Why I Started This Blog

I've always loved writing, ever since I was a young girl and in second grade we got to write and illustrate our own picture books. I must have created a dozen different stories. I remember going on a family vacation to Florida and sitting in the back of our station wagon, penning my own version of Pippi Longstocking.

There was something about words that I loved even then and the creativity of it all. By high school, my thesaurus became a great friend, as I began discovering new words like "pastiche," "panache," "euphoric" and "harbinger." I even kept a little notebook of the singsong words I came across, eager to fill my writing with the flowery vocabulary. With the vantage point of time, it's embarrassingly obvious that it lacked all the poetic vigor I'd hoped for, instead coming off clunky and forced, like an actor awkwardly clamoring onto his scene with a loud clang. Yet, still, I was learning and loving.

It was that joy—especially encouraged by my teachers—that inspired me to take my love to the next level and pursue writing as a career. So I went to college and majored in magazine writing, working for our alumni magazine, interning for a few magazines throughout college and even creating a fake shelter magazine of my own. Upon graduation, I found a job working as an assistant editor at a design magazine that just-so-happened to be in my hometown. Providence? Yep.

One thing I quickly learned quickly upon entering the working world, though, was that I didn't really love writing that much after all. What I realized is that I love writing about what I want to write about. This came as quite a surprise to me; I didn't realize how much the words behind the words mattered to me and motivated me. Which was one of the reasons I decided to try my hand in the Christian publishing sector, because there I could write about what had, over the years, become my utmost passion: my faith. Even there, though, something seemed missing; I was being paid to write the words "God" and "Christianity," but it still wasn't the writing that made me excited and that poured from my fingertips.

In journalism school they tell you, "Write what you know." At the time I thought that meant you write your biography or some clip of a moment from your life. It's only now that I realize what that means and that it's through this burgeoning blog of mine that I've finally discovered that. That I've finally rested upon the sort of writing that got me started in the first place: The writing that is personal but also practical, where I can express my emotions but also seek to help others learn a lesson or two in the process.

It's been more than two years since I first started this blog, with little plan except I needed a hobby in a new city and there was a nagging feeling on my heart. Now, I can see how it's morphed and grown up ever so slowly. Like a symbiotic relationship, this is the kind of writing that fuels me and why I sit behind this blog and type and post and edit and brainstorm some more.

For the month of December, I’m taking a break from writing new posts to better enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Instead, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite posts from my first two years of blogging here. I hope you enjoy getting to do a little time-traveling with me, and I’ll be back to ring in the new year with all new posts! (Click here to see today’s original post.)

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  1. I love this post! Its though you pinned the words right out of my mind! It reminds me of the story of the Samaritan woman's encounter with Jesus in John 4. She shared with others only what she knew of Him and many came to believe. I think the passion in our words when sharing what we know (that is, our testimony of Christ) speaks most profoundly. Even more so than the grandest vocabulary and years of experience. I'm so glad I discovered your blog!

  2. I don't remember how I came across your blog, but we actually have a lot in common! Good read.

  3. Thanks, ladies. I am so glad you're enjoying reading along with me on this little blog. That is such an encouragement to hear to keep on writing here!

  4. Carmen, I love this blog and thank you for posting why you started it! I have a question though-- I know you are a freelance writer.. what exactly does that mean? What magazines (?) do you write for? Or is it this blog? heh, I don't really know what freelance writing implies, as you can see ;)

  5. Stephanie, being a freelance writer pretty much means that I am self-employed. Part of that does include this blog, but most of it comes from writing for publications. I do a lot of writing for HOW magazine and for some local Atlanta publications.

    (If you want to read more about making money off this blog, you can read my post about that here.)


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