The writing life is never static. Each day brings new stories, new words, and new connections forged through the sharing of those stories and words. Through writing, we communicate more intimately and authentically with our own hearts and minds, with others, and with the world. Exploring life through writing exposes us to new thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. And, if we give ourselves over to the journey, there is, as the saying goes, never a dull moment. We learn and grow and evolve.
But despite the naturally diverse and fluid character of the writing life, we do still – at times – have to shake things up. Well, I suppose we don’t have to, but our creative lives are enhanced when we step beyond our comfort zone into unfamiliar territory.
I am feeling just such an urge.
This isn’t an impulse brought on by the intoxicating influence of spring. (Though, who could fault me for swooning into a state of optimistic exhilaration, given the recent spate of gorgeous days we’ve had?) It’s a shift that’s been building for a good, long while through many seasons. I still can’t see the exact shape of what lies ahead, but I sense that it’s time for me to acknowledge that I’m approaching a fork in the road.
Earlier this year, I mused publicly about where my writing life is going, and I have been mulling the question over almost obsessively since then. Not to be morbid, but lately I have been somewhat inundated with reminders that we are not, in fact, immortal … that life is, as the cliché tells us, short … that there are only so many hours in a day … and that, to paraphrase Camus, your life is the sum of the choices you make about how you spend each minute.
As I came to my desk to write today’s Weekend Edition, my mind was whirling with internal questions about how I’m spending my minutes at the keyboard and whether the choices I’m making will take me where I ultimately want to go.
··• )o( •··
We published our first weekend edition here on Live to Write – Write to Live more than three years ago on March 2, 2013. Over the next four months, we published twenty-seven installments using a group format in which we each shared tidbits about what we w had read and written that week. In July of that year, I took the reins on our weekend missives and the format evolved to include a short essay, book reviews, a curated list of “shareworthy” blog posts from around the web, and an inspirational quote. This format persisted for 133 posts and carried through until the end of last year.
Over those 133 posts, the word counts of the essay portion of the “Saturday Edition” had climbed steadily. I didn’t do this intentionally; it just kind of happened on its own. 500 words grew to 1000 and eventually some pieces were running as long as 2500 words or more. At the beginning of this year, I broke the essays away from the “shareworthy” items and began publishing the two pieces separately – my random musings on Saturdays and the book reviews, curated resources, and other fun links on Sundays.
In all, there are nearly 200 posts in our Weekend Edition collection. That’s a lot of posts and a lot of words. Even counting only the posts published since I started writing short (and then long) essays, they probably represent somewhere between 180,000 and 250,000 words. It’s almost impossible to consider that kind of word count without asking yourself Pandora’s Box questions like, “What’s it all for?” and “Where is this going?”
··• )o( •··
Which, brings me to today’s post.
I tend to steer clear of the words “never” and “always,” but (if I were the betting type) I’d put good money down on the odds that I’ll be blogging until the end of my days. It’s been almost nine years since I published my first post back in 2007, and I’ve kept the practice faithfully (and joyfully) since then via multiple blogs and platforms. Like journaling, blogging has become a core element of my writer’s life. It’s not going anywhere any time soon.
But, as I mature both as a human being and a writer, I’m feeling a strong desire to step back and take stock of the journey so far. I am curious to retrace my steps, revisit the terrain I’ve crossed, and take a moment to appreciate how far I’ve come. I cannot help but think that such reflection will help me see the way ahead more clearly.
Perusing the weekend edition posts, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity I’ve had to put my naked (often only half-formed) thoughts out into the world and to have them embraced so graciously by you. Your kindness, generosity, encouragement, and thoughtfulness gives me more support than you’ll ever know and inspires me to explore topics more deeply and from different perspectives. In a way, this whole series feels like a first draft or a dress rehearsal for whatever comes next, and – truly – I could not have dreamed up a more wonderful audience.
I think, however, that it’s time for an intermission.
I’m not going to disappear completely. (My blogging habit is too deeply ingrained to be abandoned entirely, even for a short period of time.) I’m just going to give myself some breathing room and headspace. It’s time for me to follow some of my own advice, to “walk the walk,” as they say.
My current plan is to continue publishing “regular posts” every other week, and “shareworthy” posts – with their links to all kinds of reading and writing goodness around the web – on Sundays; but I’m going to take a break from Saturdays for a while. I want to explore what happens if I dedicate those hours each week to other writing projects, things I’ve been thinking about for such a long time and which deserve some time and space and the chance to unfurl.
Once I’ve discovered what’s next on the journey, I hope you’ll come along with me to share the adventure. Until then, I look forward to Sundays sharing insights and resources with you and to engaging in craft and business conversations in my other bi-weekly posts. Thanks being such an important and inspiring force in this part of my writing life. You’re the best.
Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.