Is “blogging” still even a thing? I honestly have no idea if people write, yet alone, read blogs anymore. I am not sure if I care enough to have that keep me from writing here. But I am not sure if I don’t care either. I used to be so good at this – at keeping a little space occupied with words and filled with photos. I am not good at it anymore, and I cannot decide if that matters to me. Somedays I want to write, but sometimes I wish only strangers read the words, because it feels so vulnerable to have people that I know read them. But then I kind of like this little space, and the thought of moving and starting again is not at all appealing. All I know for sure is that, I am a writer. I don’t say that in an arrogant way, because honestly, it means little. It certainly does not mean that I am a good one. It simply means that I was created to communicate words through my hands more than with my mouth. So write, I must.
I have been working on a manuscript for literal years now. To be honest, I scrapped the first one. The one that detailed our adoption journeys, because in the midst of writing I began to really transform and grow from the person I once was and all I believed. I realized that first manuscript was not a story that ever belonged to me, and that it was not ever mine to share. Plus my thoughts on adoption have radically changed (along with church, missions, theology, and just about every other major brick of certainty that was at one point the scaffolding of my life). I love my sons with all of my heart, and I cannot imagine my life without them, but my ideas about how they joined our family are catastrophically different from the ideas that I was once so vocally passionate about. That is best left to discuss over coffee, face-to-face, because even when someone is better at words through her fingers and behind a screen, there are certain topics that need eye contact, voice and relationships. I suck at that, but I am trying. So manuscript number one was deleted, and it was the very best right thing to do. I have no regrets, and am so thankful that it never went to the publisher.
The idea for manuscript two was birthed almost two years ago, and I was so excited about this one. For awhile I wrote passionately. But, as characteristic of myself, it eventually got pushed to the back burner for other things and other people. I am not the best at self care – of making margin for what is actually life-giving to me. I make promises to myself and break them all of the time – promises that I would never dream of breaking if I had made them to another human and not just to myself. So this summer, I picked that manuscript back up with renewed focus and determination. I also picked up another life-giving activity that I have neglected – reading. Reading makes me a better writer and an overall better person. I picked a wide variety of books from a wide variety of authors who believe a wide variety of things. The stack was large, and I am still blissfully working my way through it. It has been so refreshing to read view points that I once would have feared to read and to relax in the freedom of reading for pure enjoyment. One of the books that I read this summer was Shauna Niequest’s Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes. First of all, it is a beautifully written book. Second of all, it is my manuscript. I mean it is exactly what I was in the middle of writing, but it is so much better. I cried as I read it, not because the writing moved me, although it did at times, but because I felt as if this second manuscript, which I was so proud of, is a cheap knock-off of the real deal – a real book, by a real (and fantastic) author.
I didn’t come here today, because I had an epiphany about my writing that I wanted to share (nor am I looking for pity or for people to tell me to just write it anyway). I didn’t come to the obvious conclusion that my story matters, and that nobody else has exactly my story or my way with words. I didn’t decide that I needed to push through and just write that manuscript. I promised myself that I would write a chapter every week this summer, and I read Shauna’s book and have yet to open the manuscript back up. It has been weeks now. I honestly don’t know what I will do moving forward. Somedays I feel as if manuscript number two will be scrapped and that is crushing. I guess I came here today just to write something some place. Maybe to see if I could, if these hands had anything to say or if writing helped sort out my head. Maybe it is to resurrect this little space instead of the manuscript, or maybe alongside with the manuscript, or maybe my writing will take a completely different turn. I have no idea.
All, I know is that I must write, and today it was here.