Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On Writing

My first ever blog post I wrote on this space was on July 11, 2015. It was just one day before our one year anniversary. I thought it'd be fun to document newlywed life and figured I better get going before we finished our first year of marriage (with one day to spare!). I titled the blog, "A Sunday Kinda Love" because that was the song we danced to at our wedding and because a "Sunday Kinda Love" to me represents a comfortable, real life, unique kind of love. Let's forget dating and new love: I am all about that Sunday love---pancakes, pjs, endless coffee cups, and my authentic self. Throw in the spirituality that comes with Sunday worship and reflection and you have some of my most favorite things in life. Before that, I kept a blog of my time teaching in Chicago. I'm pretty sure I deleted it and I wish I still had it and would love to look back on my very first years teaching. The fact that I had a blog way back in 2009, have one now, and have been an active journaler in between it all says something about who I am: I am a writer. I used to shy away from that term because my words can't be found on a shelf at Barnes and Noble and I don't get paid for stringing sentences together. But you know what? I am a writer, it's part of who I am and I love it. I really don't feel like me when I'm not actively working on a writing project.

 Some people have inquired about how I work and my writing habits. Here's some fun facts:

1. I have usually 3 blog posts going on at a time. I need them to "marinate" and save them as drafts in Blogger. It's rare if I don't also have a list of other topics I want to write about going on as well.
2. I work best in the mornings. I would love the ability to write at a coffee shop from 7-10 am every day. My ideas just flow and when I post in the evening, it's very rarely written at that time, it was probably written earlier. 
3. My writing gets infinitely better when I'm reading a lot and often.
4. There are about 5-10 blogs I read every day. I started reading blogs in college. I still read some of those original ones!
5. Dream Big: I would love to write as a full time career. Honestly, it's become so much more than a hobby for me. I love love love writing and I love sharing with you!
6. There are definitely posts I've begun and worked hard on and ended up throwing out.
7. I taught creative writing to middle schoolers in Chicago and a summer session at the school where I currently teach. I love it!! There are no rubrics, rules, or grades...just amazing young people with pen to paper who have something innovative to share.

When everything happened this summer with Hadley, I took to the blog and poured my heart out on these pages. I firmly believe that process was so healing for me and really helped me to process the trauma and make meaning from it. In my opinion, writing can be like free therapy! Sometimes I don't even know how I feel until I write it out. My own thoughts can sometimes surprise me: connections are made, emotions are felt, and it feels like through writing, I can sort of attempt to sort it all out. 

I am so grateful that I documented the feelings and emotions of her birth story. I will treasure that always. Certain images and feelings have slipped from my mind and one of the things I like best about writing is that it allows me to look back and remember. I tried and failed with paper journaling attempts through the years (I still keep a paper journal in my nightstand and sometimes I'll write with a pen instead of typing), but I have found blogging has been something I have been able to stick with. 

Everyone has something to say. I write for the "me too"----the acknowledgement that we are not as different as we may seem. I get it, you get it, let's write and read for each other. 

Savor Your Sparkle,

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