I was a fairly reflective child, teen, young adult. I was always reading something, writing, drawing, designing clothes, taking my She-Ra action figures out for a spin, singing to the sunset, and those other whimsical things kids come up with when they live in the sticks with nothing else to do in the days pre-dating social media. In those earliest days, even before remote controls.
As a college student studying art, I could spend hours in the studio. Whole days locked away with a project, a Discman, and a CD sleeve. Hours alone, silent, feeling out the latest assignment.
In graduate school studying the relationships between folk tales and graphic narrative, it was hours at the computer in the digital archives, reading books, and putting words to keyboard.
Then I grew up. That is, I got a job–several, in fact. Had a baby. Became a single mom. My internal life was the last thing I wanted to think about. Laid off and hoping for another job, every day was about looking for something new, maintaining what little work I had.
Then I got married…the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. I am so fortunate to have a husband who is my partner in every way, and with that comes the brain space to reflect a little. To reflect again. For so many years, it seems, I was just trying to get by. Just surviving…trying to find enough head space for work, motherhood, and self-care (ie reading).
Blogging has always given me room for creativity…even when things were hard. But I’ve also had a very solid wall erected around me. If someone had asked me in the last six years what my dreams were, I would’ve said I don’t have dreams anymore. Who has time for that when there’s real life to take care of?
I had a hard time deciding whether or not I should even start this blog. I’m so proud and content with my first home online, Estella’s Revenge. Will I have the time and creativity to maintain both? Is this idea of a “hub” for what I’m doing of interest to anyone but me?
Time will tell on all counts, but this space is my space to dream a little. Because, you see, I have a secret wish. A secret wish buried so deep in my chest that I don’t speak it. Only the people closest to me know. It’s not a dream so different from other people…many of you reading here, or who know me from Estella’s Revenge. This is my space to dream about writing whatever I want. No topic is off limits.
It’s also a space to dream about making writing a viable thing. I can honestly say, after 11 years of blogging, that writing is what I love best in the world. I love the community that has come from blogging. I love the friends I’ve made. I feel less alone for having written all this time.
I don’t know if I can make writing a thing that makes me enough money to live on. And I’m not sure that’s even the point. I do know that nine years ago I turned down a PhD at the best university in my field because I wanted to write things that more people would read. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than an academic community.
I’m 36 in November, and it’s time to write. It’s time to take these fingers out for a spin, and this is something of a testing ground. Nothing on my book blog will change…it would break my heart if it did. But this is a place to stretch my legs, play with words, and see what I can do. An escape and a test lab all at once.
I want you along for the trying.