I’ve been writing since, well, as long as I can remember. Even in elementary school, writing wasn’t something to do just for homework or assignments. It was something to do for fun.
It took me a long time to understand that not everyone felt that way. Writing poetry or stories or, when my life drew me into writing for newspapers, articles, not only seemed natural and easy, it always felt like the thing I wanted to do, that I had to do. I’ve written fantastic fiction short stories, poems about grief and loss, news articles about sporting events, and feature-length pieces on people who are probably a lot like your neighbor.
Recently, I’ve been helping a healthcare system rewrite content for its website. I methodically worked my way through page after page, adjusting its tone and structure. The powers that be were pleased, which was nice, of course, but I couldn’t understand why they needed me to do it. It seemed so simple. Couldn’t just about anyone have done it?
For all its flaws (and there are many), the internet makes it so much easier to publish my writing. And this may sound like an odd dichotomy, but actually publishing my written work feels necessary even though I don’t expect people to read it. Doesn’t make sense, does it? Maybe it’s a writer’s thing. Maybe not.
I know a lot of writers who never publish their work and they are fine with that. They write for themselves for their own reasons. I have no problem with that, to each his own. A while back, I worked with someone who wrote poetry, a lot of poetry. He didn’t share much of it and was self-deprecating about its quality. Still, he wrestled with the idea of self-publishing a book. He clearly wanted to do it, but just couldn’t seem to convince himself. As luck would have it, the one Christmas we worked together, he was my draw for the Secret Santa. I gave him a journal and a pen. Inside the cover of the journal, I encouraged him to keep writing, of course, but also to share his words with the world. His work is so full of light and the world could use more of that.
Back to me writing … I haven’t been writing this blog all that long, but I’ve been writing about life as a military academy parent for three years. I love it. I mean, I love the academies, I love my kids, I love the other kids at the academies, and I love writing about it all. So when I wrote that I would temporarily shut things down, it wasn’t really a big announcement to the world – people aren’t exactly waiting for my latest post, it was more about me telling myself I needed to dedicate my focus on something else. That “something else” is a topic for another time, but it was necessary to tell myself that even though I loved doing it, something else was a priority. I’m not past that “something else” quite yet, but I’ve gotten to a point where I’m giving myself permission to start stretching these muscles again – for fun, not just for work.
And so, the journey resumes. One of the great things about writing this is, like all good stories, you’re never quite sure where it’s going to go and we are reminded, it’s about the journey, not the destination.