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Monday, March 14, 2005

Creative Ink, one year later

I've always had a journal, although I've not written faithfully in quite some time. And so the time has come to start my blog. I'm not sure where this will go each day, but I feel compelled to write. I recently started my own freelance writing business from home and for all my careful planning, I have to say I've gone about it all wrong. I have no nest egg to draw on, no solid clients to the pay the bills and no confirmed assignments from magazines. I have only my wits (which I fear I may have misplaced) and my ideas to push me onward.

So began my foray into blogging on March 12, 2004. I was having coffee today with my friend Lori and we were discussing blogs and what we like about them. I told her I struggle to describe mine to others. Being the gifted wordsmith she is, Lori came up with a fitting description: personalized worldview.

Creative Ink is my most authentic writing voice. Though I don’t write for any audience, I think of it in some ways as a training ground for column writing. Wow! Can’t believe I said that aloud, but there it is. I covet my own column while I simultaneously fear not having anything to say.

But not on Creative Ink.

I rarely know what I’m going to write about on any given day, though there are times in which I’ll have a week’s worth of blog posts outlined (yes, I do outline), particularly when I wrote about Korea. Most of the time I’m writing what I feel and what I think about. Occasionally, I’ll get deeply personal and some of those posts have garnered the strongest reactions.

My most personal entry was “Life in Technicolor” from April 15. It woke me up from a sound sleep and I wept while writing. My mom called from her cell phone to find out if I was okay, my husband misinterpreted parts of it and was initially very hurt and angry, and a friend e-mailed to say I should think of a wider audience for my writing. It was tough to write, but it was important for me to say even if no one saw the entry.

There’s been one time in the history of CI that I’ve taken down a post and that was on Mother’s Day last year. It was an angry rant and that’s not how I write. It positively infuriated my husband and was cruel and I’m never cruel. In the 40 minutes that it was live, George Nemeth posted it to Brewed Fresh Daily. It wasn't like me and I had a concern friend ask later that week, "Are you okay?"

I am okay. This has become my therapy, allowing me to work through issues I deem important both personally and professionally. And speaking from experience it’s a lot cheaper than paying a counselor. There’s a freedom in blogging that I don’t have in any of the other writing I do. This is where I’m fearless.

I’ve always associated fearlessness with column writing. And that’s why I’ve felt uniquely unqualified to pursue. But the blog is helping to build my courage, to form opinions culled from my own research and sources, to state an argument in my own words. Creative Ink has given me a voice and I find I have something to say.


estarz said...

U have a wonderful blog and your writing is exceptional.

"...e-mailed to say I should think of a wider audience for my writing"

U shouldnt write 4 anyoen but yourself. Dont try to reach a particular audience. Just write what U feel and what interests you. There is no wrong or right method to blogging.


- Ali

John Ettorre said...

Wow. Brilliantly and wonderfully said. This is of course what it's all about. And why it was so fitting that you should have introduced Bill Zinsser to a national conference of writers last year. As he likes to say, his work the last 25 years has mostly been going around the country giving writers the permission to be themselves and to write from their authentic selves.