After Dinner Writing

computer and candles

I remember a time when I’d finish eating dinner with my family and rush upstairs to my room so I could write something new for my blog. I wrote one blog post a week for almost a year. I was so excited about it.

Excited but scared. I was afraid of people reading what I wrote. I felt concerned about being seen. I had never been one to divulge vulnerable truths or insights or wisdom with people, especially with my family. But despite those fears, I always seemed to have something to write about. I found something to say time and time again.

It didn’t matter that the writing was bad. It didn’t matter that I wrote in huge blocks of text that I’d cringe at if I saw it today. It didn’t matter that my thoughts were scrambled from paragraph to paragraph without any sense of cohesive flow through the ideas. It didn’t matter that I used big words unnecessarily. All that mattered was that I was writing.

I cared too much at that time about other people reading what I wrote rather than actually caring about what I wrote specifically. In the back of my head, I knew that my writing could be better and that I probably wasn’t as good a writer as I thought I was. But I’d graduated with a literary studies degree, I couldn’t be that bad. Right?

Either way, my bad writing didn’t stop me. Lack of ideas didn’t stop me. And even though it’s what I cared about most, other people’s opinions didn’t stop me. Until it did.

Every writer has their big “things.” Their internal criticisms and judgments. Their fears and blocks that keep them from writing. And I have certainly wrestled with my own over the years even though I see myself returning to writing over and over again, which tells me just how important it is for me.

As I sit down to write today, I reflect on those first days of writing online. They were so sweet and innocent. Filled with so much promise and hope. I built my own little corner on the internet. I even had a follower who became someone I talked to on the phone. We even stayed connected over the years. We aren’t close by any means but she’s always been a huge supporter of my writing and we’re still friends on social media.

In fact, I’ve made multiple friends through my writing over the years. Another dear friend of mine fluttered into my life on the wings of a sparkling, colorful unicorn thanks to a piece I’d written for an online Australian magazine called Wild Sister.

About a year after I stopped writing for Wild Sister I got a Facebook message from this girl. She had read my article in the magazine and realized we lived in the same city so she thought she’d reach out. A couple weeks later we were sitting in a coffee shop across from one another connecting over our love of life. She’s still my friend today. And she brings so much color and joy into the world through her beautiful work. I’m so blessed to know her.

Writing has afforded me so much joy and happiness and opportunities to connect with amazing people. But, unfortunately, I seem to lose sight of that. Instead, I get lost in all the internal fears and stories about having “nothing to say.” Which isn’t true. I have plenty to say. I have plenty to share. I’m just too busy getting in my own way to do it.

So I’ve been on a mission to rekindle my youthful exuberance for my writing and my blog. I yearn for those early days of hurrying upstairs to write. And I know they can be mine again but in a whole new way. I know I can rekindle that love and enthusiasm.

Tonight I drew a steamy bath, lit several candles, laid my rose quartz on the edge of the tub, and turned on “Awakening Dream” by Marina Raye on repeat. I nurtured and loved myself deeply.

Insights and ideas flittered across my mind. And the memory of my first days of writing came to mind. I can have that again. I know I can. So here I am, writing, in my bed after dinner with a candle burning at my side.

Photo by Reham Azab on Unsplash