It feels a lot like dusting off an old saddle, this returning to writing thing. I am grateful and humbled to get to be here in this moment doing this. Writing as an exercise. Writing for the audience in my brain. Gonna let it flow and see what I end up with.
I have a lot of fears about writing. I worry that I won’t sound smart or serious enough. I worry that the things I want to write about aren’t interesting enough. I worry that I’ll write about trivial things when I should be writing for a cause. I worry that I’ll write to satisfy others and not myself and virtually defeat the purpose of turning back to writing altogether.
I’m okay with being just another blogger. I think it’s important for people who feel compelled to contribute or create to do so, regardless. Our voices, thoughts, and opinions are all different and worthy. I shudder to think of the stories we’ve missed out on simply because their authors believed there were already too many other competing voices in the world, because they believed someone else would say or do it better.
Recently I was inspired by something I heard: What did you want to be when you grew up when you were little? Whatever it is, don’t dismiss that. << I love this. When we were kids we were unfiltered. Nothing was unattainable. We didn’t think about trying; we simply did stuff. We went with our gut about what we enjoyed doing.
If memory serves, as a child I was feeling confident about two potential career paths: 1. backup dancer for Mariah Carey or Janet Jackson 2. writer.
Nowadays option 1 (backup dancer) is not only terrifying but downright impossible, given my intense fear of choreography. Like I can’t even take a Zumba class.
But option 2 (writer) has some weight to it. I remember when I decided I was going to be a writer. After reading two-dozen-too-many Babysitter’s Club books, I was utterly convinced that becoming an author like Ann M. Martin was my destiny. So, I started writing what I referred to as my “first book” in second or third grade. Really what I was doing was copying one of Martin’s books word for word. But it felt good putting pencil to paper composing words that told a story, even if they weren’t my own.
I don’t remember having any issue copying the book. Yes, it was unabashed plagiarism at the beginning. But I thought the words would come to me eventually and I would make the story my own. At the time, copying it felt like an appropriate writing exercise to start with. I’m not sure what came of that project but I think about it often.
For as ambiguous and scary as unemployment can be, and I’m sure I don’t know the half of it yet, I’m so grateful to get to be doing this. I have to remind myself that writing is not always going to be fun or easy. But there are thousands of ideas in my brain that have, at some point, prompted me to think, “That would make a good blog post. Someone should write about that.” Hey, dummy, maybe that someone should be YOU.