At least we're moving forward!

Never Better

I have wanted to be a writer my entire life.  Maybe most people who love to read can say that; I not sure.  But guess what I’ve written…  Nothing.

Pen and paper

I haven't written anything!

I mean, I wrote some pretty average research papers in college and a few clever little things in high school.  Back then, I loved the writing assignments that I was given- despite my dad’s eagle eye editing and hours of crying, “Why are you being so mean?  The teacher will know what I mean!”  Honestly, now, I am very thankful for those sessions, because today I’m a pretty good editor and proofreader!

But these days, I don’t even like to write brief emails or thank you letters or postcards when I’m on vacation.  Sitting down and putting words to paper just seems like too daunting of a task.  I took a non-fiction writing class at Stanford several years ago to have some accountability and put so little effort into it that I’m actually a little ashamed to tell about it here.

Dolly Parton says she’s a successful songwriter because she makes sure she creates one song each day.  I had heard the same thing about writing, but I couldn’t get myself to put one word one a page- either electronically or manually.  My mom, Anne, and mother-in-law, Leigh, have been so supportive along the way.  They’ve encouraged me to get going, but I just couldn’t do it.

Maybe because I don’t want to end up looking like muppet:

Dolly Parton

You know what I'm saying!

Seriously though, last July, things changed.  I woke up one morning AND JUST HAD TO WRITE.  It was the same feeling as when I crave water; I needed it.  And I’ve thought about it a lot since then.  I’ve come up with some picture book ideas, read some young adult literature to get into the genre, and tried to read outside my comfort zone in the adult books I’ve picked.  I even took a “Writing for Young Adults” workshop with Leigh during ArtTown in Reno.

Still, no writing.  At all.  Until last Thursday.  That’s when the need turned into something more.  I finally acted on it, and here we are!

I don’t know what finally pushed me over the edge, but I’ve written nine days in a row.  NINE days.  For me to do anything for nine days is pretty remarkable, especially something that is good for me, something that soothes my soul, something that makes me proud…that excites me, that motivates me to do more.

And now, I’m writing all the time in one way or another.  I’m writing when I sit in front of my computer, telling Siri my ideas as I drive (and reading the world’s worst notes later when I’m not in the car).  I haven’t done something with this verve in a long, long time.  And I have to say, I’m liking it.  I’m hooked.  And I’ve never felt better.

Comments on: "Never Better" (8)

  1. Rebecca Stewart said:

    I don’t know if I just wrote papers less than you all did, or didn’t ever have Dad read them… because I don’t remember a lot of those instances in my own life (but I definitely remember them from when you all were in high school), and I was most likely the worst writer of us all. It’s probably for the worse… I’m being hired as an editor and I want to say, “You should reallllyyy consider choosing someone else for this position.”

    • Bec, this made me laugh so hard! I told dad about how you said you didn’t get his treatment, and he said, “That’s because she wouldn’t let me near them.” hahaha Thanks for reading, baby!

  2. I love that, ‘be your best, let go of the rest.’ I’m going to have to use that. And I too HATED dad’s editing, but in the last couple of years, I’ve become everyone’s go-to editor because I’m brutal but GOOD. I can’t believe how much his editing skills impacted my writing skills, especially once I was asked to actually edit something.

    KEEP GOING! I have always been excited about your new ventures but this one I’m really digging.

    • I’m so glad you like the motto, Ali! It’s been helpful to remember when things get overwhelming. It is so fun that you and I have similar memories and that we both are thankful with how it turned out. Thanks, too, for all the encouragement. Love you.

  3. Ugh, I totally relate. I have such a hard time motivating myself to do the things I know I love. There’s a form of magical thinking in our culture right now, that if you love something you will just do it, and if you aren’t making yourself do it then you don’t really love it. Which of course creates awesome guilt spirals and discouragement over “not having a real passion” and whatnot. Or at least for me. The fact is, I have to really push myself to do things. My laziness partnered with my insecurity AND perfectionism (what an awesome combo!) make it difficult for me to “just do” things. Especially things that mean a lot to me. It’s stupid, but there it is. I’m glad you’re posting your updates to facebook. It’s helping me remember to get back on board with my own blog and the other projects and self-improvement-y things I’m trying to do. 🙂

    • You are so right about that thinking, and your words really hit home. This fall, I realized that I was feeling guilty over a lot of different things because I was always either too hard on myself or not giving things my all. So I’ve tried to have realistic expectations of myself- both in not being lazy (getting back to voicemails and emails and being a better friend, for examples) and saying no when I can’t get it all done. My motto is “Be Your Best. Let go of the rest.” It’s been extremely helpful an healthy. It will be a blog post one day, I’m sure.

      I have the fabulous combo of perfectionism and laziness, too. This has made it impossible for me to have a hobby- an outlet for my energy and all the things I’ve been feeling, thinking, etc…! Finally, writing seems to be it, for now.

      I’m enjoying your blog. We’ve always seemed to be similar souls! xoxo

  4. Alrighty then, welcome to a wonderful addiction.

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