A Space

Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers, support and love following my September post. The outpouring of connection and personal messages was more than I had ever anticipated. Feeling such a strong sense of community through writing is one of my ultimate favorite things. Thank you for being a part of my community.

Upon posting September, my little blog got 1,500 views in two days. I am a very open person, but I was nervous and anxious about sharing such a personal experience so broadly. However, it seems as though I struck a nerve. I firmly believe that we all have stories, and our stories deserve to be heard. It was beyond rewarding to know that my story helped even one person feel less alone. I hope in telling my story, I’ve helped others tell theirs.

After such a positive response, I am once again rededicating myself to this blog. The fact that I might even have some regular readers that aren’t my family is kind of awesome. So here’s to you, readers. I hope you stay!

I often struggle with finding the time to write. I think this is partially truly a time thing, but I’ve also found other things to do when I could have been writing, but I just didn’t feel particularly creative. Most of my blog posts come in the evenings, usually in my bed or on the couch with the T.V. on in the background. But today I forced myself to find a space. My very own writing space that is for writing and nothing else. I also forced myself to find a time. A holy time if you will — nothing else will be done in this time but writing. Today I purchased a desk calendar where I will plan out my blog posts and when they will be published. It all starts with a plan.

I have dreams of a fancy in-home office someday with superb art and maps on the walls, and a huge bookcase. I would write all of the things there. Just the space alone would practically produce a book. Just by existing and looking so freaking exquisite.

But I do not have a fancy office. And who knows if I ever will. So here I am in our guest bedroom sitting at the desk I’ve had since fourth grade. The drawer pulls are old and dated, and the bottom drawer is missing one entirely. The drawers have also been painted several times. For now they are black. The top surface is full of scratches, strokes of spilled nail polish, pen marks, stains and dust. But for now it is the home where my stories live.

A Space

I used to write essays, reflections and columns in college just for fun. About whatever topics I wanted to, and not just what I was assigned. I would occasionally send these to my parents. Just to have someone read them.

My Dad told me once, “I like what you’ve written. But even if I didn’t, you should always write. Even if it means nothing to anyone but you.”

So this is my space. For my words and for me.

Soul Searching

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately. I’ve been debating whether or not to further my education, specifically whether or not to spend the money to go to law school. And if I don’t earn an advanced degree before I’m 30, will I ever earn one? Do I really need one? I’ve always wanted one. But hot damn that shit is expensive.

I could ramble on and on about this. Hell, I could write a freaking series about this. Maybe I will. It might help.

I go in roundabout ways sometimes, trying to figure out what my real career ambitions are. What would actually make me the happiest? Not just my parents. Not just what sounds good or looks good on paper. Not just prestigious for the damn sake of prestige. Not just ambitious for the damn sake of ambition.

And in no grand surprise to those who really know me, I always end up here. I want to be a writer. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. But I don’t just want to be a reporter, I want to be a commentator. I want to write about how we can move forward as a society. I want to research and learn about the problems facing us as a community and what we can do to address them. And then I want to educate people about them.

Ultimately, I would love to write for any of these publications:

The Nation

The Progressive

Mother Jones

Young Progressive Voices

Campaign for America’s Future

Alternet

Common Dreams

Working Mother Magazine

Rolling Stone

The Atlantic

RH Reality Check

Liberal America

Addicting Info

And write books too.

The thing is. Well actually there are two things.

1) I don’t know how to get there. There are, I assume, many ways to get there. No two writers at any of these publications have the same path. Some of them have advanced degrees. I guess all I can do is write….and submit. Get turned down and do it again until it sticks. Now hiring a personal editor (because I really need one). I will pay in Dixie cuddles.

dixie

2) Making money. Writers and bloggers can and do sustain themselves with their craft. But it takes time, effort and lots of failure to get there. We’ve got bills to pay now. I can’t abandon an income to work on my craft. I always thought I could work full-time and write on the side. No biggie. Just write on the evenings and weekends. I can and should try harder to do that, but it’s freaking hard. My job is very demanding and very stressful and there are many weeks when I am actually working evenings and weekends, leaving very little time for anything else. But I guess there comes a time when you stop whining and you just do it. If I can make time to run, I can make time to write.

“Lots of things get in the way of art. Discouragement is at the top of the list, along with the need to earn money and the birth of children. It’s hard to tell, when you’re new at writing, whether you might be foolish to continue to pursue the dream, or whether the more foolish choice would be to put that dream to bed. Luck plays a role, too, as it does in every other aspect of life. Continuing to find a place for art in one’s life is a continual challenge.”
— The Rumpus Interview with Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members

And then there’s the ever-pervasive self-doubt and all-consuming fear of failure. Am I really good enough to do this? Will they laugh at my submissions? Will I ever have a solid readership? Will I ever make money doing this?

But I’m done letting self-doubt own me. It will always be there, but I’m not going to let it keep me down. It has stalled me too much already. I can do this. I can.

As always, thanks for reading.

“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.” – Edwin Schlossberg