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Why do birds write?


Hello to all “larks” and “owls.” Today I am again sitting at my notebook, writing. I have a cup of coffee (with cream) at my left and C-SPAN on the TV behind me. It is early here because I am what is known as a “lark,” rather than an “owl.” I am at my best in the morning, and begin an intellectual decline around 4:00 in the afternoon. If I were an “owl” I would still be snoozing.

Writers/birds can be self-absorbed. We think about what we do and how we do it, because we hope someone will read what we write. Bloggers do not operate in a vacuum; we publish for all to see. Otherwise, we would write only in our private journals.

Baby birds begin writing early, too. Larks and owls often begin serious writing as children. I wrote my first diary entry when I was in elementary school. And, as you might guess, I was a “serious” little lark. My sister is also a writer, but an owl. She is a serious genealogist, and probably not as self-absorbed as I am.

The bloggosphere is like birdland to the uninitiated. To some we sound like a flock of grackles who have infested an inhospitable urban landscape. And the two political camps sometimes characterize their opponents as vermin birds, who should be netted, smoke-bombed or peppered with birdshot.

Birdlanders get discouraged at times. I am just now getting back to regular posts after a very sporadic posting period of a couple of months. A fellow blogger’s site, rational-rants: a rational debate of the political landscape refered to his non-writing period. It is a good post and an interesting read. To quote,

After an 8-month hiatus from writing here, I found myself responding to a blogger on the issue of– you guessed it– blogs. Specifically liberal sites like Huffington post and the move-on people’s blogs. . . This is my thanks to Carol of “South by Southwest” on blogspot for inspiring it. I absolutely an opinion-based post, and think I will pitch this idea in a couple lefty blogs and see what response I get.

Why do birds sing? In a comment and e-mail to this blogger I spoke about why I blog. Here is what I said:

As for “lefty” blogs, there are several benefits, in my opinion:

  • We get our “prejudices” reinforced. It feels good to be validated.
  • In writing, I am able to clarify for myself what my real opinions are. The
    act of writing, for me, helps to resolve some of my ambivalence, as well as
    engender new thoughts and ideas. The “fuzzy mess” in my head gets a little
    untangled.
  • Self-expression is good for the soul.
  • One of my readers likes the way I put disparate ideas together. He calls me “the queen of synthesizers.” Compliments are nice.

I am not much of a debater, but I really like to read good debate threads. My two favorite sites are DKos and TPMCafe. TPM, in particular, has just excellent measured debates and a lot of good moderates use the site. I, too, long to find common ground.

If a tree falls in the forest who besides the birds hear the crash? (to coin a terribly mixed metaphor). Writer/birds do not like like the idea of our chirps going out into a black void. So we write, rest, get up every morning or afternoon, or go to our keyboards at night. . . or not. It is still stimulating, interesting, unpredictable, too predictable, maddening or frustrating. My goodness; it is just like democracy.

Southwest Lark returns tomorrow morning.

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My “creative post” today at Southwest Blogger is about birds of a feather flocking together.

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4 thoughts on “Why do birds write?

  1. Well said; I always enjoy reading your remarks.

    As to the birds and the trees – I’ve even written a poem about that (although the tenor and theme are much different).

    I like the way you’ve chosen the title and used the birds to define the ‘writer’ – I’m an owl as well as a lark I guess, because I go to bed at 3 in the morning and get up at 6:30 – never have slept much, and the writing ‘streak’ usually hits me very early in the morning or very early in the morning (smile – you get it what I’m saying I’m sure, since I’m not repeating myself or making a typing error). Diane

    • Diane, thanks for your kind words. So you are both an owl and a lark? I wake early and am at my sharpest at that point. However, at 70+, I sometimes have to take a nap. My husband goes to bed earlier than I do.

  2. Pingback: Five hundred words about The World Wide Web | The Sirens Chronicles

  3. Pingback: Behind the links in my "500 Words" essay at S/SW: « Gee Whiz News

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