I Need To Write

by | Jul 20, 2012 | Conferencing, Life | 18 comments

I started blogging in 2004.

Which I think in dog blogging years that makes me a grandma.

A Blogma?


Prior to starting Jenny On the Spot I had not been much of what one would call a “writer”.

However, I’ve loved the act and art of writing since I won my first writing contest sometime in my elementary career.

Nothing like winning $2 and second place from the Soroptimists to make a kid feel like she’s got talent… I would say as far as “lightbulb moments” go.. this was where I found the light bulb.

Later in life I had the most INCREDIBLE English teacher a kid could have in high school… not that I mastered English under his instruction, but the pivot for me and my relationship with writing came under his influence and confidence in my ability. It was at this point the light bulb turned on.

Then I took this really great creative writing class in college… and my little writing light bulb grew brighter. Eventhough I could never get better than a B-.


“You are too wordy, Jennifer.”

It’s true. And today… anytime I cut, cut, cut I always think of Helen Huntley and tell myself she would be giving me a better grade for each cut.

An aside (sorry, Mrs. Huntley)… I think my lightbulb is like one of those 3-ways, except more. Maybe I have TWO 3-way lightbulbs glowing at different intensities.


I digress.

After college I taught high school history for a year then moved, had babies, etc… and whathaveyou OH HEY! WHERE DID YOU COME FROM 2004!

I had never considered writing a book, but… but this “blogging“? *leans forward… listening ears on… chin on softly folded fist*

It took awhile to fall into the practice of writing.

Especially for a flighty girl like me.




But in 2008 I I joined my dear friend Jen and countless others in the popular Blog 365 phenomenon.

And I did it. I posted every-blasted-stinkin-day in 2008.

On December 31, 2007 I made a list of over 30 things to write about in hopes to at least write every day in January.

By December 31, 2008, after 365 days of posts, I still had over half of that list yet to complete.

And there were days I wanted to post two, even THREE times.


Enter 2012.

I don’t write everyday anymore.

But I do write MOST days.

And I find that if I go too long without writing I start feeling a little crazy.


A LOT crazy.

To be honest… when I am not able to write I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin.

{I am a little strange, and I am OK with that.}

It’s worse when I have writer’s block or have been feeding my negative self… because when I am blocked I STILL need to write, I just am blank.

And then the negative… as much as I do “keep it real”, I just don’t regularly bring the burden of bills and life to the table so much… especially when the effect of those things are beyond my own story.

And I don’t gossip. One can eliminate TONS of negativity when one eliminates gossip.


Other people’s stories can be veeeeery entertaining, no?

This is life. And life is hard. Every day. And it’s beautiful. Every day. My writing has been a blessing to me because I have used it as a way for me to look for the joy… where is the joy?

Of course there’s the to-do list that overshadows my need. Getting the kids to school and paying the bills and being a mom-in-general and laundry and dishes and … when do I write?

I have to write.


It’s my creative outlet.

I used to craft more.

And scrapbook.

But that is not my season of life right now.

I like writing because I don’t need a bunch of stuff… glue sticks and cute paper.

I don’t have shop for supplies or plan.

I can just sit and “go”.

Or sit and get up and sit and get up and sit and get up because it’s summer and the kids are home and I write in short paragraphs and choppy because that is how I live.

{I overuse elipsis… and I am OK with that…}

I went to the Evo Conference last week and went to a session on creating your life list lead by Karen Walrond (@chookoolooonks). She gave us a journal and had us write. A lot.


I made a Love List (things you love) and a Life List – which I will soon be sharing (wheee!)… But that journal. She shared that she free writes for 2 pages every morning and then makes her to-do list. And then she uses it for everything else – notes and phone numbers… receipts. She prints out Instagram pics and tapes them in.

My handwriting has become an embarrassement, but GOSH I love writing on paper with a good pen!

I looked at her journal from across the room and that lightbulb, again, got brighter.

I have been “free writing” for 3 mornings in a row now. FAR from a habit, but it’s the first thing my mind thinks of when I wake up. The act of emptying the puddle/waterfall in my brain when I first wake up has been, frankly wildly freeing.

The to-do list… we are going to need to work on our relationship and my expectation of what I am capable of doing in one day.

I am a realist, but painfully hopeful.

How about you? Do you need to write? If your passion isn’t writing… what is?

And/or do you overuse elipsis too?


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