Yes, yes, I know – and you do too if you been following me on Twitter or Instagram – I got back from Japan a whole week ago so where be all the Japan posts?!? All in good time, friends. I’m not even done writing about Korea from a whole year ago. Spoiler alert: I only slightly fail at writing travelogues.
Anyway, a few days ago, I was at a job interview for a position that is heavily focused on writing and communication (EDIT: I GOT THE JOB). One question I got was “Why writing?” – aside from the fact that I must be a fairly good writer, being an ex-PhD student and all (not universally true, by the way), why was I choosing to make writing the focal point of my career path now?
I hadn’t thought about that question at all, really. The duh answer is that I’ve always loved writing and language. And writing about language. Naturally, I brought up this blog. This blog is the perfect marriage of my two greatest passions and being able to do both in one space gives me boundless satisfaction and joy. I’ve said it over and over again: I don’t think I would’ve ever entertained the idea of blogging had it not been for the other language bloggers I had silently followed before starting my own.
Blogging hasn’t just brought me personal joy, it’s brought me connections to people all over the world.
Real talk: By Internet stats, I’m not a popular blogger by any means. My daily page views are practically negligible and I only have a few hundred followers. That being said, I’m incredibly lucky. I have come to know many of my followers through my blog and social media and through language learning itself. The majority of us may not have met in person, but these are still true, meaningful connections. Last year, I met my wifey Jeannie for the first time in Seoul after years and years of getting to know her online. This year, I stopped in Nagoya to meet another online friend in person.
I first met Haruna through Theo’s Japanese-American friend, who had met her through a language-exchange site. We Skyped a few times after that, talked for a bit on Facebook (she introduced me to Sakanaction hehe) and Line and when I mentioned that I was coming to Japan and would love to meet up with her, she agreed! Haruna commuted something like 2 hours from her hometown to meet Theo and me at Nagoya station where she took us to eat donburi.
We didn’t get to spend a lot of time together, but it was incredibly touching to know that through my language learning endeavors, I had made a friend in Japan – and we were both really excited to see each other! She may have plans to come to California next year so hopefully we see each other again.
It just feels really awesome that I have friends that I’ve made through language learning and blogging in all these different pockets of the world. I feel kinda like a global citizen.
I love writing, but in all honesty, I never thought to make it a part of my career. I’ve been “writing a novel” since seventh grade or so, and it’s always been on the side. It never felt like I was doing enough. Now I know exactly what is so satisfying about writing and why I want to make it the center of my career: I love that my words can reach other people. And that we can inspire each other as a result! That’s pretty damn powerful.