Writing on Writing

I’ve always loved writing. I started a daily practice of journaling in junior high (around 12 years old) and kept that up all the way through college. In high school, English was my favorite subject and I learned the basics from Mr. Mehle, story analysis and structure with Mrs. Holmes, and then in my senior year I was lucky to be placed with Ms. Casey- one of The Best teachers I have ever had. As it was an Advanced Placement course, we had piles of reading to complete plus essay after essay after essay. Ms. Casey gave us so much work, I recall many all nighters, reading and writing tirelessly just to attain a “5/5” score. Which I only got once- countless 4+++++ grades yet only one victorious 5 for an essay on William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”. (Can’t believe I actually remember that after 30 years! That’s just how important getting that 5 was!)

Upon transferring to USC my junior year of college, I was accepted to the School of Cinema-Television Critical Studies program which was my first true academic challenge- as one of the top film schools in the country the workload was immense. I had to make movies as well as watch hundreds of films and TV shows, go to lectures, read and write nearly constantly, all the while working full time at a fine dining restaurant. I wouldn’t have changed that experience for the world- studying critical writing was an honor, I loved the output, my bylines were my pride.

After college, I landed in Public Relations mainly because I can write the heck out of a press release be it semiconductors, robotics, artificial intelligence or antivirus software- even when I know nothing about the topic, I easily learned about it and made it sound oh so good on paper. Once I left the tech PR industry for hospitality, where writing skills are not expected, cover letters and polishing my resume were my sole writing outlet for about 5 years until Running4theReason was born in 2010.

Each and every medal has a story!

Running4theReason was my first blog (and if I ever find a way to get it back online- damn virus- I will!), then I started TheHamburgerBlogger (for my love of food) and got a good amount of response there but Running4theReason had gained enough traction that sundry outlets were contacting me to cover this race or product- it became quite a chore! As a stay-at-home-mom I was able to dedicate my mornings to running, afternoons to documenting my thoughts around each and every run/race, and evenings to posting some sort of creatively staged photo to every single social media outlet about that run or that race or that product, linking back to the blog. Yes, that is exactly what it takes to grow your readership but- take it from me- all that effort takes time. A lot of time. Once I started working and giving a paying job all that time instead, I stopped running, I stopped racing, and I stopped writing about it. Running4theReason came to a screeching halt in 2016.

But it was sure fun while it lasted!

A couple months ago, I put away all my medals. I lovingly placed over 100 symbols of achievement in a plastic storage box and cried. I sure loved that time in my life- being part of the running community is such a joy. Completing my first full marathon I count as one of the happiest and proudest times in my life. The people I met through Team in Training and through my blog are pure gold. The content I created as a result also, to me, pure gold. Some of the posts I wrote can still bring me to tears. While part of me wants to get Running4theReason back online, part of me is glad it is gone because I’ve already started fresh with different goals and a different path ahead that does not involve running. (Still torn on my IG name though- I should change it but I don’t want anyone else ever to be Running4theReason! I’m still paying for the domain name as well!)

That all brings us to today and this new endeavor, ForTheReason. Honestly, I am still not sure what the heck this blog is really about! Is it about sobriety? Is it about yoga? Is it about trauma recovery? Or injury recovery? Can it be about all these things and still be interesting??? I have no idea! But I know I have to have a target, a brand if you will. Still figuring that out… (any suggestions therein more than welcome!)

While I am still figuring out the “what”, one thing I am certain of is my “why”. I write for me, I write as an outlet for my emotions, as a way to see things clearer and organize my thoughts. On one hand, I am eager for readers but on the other, even if no one reads I still feel cleansed by the creation. In Yoga Teacher Training (it always comes back to that lol!) we are asked, “What is your dharma?” That is, what are the morals and virtues by which you live. Also still figuring that out but part of my dharma is being creative- I was put on this earth, in part, to create art be it movies, essays, photography, cooking, or even reels on Instagram. My soul is happiest creating, writing being the top of that list.

In September I attended a Writing and Yoga Retreat hosted by my guru Saraswati Clere and writer Albert Flynn DeSilver. I won’t go into too much detail about the retreat itself (no spoilers for anyone who attends- and I highly recommend you do!) but as the title indicates, there was writing and yoga of course, plus a mindfulness walk, delish vegan lunch, and lots of honest and real sharing and discussion with a great group of talented people. It was beyond fulfilling.

In one of the discussions, we were asked about any struggles we have had with our writing and I shared that the fear of writing something that’s not good keeps me from writing more. Typical fear of failure, many others agreed. Albert instructed to write through that feeling and understand that sometimes it won’t be perfect, sometimes you’ll write a total piece of crap but that’s part of the writing process. Writing is messy, and that’s completely okay. Own it and just write. I still struggle with this, I want each post to be a perfect little meaningful package all tied up nicely with a bow. I have so many ideas yet I second guess myself constantly, thinking that I need to create the kind of content that readers (and hopefully my future yoga students) can relate to, learn from, and feel inspired by. If an idea doesn’t meet that criteria, it doesn’t get written.

Therein lies the conundrum- if I love writing, then who cares if anyone is reading? If I write with a reader in mind, then I lose my voice. If I aim to be a writer, then I gotta write more in order to write more therefore go ahead and write about anything and everything I feel like! Maybe that’s why I still can’t own it as a title, it sounds too boastful and egotistical, “I’m a writer.” Bleck. I would never say something like that. “I’m a blogger.” Also not a label I wear which is even stranger- everyone is a “blogger” so that always sounded less than to me. “I have a blog and I love writing!” is a lot more in tune with my dharma. And if I stick with that, my voice shines through.

Some photos from the retreat…

I also see writing as a form of self therapy, this blog gives me practice at sharing my story and if someone has gone through the same kind of abuse and trauma as I have and happens to read this, maybe they can find comfort in my words: you are not alone and you can overcome the pain. It is proven that writing has the power to heal and each post where I share a little more, delve even a little deeper, the more I heal, and the more I can pass that healing along others.

With that I make a commitment to myself to try harder to write more. Not a fan when my own blog tells me what to do but I know that commitment to writing is an endeavor I was meant to take on whether or not this gets so many likes or that gets so many views or the other gets zero comments because that is not what is important. Doing what you love, what you were meant to do IS.

So go ahead, give yourself permission to do more of that thing that speaks to your soul, your dharma. Do what makes you happy, do it for yourself alone and without judgement. Take a deep breathe. Start today.

One thought on “Writing on Writing

  1. Pingback: Bloganuary: Why I Write – ForTheReason

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