I’m not very good at this. Choosing what to write about. I mean it’s fun to sometimes glorify my day as a stay-at-home-mom and post lovely photos of my lovely children. But other things are happening too. Like figuring out times and places for Makenna and Declan to see their dad. And court dates. And appointments and therapy for Declan. I really haven’t dwelled on the not-so-fun stuff that’s happened this past year. I just try to enjoy each and every day. And at the end of the day when I usually sit down to write, it’s more satisfying to look back on the fun, exciting things that we’ve done.
I’m not always sure what is going to come out on ‘paper’ when I write. I really don’t consider myself a ‘writer’. When I started university I was a bit clueless. Always the math and science nerd growing up, English was not my best subject and after taking a year off after high school and seriously thinking about what to take at university, I decided to take Communications. Hrmm, communications = writing. I didn’t do so well on the first few papers I wrote. I remember even taking a workshop about how to write a critical research paper. I had no clue. But throughout the years I progressed and even became pretty darn good at it.
I was thinking about all of this a few days ago and a memory surfaced. In grade 9 AP English with Mr. Achurch one of our big assignments was working in a group of 3 and each writing a story that interlinked with the others. At the end of it all, all the students had to read their story aloud to the class (totally remember reading my story; I was sick as a dog, runny nose, watery eyes etc. It was awesome). And then when the assignment was complete, our teacher was to choose one student’s story to go in the yearbook. I can picture myself sitting at my desk when he announced the winning story. It was….mine. Holy crap…pretty sure I almost choked on my saliva and my face turned bright red. It was more than unexpected (yay for low teenage self-esteem). In the end, it turned out it was too late for anything else to get printed in the yearbook, so it actually wasn’t published in the yearbook, and now this story probably seems all for naught. But, BUT…maybe I can write stories. Or maybe Mr. Achurch just liked me because he played baseball with my dad 😉
An old co-worker of mine who is a very talented and creative writer and playwright had this quote posted on her Facebook a few weeks ago.
“If something inside you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write towards vulnerability. Don’t worry about appearing sentimental. Worry about being unavailable; worry about being absent or fraudulent. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer, you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.” ~ Anne Lamott
I read this right at the time when I was humming and hawing about actually getting this blog up and running, and it struck a chord. I will try to be real with my writing and aim to get towards that center of vulnerability. But I’ll admit, it’s a challenge. It’s a little foreign to me. This whole ‘sharing with the class’ thing. But one thing I’ve learned through all of this is the cliché that nothing worth having comes easy. I’ve started to care a little less what people think and stepped out of my comfort zone. Doing things that are hard (or used to be hard) for me to do. I’m still figuring it all out, learning as I go. I’m sure I’ll occasionally come across as that sentimental freak riding her unicorn and pooping rainbows. But it’s our now. And I’ve made the choice to celebrate the awesomeness. It’s just a part of our current crazy, muddled story. The good, the bad, the ugly. The good is just
easier more fun to write about.
This week’s phone dump