“The tickling pink concept is of enjoyment great enough to make the recipient glow with pleasure.”
-The Phrase Finder
Well my friends, Nancy fits the bill. Her writing astounds me. She thrills me with her submissions to the Red Dress Club, which you can check out here, here, and here. A master of the short story and the written word, she also blogs often about her darling son Joel:
Anywhoo, I’m taking a bit of a bloggy break, so I thought I’d let Nancy https://twitter.com/AwayWeGoNancy on Twitter) take the wheel for a bit. She’s wonderful and I’m so grateful our paths have crossed! Read on & be sure to stop by her place and follow along.
I’m Nancy, the proud proprietor of Away We Go. I have been blogging since October 2008. This makes me an authority on exactly nothing, but nevertheless, I feel a need to pound out my “blogging philosophy.”
I am hardly an expert. I don’t have a million followers, nor do I make a red cent off my ramblings. On most days, I’m okay with that.
Don’t get me wrong. I do care. I care deeply. Every time I see the blinking green light on my phone, my pulse races a bit. Somebody read what I wrote! Somebody had a response! I am not talking to myself in a corner! Yay for staying on this side of sane!
I guess that’s how I know that I am a writer—I am unapologetically needy. I need that response. I need that connection. Feed me! Love me!
So, besides my rampant narcissism, why do I blog?
Writing A Present
One of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, talks about writing a present. She discusses writing stories for family members and dear friends, recording their truths, their struggles, and their moments of heartbreaking beauty.
I didn’t write when my first-born was an infant, and those memories are murky. I will never be able to share my birth stories with perfect clarity. Those candles have burnt out, leaving only hazy smoke.
I don’t want to forget my life. It’s more than that. I want to relive those moments.
That is the gift of writing. I get to live my life, and then recreate it when I place it on paper.
It’s the closest thing to magic that I know.
When I write about a morning at the playground, I experience that perfect joy once again. I pump my legs, feel the wind in my hair, and soar into the heavens. My keyboard is a time machine. I believe that.
And, best of all, it’s all there for my kids to discover someday.
Digging out the Fossils
Stephen King, in his masterful book On Writing, compares writing fiction to digging out a fossil. Through time, revision, practice, and thinking, the character and plot reveal themselves. You don’t see a dinosaur right away.
I often have a difficult time figuring out my feelings. I’ll stew or fall into a funk or yell at my husband. I won’t know why. Writing has helped me do this less often.
Writing is therapy, helping me dig through the dirt and debris to find my dinosaur. Sometimes, writer’s block is a sign that I’m digging in the wrong spot, and the dinosaur is waiting elsewhere. I can’t write anything until I dig the damn thing up.
This doesn’t mean that I publish everything. Sometimes the writing in itself is enough. However, I do believe that there is beauty and truth in sharing struggles. Some of my best posts come from fossil hunting.
When it comes to blogging, I’ve made these choices. Other people may make different choices. They may very well have more success and more readers. This is what works for me as of now.
1. I only do memes when they inspire me. Meaning, I prefer the open-ended prompts as opposed to the Q&A formats. I do them when I like, and feel no guilt when I don’t.
2. I comment and respond the best I can. I have a two hour writing window when my kids nap. I do what I can do during that window, and if I don’t get to it, I feel no guilt.
3. I don’t do following memes or join societies designed to gain new followers. I want people to read my blog because they like what I have to say.
4. I write every day because I need to write to clear my head. That doesn’t mean I publish. I’m trying to create quality work, and therefore publish 3-4 times a week.
5. If I am thinking more about the world of blogging than my day-to-day life, it’s a sign from the universe that it’s time to step back a bit.
These words are just mine, and dashed off words at that. But these words—
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.
—Nothing truer has ever been written.
Blog boldly, friends.