I write bridges. They take different forms, but as I thought about the topic of “What I Write” for the National Day on Writing, I realized that despite all the different forms my writing takes, what I really write are connections, or bridges.
Here in this space, I write and share things that connect my audience to me, and often through comments or reactions—either here or through some other vehicle—I’m then connected to other people’s thoughts and perspectives. This space helps build bridges not only in that way, but also it helps me create bridges of thought. The writing and creating process begins, grows, evolves, and changes, and by the end, when I’m ready to hit “publish”, I am different than when I began. Often my ideas and views are connected in a much different way than what I first imagined.
My family website I maintain includes photos and video, but also plenty of writing that connects moments, people, feelings, and experience in time—bridges to memories. Much like this space, what I share from my family with the world connects us to anyone who visits and takes part, and when my wife and I use that website as a sort of time machine, it’s rebuilding bridges to parts of us and our kids that may have eroded.
In my work I write plenty of emails, headlines, copy, processes, lists, and code. Almost all of these are materials used in constructing large and small bridges between co-workers, teachers, expertise, experience, and knowledge through our website or social media.
The more I thought about this topic of “what I write”, the more I realized too, that even things we consider “small” are truly bridges as well. Think about all the responses you write, not just in email, but through instant messages, texts, replies on Facebook or Twitter, etc. All these are tiny bridges being built that then create and sustain our networked lives. For me, these are also ways in which I again, make connections in my own thinking with the help of others.
Last but not least, what would this all be without lists! Even the humble grocery list I often employ serves a very special role in building a bridge between my brain (and sometimes my heart) and my stomach. What I write often isn’t grandiose or groundbreaking but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not important. My beloved lists remind me of this daily.
So after mulling this over throughout the week and much of this day, and creating lists of things that I write, it’s really quite simple: they don’t all look the same, and some span creeks and some span bays, but what I write are truly bridges.