Two years ago tonight.
April 7, 2013 I sat down to blog with the idea that I wanted to put down in writing all of the stories that I had saved up while my Mama was unconscious in the hospital–all the things I had planned to tell her when she woke up. Those stories I never had the chance to tell her.
It was my goal to stick with it and write something everyday. That’s something I’ve heard from more than one published author–practice your craft. And so I did.
In the beginning I think I saw maybe six months as a goal. But as that neared, I was hooked and knew I couldn’t stop until I hit a year. But then that didn’t feel right either. So when I hit 500 posts, I thought about taking a break, but the stories kept coming, and so I wrote.
And tonight. Two years. Of writing every day.
It has changed me. The way and the how I go about my day, my life. And oh, the things I have learned!
I take my phone just about everywhere, so I can take a picture of something I might want to share about later.
I’m a better parent. I listen to my children’s conversations more closely, prepared to glean wisdom from them, because I KNOW they see this world through such a different lens and I want to capture that for myself.
I stay up way too late. I can write things fairly quickly, but then my OCD kicks in and I edit for an hour (or two) some nights. And then I can still find things I wish I’d changed. I’ve become quite the night owl. Even Miss Sophie gives up on me most nights.
My house is not perfect. Not that it was before I started writing, but now *sigh* even less so. Or more so. #comfortablydisorganized
I’ve learned that I enjoy sharing our stories.
I’ve also learned that poetry is a great love of mine, and my favorites are the ones that I find the title and then write from there. Unorthodox maybe, but those few words paint a larger picture for me, one that then writes itself.
I have been fortunate to discover that the writing community is a beautiful one. Writers, both published and unpublished, are encouragers. They read each other’s work, and because they KNOW the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into some of these stories, they share and encourage and praise. I love the friends I have gained through writing and blogging. They are talented and strong and know how to put something out there and shoot straight, and they are beautiful inside and out.
I know how fast one’s heart can sink when getting a rejection letter. And I know that one of the greatest gifts when one writes is to start a conversation, important conversations. The kind words in the comments section warm my heart, and when someone takes the time to share something I’ve written, I stop and do a happy dance. Right there in the kitchen or the living room or wherever I am when I find out. Happy happy joy joy all over my face and feet.
I’ve learned that I can think about something for days, waiting for all the words to float to the surface of my thoughts before carefully writing it, and all I hear afterward are crickets. And then the very next day I can write something just off the top of my head in that moment, and it will take off with comments and shares and affirmation that it resonated with folks. That right there blows my mind. And makes me laugh to myself. You never know what will spark a fire.
In the midst of these two years, I’ve given thanks over and over for the one who opens my blog and reads it every morning. Indeed, there have been some nights that has been my motivation for getting a story written. I cannot have NOTHING there when the page is opened in the wee hours of the day. “If you read it, I will write” sort of thing I guess. But since I love the Reader, it’s a joy to put something there–once I rattle my brain around and something floats to the top.
There is always a story waiting to be told. I just have to wait for her to present herself. And sometimes she can be a bit coy.
In these two years, doors have opened for me and some have closed. Shoot, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have spent time sharing stories about my children, our pup, my family, homeschooling, food allergies, and life in general. I’ve even been known to step up on my soap box from *ahem* time to time.
Thank you for reading. Whether it’s been once or 730 times, thank you.
Back when they had the suppers at the park on Sunday evenings for folks who could use a good meal and community, we took coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Folks who came up to quench their thirst (or sweet tooth, we had marshmallows too) would sometimes say, “Thank you for being here.”
I’d look back at those sweet faces, etched by their journey and the elements, and say, “Thank you for being here. I’d look pretty silly standing out here with tea and coffee and hot chocolate and no one to drink it.”
And so, thank YOU for being here. For reading. For commenting. For sharing. For taking time out of your busy days to spend a few minutes sharing this journey with me. A story isn’t a story until it is read by another.
I don’t know what the next two years or one year or two weeks or even tomorrow will hold, but I do know that I am a better person for sharing my stories. My joyful friend is a wonderful scrapbooker–she has done a beautiful job of recording her family’s stories that way. It was a fun hobby for me for a while, but I just couldn’t stick with it. I guess this is my version of scrapbooking, telling our stories so my children will have them to look back on one day.
To know where we come from, where we’ve been, and where I hope they will go.
Happy two years, y’all! It ain’t a party unless we’re all here together.
Love to all.