Taking Risks in Writing and in Life

 

welcomegarden
Photo via visualhunt.com

Welcome to my first blog post! How exciting for me! But also…

…kind of nerve-racking. You see, I lead a pretty quiet life. And I don’t tend to seek the spotlight. Frankly, there’s a lot about being online that runs counter to my nature and upbringing.

So. Why. Blog?

Believe me, I asked myself that question repeatedly as my designer and I worked on my site. What, am I crazy? Putting myself out there? For anyone to see? The thought was/is enough to make me want to cuddle up with my cat and ditch the whole plan.

Just Wall-E and Me

I just joined Facebook last spring, my first step into the social media world. There were lots of reasons why I’d avoided it: time, privacy, trolls. In the end, even though it is a mixed bag, I’m glad to be there. Still, I pause nearly every time before I push the “Post” button.

That’s one side of the coin.

The other side is that I LOVE connecting with people. I live to find common ground. And I’ll talk to just about anyone. Ask my kids who are forced to stand there as I chat with people — familiar and new — at their schools, in stores, at the library, on the street.

I also live to write. I’ve been a diary/journal writer since I was a kid. A blog is, after all, a web log, isn’t it?

One of my childhood diaries

What’s the big deal, then? That brings me back to the other side of the coin.

The thing is I have to be real. That’s also part of my deal. By blogging in an open and honest way, I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable which in a face-to-face, back-and-forth conversation feels just fine. More than just fine! I thrive on that type of conversation where each person learns about the other and we share some good laughs.

But being online giving a monologue to who-knows-whom? Well, that just makes me feel naked. (No worries, G rated blog here.)

The nature of writing is solitary (too much so sometimes), but the business is public. Positive connection — bring it on! Constructive criticism — I’m good with that. But trolls — who needs that? Life is hard enough.

But life is also too short. So I’ve decided to implement the principle of non-attachment. You know, hit the “Publish” button and then…

I’ve got stuff to say and share that I think will resonate with some readers. And those are, after all, the readers I’m trying to reach.

If you end up being one of them, I’ll think of it this way: it’s just you and me having a nice little chat at school or in a store or at the library or on the street. Oh heck, while I’m at it, why not on a beach or a mountaintop? I envision tea or coffee. A steaming hot mug of French Roast for me. What do you prefer?

two-cups-of-espressoviavisuahunt
Photo via visualhunt.com

Yeah, I like that. Phew! Now I feel a lot better.

I’d feel even better if I could tell you exactly what the focus of my blog will be. But back to openness and honesty… I don’t know. The best I can offer is that my posts will be connected under the umbrella of things that I love: kids and kids’ books, reading and writing, inclusiveness in stories and in life.

Art by Robert Tai

Over time, I may find a more defined focus, a focus that grows organically and finds me. But it will take just that: time. Blogging over time.

If you’re good with this general map and open to seeing what happens, I’d love your company and conversation along the way! I’ll be spending more time writing manuscripts than blog posts, but you can expect to hear from me about once a month (i.e. I won’t be clogging up your inbox).

How do I know that I really want to blog and write and publish more books? Because despite internal and external obstacles, I’m going for it! As the late Randy Pausch said, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”

brickwall

Thanks for listening as I take this additional step into the online world. Many years ago, my high school English teacher, Ms. Stewart, told me, “Take more risks.” Yeah, I think Ms. Stewart would be happy about this one. In any case, I know I am!

Until we meet again,

Amy