What I should be doing

What I should be doing

I should be doing something else right now. Maybe it’s cleaning the kitchen, maybe it’s client work. Or maybe it’s as simple as getting dressed and brushing my teeth for the day.

There’s stuff to do. Things to read. Even more to write.

Why then do I sit staring at this blank canvas these days before moving on to things that pay or things that need cleaning or things that have seven more seasons of 40-minute-long episodes?

Do I take on more client work because it’s what I want to do? Or what I need to do? Do I prefer writing for them because there’s structure provided or an audience guaranteed?

I love writing, but lately, I don’t know what to say. By the time I get around to thinking of what it is I might most want to relay, the sound of distant cries increases in intensity. Suddenly, nowhere in our house is quite so distant.

So I wait. I wait for something big enough, important enough to write about. I wait for a moment when the work is done and the baby’s asleep and the house is clean. I wait for a reason to dust off the digital cobwebs on my blog.

And when the stars align and all of that is finally in place — I freeze. I look at my work and say, this isn’t good enough. It’s not strong enough to be the piece that sits at the top of the page for however long until I next get my moment.

I shouldn’t be writing about my inability to write freely these days. I should be writing about the injustice of racism and how videos from last weekend’s events left me in tears and outrage. I should be writing about taking a stand…but also, not having to do so on Facebook for it to officially count, lest we be caught up in a modern-day “If you love God…” forward email chain.

But if I’m not going to speak on all that, I should be professional and show my range of skills. I should show off some recent client work or write in a way that could attract the work I like to do. Write just like all the other articles I read and think, “I should try to do that too!”

If not professional, at least make it witty and fun. Share a little piece of our life or cute photo or something, right? What the heck is a blog for if it’s not to share some personal life with the world wide web in hopes of gaining a few new followers?

Is this blog still a thing? Should I give in and let go of the domain as the bill threatens will happen if I do not pay in 60 days? Take it off my portfolio website and just say, “trust me, I write”?

No, that isn’t the answer. I’ve got to keep going. Keep tapping the keys with my unusual yet somehow surprisingly effective self-taught typing ways. There’s more to work than getting paid. There’s more to the internet than showing off, seeking approval, or spreading hate.

There’s no one moment to act, do, write, or say. It’s over and over–again and again. Continuing to live and plod on, letting the tasks become habits. Those habits move toward discipline and eventually, a way of life.

So continue I’ll do.

Proof of Creativity

Proof of Creativity

There’s something about creativity that begs to be seen. Show me your big idea, let me read your work, play me a song, hang up your art, watch that video project.

And then the masses, they can say, “how nice, how artistic, how talented” you are at that thing. Or, of course, there’s also the risk of a negative response, or even worse, no response or acknowledgement whatsoever, leaving that creativity vulnerable and alone in the world.

But one is never enough. You need a body and collection of work. It can never be stagnant or stale. You think you’re a writer? You call yourself a musician? You want to be a videographer? You consider yourself an actress? You say you’re an artist, a dancer, a dreamer, a poet? Prove it. 

Instead of the love and the passion and the drive that once compelled such creativity, you find hustle and exhaustion and burnout. A world that says, if you don’t keep churning out more you’ll be lost and left behind by all the ones ready to chew you up and take your spot.

It places all of your worth into what you produce or your results. You’re only as good as your latest project, and it better be something recent, otherwise, what have you been doing all this time?

And not only that, but where’s the self-promotion, the curated pieces, the shows and the gigs and the countless fans along the way?

For the average creative, or maybe just for me, it’s too much. The hustle and chase and sacrifice is too great. Maybe that means I’ll never make it or never have my name in lights. I’d like to hope instead that it means that my creativity and my sense of self will still stay intact.

May the thoughts and dreams that excite me stay possibilities and perhaps even one day realities, instead of drowned out by the noise and expectations to keep the same rapid pace of someone else. May my success be simply gratitude for the ability to create and connect with others, instead of an addiction to constant adoration and attention that can never quite be fulfilled. May I find moments for creativity and inspiration but not feel it is my only or greatest legacy.

That’s not to say that hard work, dedication, and motivation have no place here. All of these make their home here, just as I welcome space, grace, rest, and relationships. It’s about finding a balance and enjoyment instead of making chores out of the things I love.

So, for the last few months the blog has been quiet. This time I don’t think I’ll try to promise a revitalization coming soon but just let it happen as it happens. As for creative side projects, our music has been getting more of my energy and effort for the time being. At work, my writing and editing has continued. At home, we’ve chosen to listen to the need for rest when it comes, to celebrate weekend afternoons relaxing on the porch or rolling on the floor with our little one.

Does my work say something? Sure, sometimes. But more importantly, I’d like my life to speak louder. Not through fame or failures, but through my faith, family, and friendships.

 

In This Season

In This Season

The past several weeks and months have been just a bit too much. Too much good, too much bad, too much work, and too much to think about all at once. In all of that I’ve tried to be present where I am, doing what most seems to need my time and attention.

I’ve read books and listened to podcasts about how to balance “doing it all” and at the end of the day, I think these people want to tell you the answers, but don’t actually have it figured out. As soon as you seem to strike a balance, something in life changes so your schedule and coping mechanisms all need to readjust to fit everything in once more.

I subscribe more to the notion of seasons. There’s a season for hustle and a season for rest. A season for uncertainty and a season for stability. A season for laughter and a season for tears. The length and order of these seasons may change or go against your plans, but I just don’t believe you can do it all all the time. Unfortunately, in this past season or two, blogging just didn’t take priority. While I’ve missed writing here, I don’t regret that decision.

My writing has taken on other forms lately. My days are actually filled with it, be it at the North State Journal where I work as a writer and copy editor or with my various freelance clients who I continue to work with each week. My life has certainly not been void of writing in my absence from this blog.

I have continued to wrestle with what this blog should say and how to say it. There has been a significant amount of transition and change in our lives in the past year and as a result, I’ve wanted to keep most of these thoughts and feelings private from the likes of social media and an unknown audience. Yet, I want to continue to be here, to write in a way that inspires or relates.

So here’s my wave hello saying that I’m still here and will continue to come back. I’ll bring more of an update in time and continue to write so I can share it with you.

 

My Love for Writing

Typewriter - photo by Dustin Lee

It’s Valentine’s Day, so let’s keep with the love theme. I really love writing. 

As a writer, you’re supposed to “show, don’t tell” and even though I just told you about my love for writing, hopefully you’ve seen it, too. For starters, this blog has been around for well over three years now, and it is far from my first blog. I have worked in all sorts of jobs and writing has been a part of many of those positions (including now). On top of that, I write in other places as well, be it with online publications or by writing lyrics with my talented musician of a husband. I’d like to think all of that adds up to “show” my love of writing.

So where is this going? I’m not really sure. I toy with the idea of writing even more. There are days and weeks that I write practically nonstop, be it for a book that may never see the light of day or submitting articles that are hopelessly rejected. I get caught in this cycle of making small progress with pieces of work showing up here and there while exhausting myself writing a mountain of content that most will never know or see. In that battle to write and create, I lose momentum. One lost blog post becomes a week and before you know it, it’s been over two weeks. All the “pro” bloggers wouldn’t dare go more than a day or two between posts, but perhaps that’s why I’ll never go pro.

For me, writing is so much more than having this blog. It’s a creative outlet, it’s a way to process thoughts, it’s an opportunity to connect with people, and it’s sometimes what pays the bills. But each of those categories take on different forms and live in different spaces. Processing thoughts and connecting with people both hold a place on this blog, but my professional pieces never show up here. Sometimes connecting with people looks more like a lengthy personal email or doesn’t include writing at all. As an ambivert, sure, some of my thoughts can be found here on my blog, while so many other thoughts are processed quietly and without any audience. Creative short stories or even waves of ridiculous tweets seldom shine in this particular space. Yet each of these different avenues and styles of writing ignite and inspire me, so I’m not willing to give one up to solely pursue another.

The last few weeks I’ve struggled with feeling more boxed in and constrained by what to write here. My writing has not stopped, it has just been elsewhere. Have no fear, I do not plan to quit altogether or start an entirely new blog my any means. I just want to allow myself the space and opportunity to continue to write in ways that appeal most to me. To be less of a blogger and more of a writer. To let go of self-placed pressures and weekly Thursday Three “deadlines” and hold on to what I love most about writing.

I love the blank space and the thoughts I did not even realize I had that tumble out. I love the clever hooks and the creative words that liven up a sentence. I love the challenge of relaying a message in just a way that captures someone’s attention and allows them to so clearly relate without ever having to directly experience something themselves. I love hearing life stories and figuring out the right way to tell them. I love summing up an idea or a thought so well that it perfectly describes what someone else is feeling or thinking, without ever having met them. I love the opportunity and the unknown with writing, even though it completely terrifies me. I love that writing has always been a part of me and likely always will be.

 

Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month | Moving Peaces

I’ve got an announcement: I’m officially the Employee of the Month. Yes, thank you for your applause, kind words, and flowers. This is just such an amazing moment for me. 

Where at, you ask? Oh, uh…my little yellow house. So I guess you could say there wasn’t much competition, BUT the hard work and effort was all there. And no, my husband did not bestow upon me such prestige and glory, it was self-awarded.

Alright, jokes and sarcasm aside, I thought I’d give you a little update on what I do during the day. Frankly, it changes all the time and has been an interesting journey, but I’m really grateful for it.

Some of you know, I have worked in communications and project management for years. That work has allowed me to think creatively, plan strategically, and work with all sorts of awesome clients and businesses. It seemed the most logical step was to do just that and set my schedule and workload around what worked best for me.

So, I’ve been adding new clients who need me to write their blog posts or send their newsletters or help them create a timeline or a process. I have my own LLC and created a simple website to sum it up. I get to decide the clients I take on and have to keep myself accountable for the work. I have continued to have clients coming in and have learned so much in the process. I feel this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now.  

I won’t deny that it has been hard to know where to start or what to do at times. I took on a part-time job for quite awhile to make sure there were consistent paychecks coming in, and I have had to really consider what type of work I want to do. It has been a continual work in progress as I work through different projects and look forward to upcoming clients and assignments.

That is the long and short of it.

If you find yourself saying, “I love her writing, I should hire her!” then please go right ahead. We can talk more about specifics and see if it’s a fit. If you are worried that from now on I will be self-promoting my work in every post here from this point forward, then you are sorely mistaken. I think work and what we do each day is important, but I also think it’s a mere piece of who we are and what life is. I most certainly enjoy my work, but it isn’t all that I am…and I plan to keep it that way.

 

Thursday Three

It’s been an entire week. I like writing a few things and posting them here throughout the week to shake it up, but this was just the week with which I never seemed to catch up. A mix of work, events, and friends took over instead. So to keep it interesting, let’s make this the Thursday Three of three word phrases.

1. We did it. Of the several things I’ve been working on lately, one of them just came to a close this past weekend. I got the honor and privilege to help coordinate and emcee the annual women’s event at our church. It’s been a crazy season, and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to do a good job or pull it together. But thankfully, I had tons of support and a lot of grace. With two days, 130-ish women, and a great team of people, it was a wonderful weekend, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.

Women's Event | Moving Peaces

 

2.  Write it out. I write all the time. Sometimes I wish this blog was a better reflection of all of my writing, but the truth is, I have several projects that are in process still or submitted to some random publication. Believe it or not, the Thursday Three isn’t my favorite of all of these pieces…it’s just the one that haunts me until I scramble to get it done every week. That said, I am so grateful for opportunities and prompts to write. It’s such a wonderful way to share life with people, and it’s something that makes me feel alive. Even though it takes dedication and effort, it’s worth it in order to have a creative outlet that I can share with others.

3. Wait and see. Do you ever feel like there’s a phrase or word that has been put into your heart? Right now, my phrase is simply wait and see. I don’t know what’s around the bend for me or for us, but I’m hopeful. Wait and see doesn’t mean rushed or anxious. I don’t have the answers or the plans or even much control. So all I can do now, in the best possible way and with sparkles in my eyes, is wait and see.

Thursday Three

Thursday Three

What a long and interesting week it has been. Hard to sum up, but I’d hate to leave you hanging, so let’s talk about this week’s three.

1. Sometimes you have to say yes and sometimes you have to say no. The more I need to say no, the more I realize I care too much about what people think. Saying yes often looks more adventurous, but saying no (when necessary) looks boring or lame.

2. Writing takes time. Lately, I’ve been really trying to branch out with my writing and have sent off pieces to a few new places. This week a slightly re-worked blog post on Freelancers Union and a guest post about Argentina showed up, while a few other pieces were submitted. I’ve loved the challenge and welcome the opportunity, but have noticed a decline in posts on my own blog. So bear with me as I continue to find the right balance.

Writing | Moving Peaces

3. Change is hard. Some people love change while others say they hate it. In reality, it’s all about context, but regardless of good or bad, change is hard. Transitioning from one thing to another is difficult. You say goodbye to the old and welcome something new. A new job, a new friend, a new routine, a new role, a new home, a new challenge–the new can be exciting and/or terrifying, but it takes a lot of getting used to. Sometimes during that process we either cling too tightly to the old or are too quick to dismiss all that was good about the old in hopes of better embracing the new. Lately, there’s been a lot of change…slow and subtle change, yet simultaneously way too fast and all at once. I’ve felt some resistance, some excitement, and a bit overwhelmed in it all. The best I can do is appreciate the life I’ve had and look forward to what is to come.