As some may have noticed, for the past several months, I’ve had a hard time getting back into a regular rhythm of writing and posting at “Self Censored.” I can write about why and where my energy is going, but the bottom line is I’m trying to figure out where I want to go with this blog. This ambivalence makes it easy for so many other things to get in the way.
For example, while I’m on a roll and in the groove at the computer today, Eliza – my furry baby girl jumps on my lap because she wants to go out. I put her down, but she gets back up and desperately tries to get my attention by licking my face. Naturally, I stop and go out for a while as she examines all the spots she missed the last time we were out. Needless to say, when we get back, she needs a snack to reward her for doing her business outside, and while I’m at it, I decide to warm up the pumpkin muffin that is still waiting in the fridge.
Let’s get back to why I’m here today. I want to change things up a bit on my blog. I’m thinking about changing the layout, title, and domain name. I’ve been working on WordPress.com, but I’ve been recommended to try WordPress.org because it has more flexibility. As I’m mulling ideas about the nuts and bolts, I’ve also been thinking about my content. Is the “About” page still accurate? Are my goals the same? Is my motivation the same? Who I’m writing for? Maybe I don’t want to be censored anymore.
The idea for change came one day as I was at the library working on “collection maintenance” (re-shelving books, straightening up and making the place look presentable). That day I found a little book called “Why We Write. Twenty Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do.” By Meridith Maran. I tend to be a wee bit superstitious and thought to myself, “Hmmm, maybe this is the insight I need right now.” Truth be told, the book did turn out to be encouraging and stimulating. Of course, there was the usual advice from well know authors about perseverance and dealing with rejection, but it was the similarities to my thought process that inspired me.
Like myself, many of the authors included in the book found reading and writing as an emotional outlet early on. I’ve been journaling since I was a kid. I had poems and prose entered in my school papers and yearbooks since middle school. At one point, I thought I would make journalism a career. A friend and I fantasied as kids about working on projects together. He’d be a famous photojournalist, and I’d be the writer. Ahhh youth….
In the book, I found some authors began writing to explain or to make sense of the changing world around them – first to themselves and then to connect with others with the same uneasiness in spirit. They described taking ordinary moments from one’s particular point of view, “freeze-dry” the moment to let the reader “add water,” connect with the notion and make it their own. As I read, I could hear that voice of affirmation and validation in my head.
It was from this book that I decided to write fantasy or magical realism instead of continuing with the short stories and snapshots of my memories. It was with this new project in mind that I started connecting with co-workers in the Nanowrimo model. But alas, here I am reaching the end of November but still quite far from finishing a novel or novelette or whatever. I do however have a better idea of what I want to write, how, and most importantly why. I’ve done some research to move my story and characters forward, and I count that as progress. I see my finished project as a female version of Santiago the Spanish Shepard looking for The Alchemist, meets King Arthur’s Merlin at The Shack with Mack. Wish me luck!
As for you, keep writing. I check in to the blogs I follow and get inspired. I enjoy getting updates, reading your stories, and delight in how creatively you let your voices be heard.
Until next time, all the best.
(Photo from Pexels in WordPress)