So the last few days I've been bemoaning the fact that I don't write any more.
Now, when I say that I "don't write anymore," that's not completely accurate, since I'm a newspaper reporter for a local paper ( I don't cover national or international news) and I write every day. I also, on a volunteer basis, do a weekly posting (which I almost always post here) for a non-profit group a friend of mine is working on up in D.C. for young, Catholic women, which is also something.
But I don't WRITE any more. I don't journal the way I used to (in fact, I can't remember the last time I did, officially, aside from the occasional rambling on a nearby scrap of paper, that I'll probably find three years from now wadded in the corner of a purse I'm cleaning out, along with a half-used tube of lip gloss, old receipts and a flattened granola bar I meant to eat somewhere along the way...). And I don't write poetry. I used to write poems all the time, about serious topics, or silly things like laundry. I had, and still have, all these ideas in my head (fictional, non, etc...), and I do nothing with them. Sometimes I feel my creativity has been lost, or at least sapped, by the regimented newspaper writing I do every day. What happened to the girl who was going to write books and books? I'm not married, and I don't have kids, so that's not an excuse for time not spent writing.
So when I came across Jennifer Fulwiler's 7-Day blogging challenge over at Conversion Diary, part of me was downright giddy (talk about someone who does write: with six kids and a book just sent into her publishers, I feel slightly less than inadequate, in comparison. What DO I do with my time?!). I do enjoy a challenge, and here was an invitation to link up, to add my URL followed by all of three people to a list of more than 100 who may potentially start to read my blog as a result (actual readers?! What a terrifyingly yet tremendous idea!), to make a commitment to write fearlessly and put it out there, even if what I write is absolute rubbish.
But I paused. This would actually make me write. I couldn't sign up and add my link and then not do it. What if people read my thoughts and think I'm ridiculous, or backward, or just stupid? I read a number of blogs and think, "wow, they're such a good writer. I'd never be able to do with words what s/he's just done." But Jen spoke to all those fears, and then some. Plus, you know what they say: you should do the things that scare you (within reason, natch. Jumping off literal cliffs is just dumb), because they might lead you to something amazing.
It also seemed timely, considering a quote I came across just yesterday from Blessed (soon to be Saint!) John XXIII: "Consult
not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your
frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not
with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible
for you to do."
Right. So I signed up and threw my URL up on Jen's site. I make no promises of quality, but I'll do my best. I'm going to write. My heart is pounding out of a bit of nervousness, but there's also the part of me that is just... joyful. Like I'm going to take a little bit of my (clearly overly dramatic) self back. So here goes.