about writing

“Do what you know” they say. Do what you like, what draws you. Write from experience. Don’t make things up, even if you write fiction. Your fictional characters can become real if you write in them stuff you actually have experience with.

I worry to not be snobby in my world view. So I lean into vulnerability. I find it comfortably there. Inevitably the light I shine over my experiences spill onto those around me, my family. I am still learning to be respectful of their story while letting corners show onto my own life page.

I blog. When I get into a writing frenzy, I pull the breaks intentionally and shut up. I worry I hav no filter. Other times, life is so good and so full that I have nothing to write about. I don’t bother to introspect. It doesn’t come natural to meditate on life and its lesson when we are cruising smoothly.

It is such a season now. Smooth. The only issue is that Ivy is still learning the ropes of schooling and it’s a painful process. We let her figure out her rhythm and she falls behind. She is such a teacher’s pet that I worry for her sometimes. But navigating the learning business is nonetheless hard. She didn’t go pre-taught how to read. Some kids did learn in advance. But what she is advanced in, like English, is not necessarily motivating or a gift. She gets bored. So that is why we didn’t push for her to know everything beforehand. Thus she got familiarized with the wrath of teacher mom. All week she said she doesn’t have homework but her reading material was spread over the course of the week. I’m not sure how this schooling is supposed to go but it doesn’t seem right. It feels like parents are abruptly pulled into holding their kids’ hands to practice overtime things that could be learned in a fun memorable way at school. I’m not a good homeschooling teacher because I’m too asertive, too strict for comfort.

Otherwise, there is peace. Inside my heart. In my head. I feel present because I slowly came to this state. I acknowledge it and I am grateful for it because it isn’t a given and I don’t take it for granted.

I started to control the train of my thoughts and not entertain negative feelings. The journey was arduous and I didn’t know if or how I would make it. But her I am today. Not where I started but ahead, on the other side of the mountain, like a trail hike where you can only go forward because that’s where your room an board is paid for. Going backward is just as hard and there is nothing waiting for you there. Much like our alpine hike in Austria.

So I want to write but I need a structure to fill in the blanks. I have been thinking about an adoption journal, because there are so many experiences that I now realize are not unique but they may feel outlandish in the moment. For that kind of compilation I have written much on this blog. Reading through it all and choosing feels a bit daunting. But the thought of writing something from scratch is also exciting. Only the time to write in scarce. I am constantly interrupted and I can only write a few cohesive paragraph late at night or in the car waiting for one kid or another. That is difficult to control or plan for, much like the inspiration. So here I am, dreaming I will have a sharp enough memory or things relevant to write, when I actually have time. Meanwhile, I hone my skills. I am preparing two presentations and a video recording for a project. I wonder if I have grown at all, practicing, reading, planning. Maxwell says in his leadership book we can most definitely rely on talent and wing it, but that will not help us grow. Preparing and planning and practicing with intention… that is what actually makes a difference.

Either way, whatever I do, whatever I write about, it must have a purpose, to help someone do better, be better. It can’t be a waste of time.