Written on paper 9/9/17
Last summer in a Chicago hotel room, I sat hunched over my laptop dissecting a poorly written post on a random internet blog. After reading one too many misspelled words, I said to myself, “That’s it. I like writing. I value storytelling. I am starting a blog.”
I must have hovered the mouse over the publish icon for ten minutes before finally clicking it. “Your post ‘Friends: Love Them or Leave Them’ is now published on the DW Blog.” The decision to share my thoughts about fluctuations in friendship on that late summer afternoon was scary but it paid dividends. Since then I’ve had numerous opportunities to contribute to mainstream publications which further develop my passion for writing. I took a leap of faith and landed on my feet.
My love for writing began at an early age. I give full credit to my father who taught me how to craft a solid essay. He was an English major in college and a writing teacher in his early twenties. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. According to Dad, the most important aspect of writing is taking the time.
My first stint with published writing was at Camp Cheerio in Roaring Gap, a community located in Western North Carolina. The activity schedule I chose included rappelling, arts & crafts, canoeing, and the Bugle newspaper staff. I was a rising second grader and probably one of the youngest kids to express interest in the camp paper. I co-wrote the Weird and Funny News Column. Included was my short piece inspired by the “dish boys.” The “dish boys” were a team of outdoorsy guys in their late teens or early twenties who taught camp activities but also worked dish duty in the cafeteria. They always had jokes. Participating in the Bugle staff earned me the Creative Thinking in Newspaper Award, which I still have to this day. It’s a reminder that humble beginnings can eventually lead to great things, with effort and focus.
In college, I attempted to start a blog, but due to ridicule from my peers it was short-lived. I can laugh about it now. When I was 19, everyone thought blogging was corny. When I was 29, everyone was giving me kudos for starting a blog. Así es la vida. I wish my nineteen-year-old self didn’t care what people thought, but she did. Blogging may not have been super cool in the early 2000s, but a lot of bloggers who started back then are rich now! Who has the last laugh?
After the first publication on the DW Blog in 2016, I couldn’t pin down the actual focus of the blog. I can’t write about friendship woes every week. I love clothes, but not enough to be a fashion blogger. I’ll leave celebrity gossip to the pros. I have too many bad hair days to be a natural hair blogger. I asked myself two questions. What matters to me? What do I know inside and out?
Ah hah! My own experiences.
If I share what I am going through as a millennial woman living and loving in a city setting, others could possibly relate, get a laugh and share their unique experiences in return. I knew there was a lot of fluff in my earlier posts and I desperately wanted to write about something real.
Life got real.
Nothing prepared me for losing the love of my life just before Thanksgiving in 2016. If you’ve been following the DW Blog, it’s no secret that I’ve been dealing with immense emotional and physical pain, depression and change, lot’s of change. Once again, I had to be brave. Putting my pain to paper continues to give me an outlet when I feel like no one understands. It allows me to revisit cherished memories and create new ones. I am looking forward to a beautiful new season of storytelling. Now, I just need to transfer all my drafts from paper to the computer. I’ll say, it’s been a colorful summer. Stay tuned.
Happy Anniversary to the #DWBlog!