Why I Call My Writing "Essays"
I recently wrote 100 essays in 100 days.
I originally told myself I’d write 100 blog posts in 100 days.
I didn’t like the word “blog post” though. It felt like it was trivializing what I was writing, turning it into some vanity project for myself or a public journal.
That is not the intent for my essays. I am sharing my observations and opinions from my lived experiences as a human and therapist.
I want to put words not just to my experiences, but to the experiences that I think are universal to us all - or at least those within the realms of psychology.
I want a reader to heave a sigh of relief and say, “I’m not the only one!” or “Oh my gosh, you’ve articulated something I couldn’t find the right words to express.”
I want to provide that because I know how healing and helpful it is when others do that for me (which I share about in my essay We Need Your Counterculture Viewpoint).
I also know that my brain functions differently than most. As an autistic individual, I am hyperware, hyper-observant, hyper-focused… you get the point. I’m like a human taking in 10X more information than intended.
It enables me to see things differently, as well as think and connect information differently. My mental processing causes me to articulate in a way that is different and unique (before we cross into inflated ego territory here, I’d like to acknowledge that these traits can also have downsides - such as when I ruminate in thoughts, am overstimulated, or become overwhelmed).
I’m at a point in my life where I recognize my value (instead of solely feeling like an outsider and that there was just something “off” with me) and want to share my insights.
These insights are typically not supported with research, statistics, or other forms of facts or evidence. I feel once writing is supported in that manner, it’s an “article.”
I’m not interested in backing up my lived experiences. I have all of the validation I need.
And so, I use the word “essay.” My personal thoughts intended for the consumption of others.