The Post I’ve Been Needing to Write For Awhile

There is never a good time for doing the things that matter most to you in life. NEVER. I am not the first person to point this out, but it deserves repeating. You will put off the things you wantneed a thousand times, and by the time you actually save up enough money to go on that Arctic mission you always dreamed of but never mentioned because your friends would give you the side-eye for planning for Antarctica while everyone else was going to Jamaica, the ice caps will have melted. Timing is never on your side.

Well, I have a message for timing: SEE YOU ON THE FLIPSIDE ‘CAUSE LOOK! HERE I GO.

I have been putting off getting serious about writing for about a year now. There was never a good time to devote myself to my writing and my blog, never enough payback for drawing some blood and getting dirty. There was always a good(ish) reason to stall and second guess myself.

Excuses. Big bloated mosquito excuses that I have allowed in my house and not swatted with nearly enough ire. This week’s excuse is that Cee is getting rid of her second nap, making it extremely difficult for me to write my guts out and market myself hard. Next week it will be something else. The excuses I manufacture are a lot like the pieces to Cee’s puzzles that are laying all around our house and not being pieced together. I constantly step on them and allow their haphazard placement to convince me that I have no right to call myself a good mom just yet, since I can’t even control little pieces of plastic.

But no more of that. I am ready to push myself out on the stage and admit that I’ve gotten good at what I do. I’m a good mom and a good writer. Claiming my talents makes me want to heave, but I will repeat over and over that believing in myself does not make me full of it. I’m tired of selling myself short. Short doesn’t pay the bills and it makes me want to glut myself on peanut butter when I could be doing something better.

Now is the time to claim my title. It occurred to me recently that I have been preparing myself to be a writer my whole life. Each random thing I’ve noticed, each strange job I’ve had, each feeling I’ve romanticized, and each phrase I’ve luxuriated in has prepared me to just give myself over to words.

Words, here I am. Hey there, WORRRDS!

I am going to make a lot of mistakes. A LOT. NOREALLYALOT. I am inevitably going to do some things that I don’t like and that you don’t like, if you stick around to see them. I have no team of experts steering the ship over here. It’s just me and my keyboard and my ideas, and sometimes those ideas are very not great and/or well-executed. But you know what? I like mistakes, and people who claim to not make them are sort of full of it. With all those mistakes come a lot of seriously awesome stuff.

So, let’s do this.

If you like my blog, “like” it on Facebook. If you read something that you think others will like too, share it with them. If you just want to talk to me, email me. I am miserably bad about writing back in a timely fashion, but that’s an excuse, and I think I’ve already sufficiently told excuses to shove it today.

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68 comments

  1. I was so worried this was going to be an “I’m quitting blogging/writing/sharing” post. Everyone seems to be quitting and, well, I have abandonment issues. So glad to be able to witness evermore!

    If you can, see if you can take a workshop on “writing is a business.” I took one by that exact name a few weeks ago and while I knew a lot of the info, some things were totally new to me. Definitely worth it.

    1. Thanks, Jen! Yeah, no quitsoes yet. What would I do during the baby’s naptime? Actually clean the bathroom. Nooooo.

      I will look into marketing workshops. I seriously need some structure when it comes to putting myself out there.

  2. More required reading from Emily! What you are saying to yourself is what we should ALL be saying to ourselves, no matter what the goals may be. Also. I would have had no idea from your writing that you did NOT already take yourself seriously. I don’t see much of what you tweet because I just haven’t figured out how to manage it but in WordPress Land you are a GODDESS.

    1. That means a lot coming from you, considering that I adore you in pretty much every possible way and that you are quite the rockstar at life yourself! WordPress has been really, REALLY good to me, and I’m so grateful for it for being the hothouse where I could flourish. Lately I’ve been having the itch to expand, though, and experiment with a lot of the things that I’ve always written off. We’ll see how it goes! Love you!

  3. NOW you’re talking! Go, go, go….

    1. Aaaaaand I’m off! Thanks, Willow!

  4. I thought I’d be seeing the same – a post saying “I’m done blogging for a while or forever” and really, I was hoping that it wouldn’t be that. So YAY! on writing – and get it going!

    1. Oh no! I seem to have thrown a lot of people off with that! Nope, I’m here to stay. It is going to be hard for y’all to get rid of me. Thanks, Kristen ;D

  5. Good luck! I look forward to your continued work.

    1. Thank you! I’ll take that luck as I’m going to need it!

  6. Go for it brave girl!

    1. Thank you, Anastasia!

  7. The worst aspect of writing is marketing it.That said, I think you have a lot going for you and I have confidence that if you stick with it, you’ll succeed.

    1. I may have to come to you for advice on that front at some point. I stand in awe that you have actually attended book conventions and didn’t just pass out from being completely overwhelmed.

      1. BEA is a convention that’s a lot of fun and I managed to figure out where to find the free icy cold beer at the end of that very long day. If only I was as intrepid about getting my book “out there” Emily …

  8. Emily and the WORRRDS vs. Everything

    My money is on Emily.

    1. The way you just typed out WORRRRDS made me think of zombies, because that’s how my brain works. Thank you for that ;D

  9. I also thought you were either quitting or had gotten some nasty emails/comments. As far as I am concerned you’ve always been a writer – glad to see you believing in yourself and making a go of it!

    1. LOL I will be around for a LOT longer. ;D At least until Cee goes off to college. What else will I write about? Thank you so much for your ongoing support, Eva.

  10. I’ve only been part of the blogging world for a couple of months, but I love reading your posts!

    1. Awwww, thanks, Mama! I love writing them!

  11. Good job making that decision! I made a similar decision a year and a half ago, and I’ve loved the pursuit of my writing goals and what I’ve learned since then!

    You are an excellent writer. And I’m sure you’re a superb mom, too. ;-)

    1. What you just said really resounds with me because up until now, I really didn’t have any goals at all; or at least, the ones I had were way too huge and I had no plan as to how to achieve them. Now, I’m working on creating small goals that I can actually achieve. It’s really helpful and far less scary!

      1. Small goals is the way to go. And making huge impossible-sounding goals is good, too, if you just break them down into those little bite-sized small goals. Little goals that you know you can hit but still stretch you are the best kind. :-) I’ve learned that the hard way myself. :-P

  12. You go for it girl!! We’ll be in the same boat. Both kids in full time school means this girl is gettin’ serious ’bout thangs. You have a great blogging support system, and we’ll be cheering you on all the way!

    1. That means so much coming from you! (BTW, the cheering; not the back-to-school part. But actually, it is good to know that my kid will eventually go to school and give me a breather. Does it make me a bad person for admitting that? Pfffft. This is turning into a really long parenthetical statement.) Yes! You are crazy awesome too; this year is going to be the Year of Kelly and Emily!

      1. That is a little scary if you really think about it…dun, dun, dun!

  13. Reblogged this on Dancing with Fireflies and commented:
    I have been laughing about this post and thinking.. hey, I should share it.. and well.. I DID! Here.. read this!

  14. YAY! I can’t wait to get to read along! :)

  15. For some reason, the hardest thing for me to do is admit to myself, “I am a writer. I am an artist.” And THEN, admit it to others. When someone says, “So, what do you do?” in the past I was too quick to say, “Oh, I’m a stay-at-home-mom.” It took a while, but now I say, “Well, I’m a writer, I’m an artist, and I’m a wife/mother.” Miraculously enough, no one jumped out from behind a corner and screamed, “NAH AH YOU AREN’T!!! YOU’VE ONLY SOLD A FEW PAINTINGS AND YOU’RE TOTALLY NOT PUBLISHED YET YOU’RE NOT A REAL WRITER OR ARTIST HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!” Turns out, those people really aren’t as common as you might think. And furthermore, those people who are like that, don’t know what the hell they’re talking about anyways. So, yeah. You’re a writer, Em. This is what you do. So go DO it, Emily. What are you waiting for??

    1. I was just commenting on a post on Tipsy Lit the other day that actually coming out and saying “YES, I am a writer” has been a lot more jarring than I thought it would be. I go to a women’s networking event in my town when I can, and at the beginning of each meeting, we all go around the table and introduce ourselves and say what we do. And each time I say, “Emily, Writer and Blogger” I feel just like that – that someone is going to pop out and say, “NO! NO you’re not!” But you are so right; if anything, people are more intrigued with the idea than anything else, probably because they know that you really have to believe in yourself and your ability to create things if you actually say it aloud.

  16. ksujulie · · Reply

    Love this. :)

    1. Thank you ;D I’m glad

  17. Awesome! You are the best, and reading this makes me so happy. I am right there with you too. I don’t know if you had the same experience in grad school as I did, but it made me so scared to ever show anything I’d written to anyone. I am still slowly getting over that and coming to believe that I have things to say that the world needs to hear. And so do you! Also, I love you:)

    1. Grrrrrl you know I did. Grad school was such a blow to my ego, especially since I was basically the queen of the school in college. Big fish in a small pond and all that. But I’m so grateful we’re going through all this together, this writing and making and learning. xoxox

  18. Twindaddy · · Reply

    Emily, I have told you many times how talented I think you are. I have no doubt that when you dedicate yourself to it that you can achieve success as a writer. You have just the right balance of sincerity and humor to ALWAYS keep me interested no matter what you’re talking about. I wish you the best. I know you can do it.

    1. Your words are always such a huge encouragement, TD. Thanks!

  19. I can be the worst for making up excuses. Personal and work life got very busy this summer and I went from about 1500 words a day on my WIP to none. Trying to push myself out of it but i’m glad to see I’m not the only one :)

    Go you!

    1. Go you right back! Getting back into the groove of things after life gets busy is always difficult, but the good thing about writing and me is that I feel really out-of-sorts when I don’t do it. I have to make time for it.

  20. I think your writing style and storytelling is fabulous!! I love reading your posts! Your blog is always one of the first I check during my lunch break! You may not have always felt that you knew what you were doing, but I look up to you in the blogging world, someday I hope to have the success you’ve had with your writing. And I’ve seen ways to improve my own technique, so thanks for being a blogging teacher! :)

    1. OMG Mariah, your comment completely made my day ;D Thank you so much for your kindness and support.

  21. Yay! You’re incredibly talented, and I’m looking forward to being able to say I knew you before you were world famous. :)

    1. Erm, I think I could probably say the same thing of you ;D

  22. I absolutely loved this!! Congrats on your decision. I made a similar one recently and while it was terrifying in the beginning I’ve never been happier.

    1. Thank you, Laekan! That first moment before you jump is definitely the scariest, right?

  23. Congratulations! This is awesome.
    I seriously think you are so talented, and I have no idea how you write as much as you do being a mom. In every single one of your posts, I have that moment of, “Why didn’t I come up with that?” or “Why did I forget about that word?” You have the goods. (I’m sorry that was so creepy.)

    1. Not creepy at all. That is high praise coming from you. I hate to get all when-I-was-your-age over here, but when I was your age, I was writing about industrial supplies, and not even doing that well. You are pretty freaking amazing yourself.

  24. I really loved reading this post. A photographer friend of mine recently told me that I should do the “blog/picture” a day challenge, to make a habit of writing more. Maybe I will. Also, I totally agree with your opening bit about there never being a good time to put off anything, so true and so guilty.
    Holly
    http://www.thechakraproject.wordpress.com

    1. My best friend has been doing a photo a day for years and absolutely loves the results of accessing that creativity everyday. You should do it!

  25. LOVE THIS! So inspirational for all of us wanna be writers. So what’s your first step??

    1. Thanks! Right now I’m writing a small column in a local publication, so hopefully I will be able to get into print more now that I have that *small* accomplishment under my belt. But I am really focusing more on the online side of things, simply because I have always been so comfortable blogging. I’m working on getting pieces picked up by some of the larger websites that have a readership outside of the blogging community.

      1. nice! I feel like you too. Like I just don’t have the energy to put into it because of the stage of life I’m in right now. But, really, it’s no excuse!!

  26. Totally get this, and totally behind you!! Frankly, I’ve made excuses for SO much longer than you, that I am just proud of you for doing it now! Tell us more: what’s your plan? What does this mean? Are you writing a book? Are you sending out proposals… ?? AS Fakingpictureperfect said: what your first step.

    For the record, I haven’t seen you making many excuses… what I have seen is a very consistent blogger, who puts out high quality, well written and meaningful work… on a very steady basis! I generally fall way short, when I compare myself to bloggers of your stature… but, I’m excited to see what that means in this new phase! Go Emily, Go!

    1. I have so many plans that I need to organize them! Generally, I am hoping to take my blog in a more mainstreamish direction without sacrificing the kind of writing that I’ve always done. Ashley and I both love Remember the Time, and we want to expand it and get more people to hop on board with it. (And I am not officially announcing anything, but the idea of a collaborative collection of pieces, ie book, has been tossed around, so I’m really really REALLY hoping that we’ll get it together soon.) I’m also working on pieces to pitch to some of the larger online media websites, and that entails tightening up my writing and going outside of my comfort zone.

      Thank you for your endlessly encouraging words, Dawn. Since I “met” you on WordPress, I have fallen in love with your writing. It is something I aspire to.

  27. I was actually going to do a blog post the other day and even send you a Facebook message telling to target you specifically. It’s not much money, but the Yahoo things I’ve been writing do pay and they are always looking for mommy related articles. There was something about cloth diapers recently too.

    1. Since I have made a grand total of $30 writing this blog, even a few bucks would be great. I will look into it. Thanks ;D

  28. YES YES YES!

    I’m 150 billion trillion times behind this. ALL the times behind this.

    I feel like you’ll take on the world and the world had better look out. Sincerely.

    (You’re going to go so, so far. I know you don’t need me to tell you this – there’s part of you that already knows this, or there should be – but it’s always nice to hear it again. So I’m saying it – this is what you were meant to do. And you’re going to ROCK it.)

  29. I second all that, chick. I used to think about writing a LOT, and if I’d never have started, I’d have never been able to claim all that I’ve written this past year. It’s fun. It’s a creative release. It’s gratifying. It’s rewarding beyond a “like”.

    You ARE a good writer. You go girl. \m/

  30. You go, girl! :) Big high-fives for leaping on out there. That’s the hardest part, right? (I’ve been told. The Fear is still winning in my world…making me admire your courage that much more!)

  31. Awesome luck to you!!!! and thanks for the reminder that you can’t wait for good timing, you just gotta doooo it.

  32. I love to write too. I actually want to get into science writing myself. Blogging is definitely a good way to practice writing. Get out there and WRITE!

    1. I am! Woot! ;D

      1. Go for your dreams! And if life gets in the way, go for them anyway.

  33. Well I know how you feel. A little over a year ago I was feeling what you are feeling now. You can do it!!! Hell you are all ready a writer, now you are going to get serious! I am having the time of my life wrting my blogs and my WIP, well several WIP’s. I feel more alive now that I am actually doing my dream than I have felt in many years. I know you will feel the same……so go do it all ready!! :-)

  34. Congratulations on this momentous decision!! I completely relate to that dual feeling, on one hand hate to ‘market’ myself, while on the other hand embrace the gifts and feel compelled to put them to good use. It feels so good to make a strong, self-affirming decision! When the doubt sneak in later, come back and read these comments. As for me, you have my share and like buttons! I’ll do all I can to help you be all you can be.

  35. Fabulous post. You’ll be Fitzgerald before you know it! xx

  36. Awesome – you go girl! Nothing wrong with saying the truth and maybe it will help others realize this too. Say and do what you’re good at – yes!

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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