I have written a lot of rough drafts that have never been published. Maybe they were good, maybe they weren’t. All I know is that I didn’t have the guts to find out. I started writing stories in the second grade and I always knew I liked writing. I don’t think I ever said I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, but only because I’m not sure I thought it was a real job.
Even now, when I think about what I want to be when I grow up, I’m too afraid to say writer. I’m going to be 30 next year and I’m not sure what I’m waiting for anymore. I’ve been a writer for over 20 years. I have degrees in English, Journalism, and Applied Writing – and yet – I’ve been standing at the water’s edge afraid to wade in.
Out of fear of doing something imperfectly, I don’t do it at all, even things I love. Especially things I love.
And so, here goes something. I can’t promise I will be a good writer, at least not every week, but I’m going to write and I’m going to share it with people who want to read it. These emails are going to be a special club, members only style. The things I write here aren’t going on the blog, they’re coming straight to your inboxes. I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure where this is going, but I’m going to do it anyway.
When I first started thinking about what this project might look like, I wrote this in a note on my phone:
I’m going to do it before I’m ready. And I’m going to make a mess of it. But I’m going to try. I’m not going to wait for it to be perfect. I’m not going to wait for permission.
If you know me, all of that ambiguity and uncertainty is incredibly difficult for me. But I’m going to do it. When you open my emails, I want you to grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or wine) and feel like you’re catching up with an old friend. I want us to share real stories, not 140-character, filtered, hashtagged, social media sound bytes.
Even if your response is just “me too” or … “girl…what on earth are you talking about?” – I want you to write back! We don’t have to be pen pals, but maybe something will strike a nerve and you’ll want to share your story too. If that last one sounds like you, I hope you’ll forward the email along to someone else who might need it too.
For now, it’s just me whispering into the chaos of the internet, but I have big, scary hopes and dreams for these notes. I think we can be a little brightness and honesty in a lonely world that desperately seeks beauty and connection. We’ll see. At the very least, we are all a bunch of rough drafts, Works in Progress.
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