Tag Archives: writing

Of the Creative-Type.

Is it strange that I seem to write the most around midnight? I probably can’t be the only creative-type who has insomnia issues, mostly related to an influx of thoughts once it gets dark, right?

Lots of things are flowing through my brain right now, mostly in large part to the big project Tom and I have been working on for the last six months or so. This website is something that we’ve spent countless hours on, between the actually crafting of the content to managing the behind the scenes technical stuff, legal stuff, and marketing. It’s an idea that we’ve toyed around with since July, and we are so excited with the direction it’s taken and the reception it’s received.

Over the long winter break, we had two thirteen-hour car rides, in which many hours were spent discussing the site, working on outlines for new posts, new segments, marketing plans, and more. When we came home, totally invigorated and excited for all the new things we had planned, a funny thing happened. The website got a huge, huge promotion, landing on the front page of Reddit’s fitness forum {the largest and most frequently visited of its kind}. Not only were the number of visitors mind-boggling, but so were all the comments and feedback: the majority were overwhelmingly positive. In fact, I’d venture to say that 98% of it was positive. I still can’t quite wrap my brain around that.

It’s gratifying to see something you love so much be so well accepted. That’s obvious, right? But it was also so exciting to see this tiny baby project that we’ve fed and nurtured every night for hours go out into the big, scary world and succeed. When we started this, neither one of us had any direct experience in running a blog of this magnitude. Sure, I write here, and I write at my day job, but I don’t write about nutrition or cooking. I’ve never had to back up a database or try to troubleshoot a PHP log. But we’ve learned as we’ve gone, and dang it, I’m proud of me.

As I {sadly} get older, the urge to put roots down and start to settle into a typical lifestyle is becoming greater. It’s especially more profound when I visit back home and find all my friends buying houses, having babies, and getting promotions. It makes me start to question what I’m doing, and if it’s sustainable, and maybe I should just change gears altogether. And then I came back to Carolina, channeled all my creative energy into this project, and returned to the little bubble that is our unconventional life. And then yesterday happened, and it reaffirmed what I’ve known in my soul all along: my roots are in my projects, not in where I live. I am happiest when I am writing or creating, or learning new things. It soothes my soul in ways I could never form words to explain.

I am humbled and grateful to be of the creative-type, even if it means a few nights spent wide away, the only light in the house coming from my computer.

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Writer, Officially.

Apologies for the longer than normal absence. Life has been crazy…dare I say, crazier than it has ever been before. Between family issues, personal things that don’t always get the blog treatment, and that tiny thing called work that sucks up the bulk of my week, I’ve been wiped out and, shockingly, wordless. But not for long, mind you.

In fact, words are becoming a running theme in my life. I believe very strongly that the wrong words uttered by someone trusted and loved can cut like glass. Sometimes the glass shatters, and you find tiny, sharp shards embedded in your heart for a long time. That’s where I was when I wrote this. I found myself re-examining old wounds that I thought were free of debris and healed.

Words, as I’m finding, aren’t only things that are said to me. Words are my language, my birthright. It took a long time for me to accept it, and I still am, I guess. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life trying to figure out “what I should be when I grow up.” Nothing ever seemed right, so I chose to become an English major. When I graduated college, fairly directionless in the big business world, I quickly settled into copywriting. Between the major writing stints, I’ve blogged, freelanced, edited, and even wrote two {unfinished} novels. Ironic that someone who spends her life writing would deny the fact that her path lies in writing, isn’t it?

I’ve heard people quip that what you spent your time doing when you were little is what you should be doing as an adult. Those who built things should be engineers or construction workers, those who taught their little sisters or Barbies should be teachers, those who patched up the wounds on their favorite stuffed bear should be a nurse. I read {so much so that my mother would take away my books as punishment} and wrote. My little sister and I would craft plays and short stories about our dolls. We had a whole binder filled with messy sheets of loose leaf paper filled with my pencilled writing…”The Adventures of Katie & Tina.”

I guess I just always assumed that writing was never my destiny — it couldn’t become a career, it couldn’t even just be a hobby. It’s merely something I do during the day until I figure out what I want to do, and I do it in the evening to blow off steam. {Yes, again, as I write it, I want to smack myself for not discovering this earlier.} But now that I’ve realized my true love…that deep, soulful love that you can see sparkle in my eyes…is writing, I much more committed into moving forward with it, wherever it leads me.

So this brings me to forty-eight hours from now, when my “career” as a writer will be forever changed. As part of the transition of living in California, where I know fewer than eight people, I’ve joined a writer’s group. And this group convenes this week when I’ll be visiting. They’re hosting a writer’s critique, and I intend to participate. For as scared as I was when I made this blog public, I am doubly terrified of letting people read my fiction. But sitting in my laptop bag, perched by the door, are copies of an excerpt from my first novel {working title 134 Reasons}. There is only one person in this world besides myself who has read anything from these novels, and that honor belongs to my snooping husband who grabbed my computer when I wasn’t around, and claimed he was so riveted that he sat there and read my chick-lit draft for almost twenty minutes.

We shall see how this experience goes. If I’m feeling empowered, I might release a chapter here and {impatiently} await feedback. If I’m feeling crushed, I guarantee you’ll all be the first to know. Heck, I’ll probably write three more blog entries on it. After all, I’m a writer, aren’t I?

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Laboring.

When I set out to write, whether it’s here on this blog, in the novels I’ve written {but not finished, so no, you can’t read them. Yet.}, or at my fancy-dancy corporate copywriting job, it’s very rare that I know what I’m going to write. It’s always amazed me how differently my brain functions when talking versus writing; even thinking versus typing. Some people have commented on my “gift” or “talent,” and it’s funny, because I’ve never quite thought of myself as a gifted or talented writer.

Instead, I’ve found solace in putting words to a page, extracting my thoughts and placing them where I can see them, rearrange them, decode their hidden meanings. To me, writing isn’t a hobby or a job, it’s just something that makes sense. Writing sends me back to the days when I could play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata with my eyes shut, my fingers gliding over the ivory and black keys, the music surging through my hands, my wrists, up my arms, and into my chest. The notes would flow through me and back out, pulling my body and soul with it, my shoulders and head swaying and slumping as crescendos rose and fell.

Words fall from my fingertips, dripping with honeyed profundity, a collection of thoughts I could never eloquently express with my voice. While my brain tries to think of the next sentence, my index finger instinctively reaches for a key, the others following in suit. Another sentence born, birthed with love and instinct. I imagine that this is what a session with a therapist feels like: emotions and words tumbling with reckless abandon, a stream of conscious monologue where neither the patient nor the expert knows the destination. Hazy recollections and blurry snapshots come into focus, seemingly unrelated to the acute pain attempting to be assuaged. Slowly the visuals and stories begin to line up, strung together with a common thread, adorned with crystal realizations and metallic insight. And even though a catharsis has been reached, dusty emotions have been stirred and refuse to settle. More thoughts, more memories, more words that need to be delivered.

For me, writing begets writing. The black and white of my words is addictive, the high prolonged and relived as I reread every sentence. I close the computer, more words flash in my brain. I turn the lights off, another spark ignites, illuminating another truth that needs to be written. Nagging thoughts win the war against physical exhaustion, often compelling me to pull the computer back into my lap and give into the urge, the craving to let my fingers fly across the flat keys.

Thank you for indulging these cravings; for embracing my words, my thoughts, and the wild adventure I’m beginning. I am beyond flattered by everyone’s encouragement and compliments, and hope that my fingertips continue to lead me towards observations that resonate throughout us all.

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