The Right Way to Write

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

April 27, 2023

My first blog post was published on this very website in March of 2017. When I reread that post, I noticed a few things. First, the woman who wrote that post was a writer. She sat down and wrote about something on her mind. Second, she was a lover of the human brain and human behavior. And third, she was a people pleaser. She wanted to make people laugh, and she easily let bad behavior go. She didn’t have a lot of boundaries.

Of those three things, two remain true. She is still a writer. And she is still a lover of the human brain and human behavior. She’s thankful that, in the six years that’ve passed since her first blog, she’s graduated from cognitive-behavioral therapy. She learned much about why she was a people pleaser and how to set boundaries. And while she’s still a work in progress, she’s certainly on her way to becoming more self-actualized.

Back to First Person

“None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.” (Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat)

Though Anne Rice was referring to a 200-year-old vampire, my six-year journey has taught me much of the same. While I didn’t really change my ideals and my passions over the last six years, I was able to home in on my individuality. I was able to write more and uncover my deepest desires and passions.

When I first started to write, I wrote more for readers. I wanted to make them laugh. I wanted to push my ideas onto them and make them understand my points. I also wanted to be seen and valued for my contributions.

When I think about why I write now, I do it more for myself. I write to uncover parts of me that are hidden away. Of course, my beloved audience matters, but most of my deepest writing never sees the light of day. It remains tucked away in my journal or saved in a secret place on my phone. And while the writing I share is a piece of my soul, it’s filtered in the hopes that it’ll give value to others, in hopes that some of my internal dialogue can be shared to help others with their life experiences.

The Splendid Soul

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” (Rumi)

At times, I’ll write a post and feel less than confident. It may take me hours to get a simple idea onto the screen. And even after I read through the words multiple times, they still don’t get my point across. Other times, the words will spew out of my fingertips so quickly. I feel a sense of joyful contentment. It feels as if a piece of my soul has been shared. And I suppose in this way, writing helps me to become more human. It helps me identify my behaviors and my brain activity – if I really pay attention.

Writing helps me to become more of myself. It helps me to uncover places I need to delve deeper into and revel in ideas that light me up. I’m human. While I may never reach full self-actualization, I can promise myself this: I’ll never give up trying.