharing of mistakes and embarrassments. :)

TheLadyWhoLunches said...

Love it and so excited for your website!
Yes, England does teach you to become a gentler, quieter side of yourself, I think. I'm glad you continue to make yourself vulnerable - it teaches others so much.

Saskia said...

Blogging definitely isn't as popular (in my opinion) in the UK as it is in the US - I hadn't really thought too much about why this might be, but I think you've hit the nail on the head. I've come across quite a few "why would you want to share so much on the web" type comments...

Do what makes you happy - I'm very glad others share and have allowed me to open up more.

Saskia x

alisha said...

Meagan, here's to quieter, gentler versions of our American selves. :)

Saskia, thanks for stopping by and good on you for doing what you love too. I think that no matter where in the world you are, when others see you doing what you're passionate about it opens them up to want the same, even if they don't say so.

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