I love to write. I’ve said a few times over the last few years that I don’t. But that’s because it’s challenging. I love a good challenge, one that opens up new paths in my brain and heart and makes me question thoughts, beliefs and practices. Writing does that for me in so many ways. Before I continue I have to admit that I am an advocate of writing by hand and then transferring it to the computer. It’s a more powerful experience. Never skip that step as a writer!
When Shelley Lundquist, who writes at Let Me Move You, invited me to this Summer Blog tour sponsored by I C Publishing, I jumped right in because that’s what I do. I figure the Universe provides in mysterious ways. So why not? I’ve blogged for about three years, not so much lately. It has been a journey of self-expression and building online relationships – something I didn’t expect!
You may not know this, but I love family history for the stories of my ancestors (“Rememeber“ was my first blog). I started writing about the process of finding them which was dry and boring. Then the people I was researching started to take on a life of their own. Literally. That was a turning point for me in my writing AND in my family history experience.
I would choose one ancestor, find every document and picture I could of them, draw a timeline of their life and do a bit of research of what the world was like when they were alive. Then I’d sit and stare at the piece of paper filled with all the data and wait. I’d wait for the anomaly, or an event that triggered an emotion from which a question would form. Then I’d write a story around it using all the data I’d found, adding other “characters” that I’d found from the documents, living with or near them, employing and interacting with them as I imagined. It was loads of fun. It has been to date the most powerful tool to learn about why I am who I am as I’ve unearthed patterns of behaviors that make sense to me now. But the process of writing the story has also taught me to stay with my thoughts and emotions and to pay attention to the triggers I find in other people’s stories. Those are the “issues” that I work through and turn into strengths. It’s a fascinating process.
These days I draw more than write. But it’s really all the same thing – collecting data, framing the story, and feeling the elements of it, learning who I am in the process. This blog reflects my spiritual journey more than anything else. I write when I feel like I’ve had an aha moment and can stay with the thought long enough to develop it and find something positive to share from it. Those moments happen every day, but I’m out of the habit of sharing on this blog. Mostly I share a condensed version on Facebook. Writing is like that for me. The platform might change, but I go where people are listening and where the amount of participation and reciprocation required matches my energy at the time.
Essentially, I guess I write and draw for myself. It helps me to grow as I learn to express myself. But what good is self-expression without an audience? THAT was an eye-opener for me. I knew the answer to that question when I was a dancer. I can dance for myself because it makes me happy. But there comes a point in time when I crave sharing the experience. It’s the same with my artwork and writing.
I love the blogging community because of the relationships and the feedback. If the comment section didn’t exist at the end of each post I wouldn’t have continued writing. It’s an essential element to the experience. To touch someone’s heart and mind in such a way that they want to respond is beautiful. But many times the writer has no idea that connection was made because the reader either doesn’t understand their value to the writer or they just haven’t connected. Either way, feedback is a treasure to the writer. I got to know the people who commented and shared my posts on Twitter as friends. I’d hop over to their blogs and read and comment, too. I will always remember those few years of relationship building that strengthened me as a person and a writer. I am very grateful for the blogging community, Twitter and Triberr that connected me to some amazing, talented, interesting and genuinely friendly people.
Two people who’ll be sharing their writing journeys next week are Kelly Orchard and Amber-Lee Dibble.
- Kelly Orchard is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Speaker, Author, and Personal Growth Coach. She is on a mission to help women make that pinnacle life transition on their path to success!
Her website is It’s Only Victorville http://victorville.redslippertherapy.com/
- Amber-Lee Dibble lives, works, and is raising a family in Chisana, Alaska. She is an Alaskan Big Game guide and guide trainer, Wilderness Horseback guide, manager of Pioneer Outfitters, and the webmaster for PioneerOutfitters.com. She desires to share Chisana through Pioneer Outfitters with the world. In her words: “As you look, really look, and find no words; feeling both, your heart healing and filling to an inner bursting point and feeling that your soul has been laid open to the breeze and wind like a raw wound. This takes you beyond the physical, past the mental; this is the spiritual element. This is Chisana.”