4.25.2016

My Reclaimed Hobby


It was December 29th, the end of another year gone by. In just a few days I would fly out to California for a sisters trip with Stefanie and Emily where we would visit Joshua Tree, hike to the Hollywood sign, stand On Top of the World in Laguna Beach, and ride a wooden roller coaster on the Santa Monica Pier. In the days leading up to 2016, I was beginning to feel the itch for something new. I had become a sort of serial hobbyist bouncing from one interest to the next as soon as the first sign of boredom set in.

But writing has always stayed with me. I've been writing stories ever since I was little. I began this blog a few years ago because I wanted to share my stories. It's just never been a hobby I've really invested money in like I've done with all those come and go hobbies. Thankfully you really don't need to invest money into writing, unless you want to take a class or attend a conference. Just your time. But because I never felt confident in calling myself a "writer" I never pursued taking it further. I'd write for a bit, blog for a bit, leave it for a bit, but I've always come back. It's never left me like the other hobbies.

As I scroll through Instagram a few days before 2016 begins I come across Coffee + Crumbs' post. My hands begin to shake and my heart starts racing as I read the caption below their little square photo. The collaborative mom blog announces they are launching a writing workshop. And better yet, for mere mortals like me! I stare at the photo for a few minutes until I finally brush the thought of one day actually being able to call myself a writer out of my head. Another few minutes pass, and I decide to go to C+C's website to find out more. Travis looks up from the book he's reading and notices I'm frantically searching the web.

"What's going on?"

"Oh, um, nothing...well, something, but I don't know if I should share," I spit out.

He pushes a little further. I go on to explain the workshop and all that it entails based on C+C's little blurb on their site. I then proceed to tell him it's not a big deal and it will be too bad I won't be able to sign up.

"Why not?"

"Because it costs money and I'm not really a writer."

"So what? Do something for yourself for once. You're not going to know if you're a real writer until you take the time to pursue it. And if you decide you don't want to write anymore after this, that's okay. Just know it's not a waste."

***

Fast forward six weeks later. I'm in the second week of C+C's writing workshop and we're given a writing prompt called the Red Dot Essay, kind of a "you are here" montage. Every week leading up to this prompt, and even the weeks following, I stress about what to write. I take days writing one prompt. But this essay, it takes less than an hour for me to spew it all out. Maybe because I am living in it. This essay is the epitome of my every day, and it isn't a huge challenge to piece together.

***

A few weeks after C+C's workshop comes to a close I stumble upon the Good Mother Project's monthly theme submission request as I'm scrolling Instagram (yet again). By this point I'm still full fledge into my love of writing without the prospect of getting bored anytime soon. I love what I learned in the workshop, I grew as a writer and as a person, and I'm excited for what the future holds. The GMP's monthly theme for April is called "That's What She Said." I think about my Red Dot Essay from the workshop. I never thought I would be one to submit an essay to a website. No one would want to pick my essay out of a bunch of real writers. But something inside tells me to still submit. I want to see if I have what it takes, I want to see if my writing is worth the read, I want to see if I can face my fear of failure. So I do it. I revise my Red Dot Essay adding and omitting a few details. I submit That's What Nan Said. And a week later I receive the email that says the Good Mother Project wants to publish my piece! I'm humbled, honored, and over the moon filled with joy. 

And I still am humbled, honored, over the moon filled with joy for all the pieces that shaped this story behind "That's What Nan Said". I'm grateful for C+C who took this former lover of writing and gave her the confidence to call herself a real writer. I'm grateful for the wonderful, lovely, and inspiring women who make up my little writing group encouraging me to step out and face my fears. I'm grateful for the GMP who was willing to publish an essay of mine that means a whole lot to me. I'm grateful for Nan who made this story possible by taking the time to meet with a couple of weary missionaries and encouraging them with finding the sweet moments. And I'm grateful for Travis who says if this is just another come and go hobby for me, that is okay. 

But I know, for me, writing has always been more than just another come and go hobby. It's just been reclaimed.

***

Click here to read my first published essay, "That What Nan Said" on the Good Mother Project. 

4 comments:

  1. Bouncing off of being "a sort of serial hobbyist bouncing from one interest to the next...but writing has always stayed with me." Well said.

    Do you suppose this reflects that the other hobbies are isolated interests, but writing is a meta-hobby, which can relate all the special electricity and joy of the others? The curious pull of writing has long intrigued me, too.

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    1. Such an interesting thought. I love it! And I think you're right--at least for me! I'm always longing for a creative outlet of some sort. And maybe these isolated hobbies are just that, hobbies. Whereas writing is more a part of who I am, down to the core, and everything stems out from it. Thanks, Jim!

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  2. Writing is a great way to express deep inside feeling and the good examples of this is the content writers who write novels, people love stories and novels because they get what they are looking for.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Christopher!

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