12 Months of Writing

Just go with where the words take you the first time. If it comes out like butter, well, good for you! But margarine isn’t acceptable…

It started as an outlet and a way for me to stop being so judgmental of my own works.

I made a deal with myself when I started: Write the piece, edit it once and schedule it to publish the following week. Edit it ONCE, Lady, seriously.

And I did. Every piece I’ve written this year—specifically the ones that made it to Medium—have been read and tinkered with once by yours truly before I tossed it online.

The next deal I made with myself was to stop over-complicating the prose.

Sure, it’s beautiful when someone’s sentence seduces your soul with elegant verbiage, but if you had to slave over that sentence to get the point across, who are you really benefitting?

So I trained myself to stop caring so much about the words flowing through my reader like a comforting sip of single malt whiskey, and instead focused on just writing — not getting hung up on the descriptives like I used to.

Just go with where the words take you the first time. If it comes out like butter, well, good for you! But margarine isn’t acceptable…

This year of writing also offered a bigger peace: I hoped to avoid therapy by working through some things with my writing— just get them out and move on with your life type-deal.

I shared for some unselfish reasons, as well — reading some other people’s confessions and stories helped me cope with some things I was going through.

Maybe mine could help others too.

(And because I found most therapy simply dredged up more pain that should’ve stayed locked away.)

I found myself angry and resentful over things that happened a decade or more earlier.

Shit happens.

Everyone has something painful (or many somethings) in their lives, stop sulking and keep moving forward.

Internalized pain doesn’t always have to fester and blow-up in your face later down the road. I’ve found that it’s better to tackle issues immediately, and if you miss that boat, tough shit. You swim or you sink.

I choose to swim.

So, writing over the past year has given a voice to my pain. It’s been good. It’s been brutal and painful and wonderful and beautiful, but it’s still pain, nonetheless.

It didn’t get better. It got handled.

I took things that I’d whine at my family and friends about and slapped them onto a public forum.

I grew up a little bit, but I’m still me — a little selfish and a lot crazy. And I’m okay with that.

Now I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to stop whining, get out of my own head, and get into other people’s.

So, where do I go from here?

Does this road lead to fiction or non-fiction prowess? To connecting with other writers? To getting published?

No matter where, I look ahead and I don’t see myself here anymore. I want to be, but not as committed to it as I was before.

There’s not enough time to give all these pieces of myself away every day or every week.

I want to be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better sister and daughter and in-law — so what needs to be done to make those things possible?

I need to refocus. I need to map out a plan and make a decision.

The year is halfway through. We’re moved. Goals are met.

What’s next?

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