a few announcements (and a confession)

Hello, my loves!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Over a month, in fact. I’ve read that in order to be a successful blogger, you should post on a regular basis.

Welp. I have broken that rule many times.  But the blogging gods are obligated to forgive my absence, because I have some pretty damn good excuses.

giphy

First, an important life update: Drew and I bought a house! We were hoping to buy a home sometime this year.We moved at the beginning of June, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect…it’s just that moving requires a lot of cleaning and packing and unpacking. It’s been an exciting–yet exhausting–few weeks; while we love our home, there are some maintenance issues that need to be fixed. Like, ASAP. And then I can finally put my design knowledge from all those episodes of Trading Spaces to good use.

Then–because when it rains, it pours–the real trouble began. About a week or two after moving, my car’s transmission died. After a few Google searches, we realized that a new transmission–and a few other related repairs–would cost more than my car was actually worth. (A 2006 Mazda 3 with a dead transmission? Not a hot spot for lots of cash money, folks.). I made plans to donate or sell it, and Drew and I came to terms with using one car between the two of us.

For a couple of weeks, carpooling worked extremely well. I pass Drew’s office on the way to work, so I’d drop Drew off in the morning and pick him up on my way home.

Then, one fateful day, when I was FIVE MINUTES AWAY FROM DREW’S OFFICE, I got into a car accident.

ugcfwbv

Fortunately, everyone involved was safe. It just meant that Drew was stranded at work for a couple of hours, and that we were officially without a car. Currently, we’re using a rental car (yay, insurance!), but the insurance claim has finally been settled and I successfully sold my car. Our house still needs some work, but we’re in a much better place–mentally and financially– to handle it.

We also visited my family in Missouri over the Fourth of July holiday! We celebrated our family’s July birthdays, too. I did start writing this entry over the weekend…but I didn’t get very far. Basically, I was partying too hard to blog.

In other news…

I’m excited to announce that I am now a prose reader for The Cerurove! It’s a lovely literary journal that you can read online; the editors were kind enough to publish my flash fiction piece for their second issue, and so this community has a special place in my heart. We’re currently accepting submissions–we’d love to read your work!

These days, much of my writing time is dedicated to poetry. One day I read the news and did what any sensitive artist type does: I wrote about it. The result? I’m working on my first chapbook manuscript. It’s a critique and love letter to America, and it is both very difficult and very easy to write. I have no idea if or when or how it will be published–but I promise that it’s actively in progress. At the very least, I will one day share my work here.

Needless to say, blogging hasn’t been on my list of priorities.

But I also find myself frustrated with the blogging world. Everything–from the writing to the photos to social media–has to be perfect. You need to know your audience. You need to build your brand and use it to your advantage.

The problem is, I don’t know what my brand is. Am I a book blogger? An author and poet? A wannabe travel writer? A social justice advocate? An occasional theologian? In my mind, these things are intertwined; reading and travel feed my empathy, which affects my politics, which affects my faith, and on and on it goes.

This line of thinking does not fare well in hashtags or algorithms.

I don’t have the time or energy to build a better website; nor do I want my content to be perfectly curated.

I want to write.

I want to be me.

When I first started this blog, I wrote about whatever I wanted. I liked knowing that people read my posts, but at the end of the day, it was all for me. It isn’t the way to build a successful blog, but I find myself longing for this carefree freedom. Perhaps this inherent brandlessness was my brand all along.

I do have another post planned for my Read and Resist series, and I’ll definitely write about our trip to Iceland. In the meantime, I just want to discover everyday, ordinary magic. ❤

Advertisements

Why I Write

Cup with hot tea near computer

At some point or another, all aspiring writers are told that it’s a less than glamorous life, and that we will face countless rejections over the course of their lifetime. We are told it is very difficult to make a living as a writer, and if we do manage to pull it off, there isn’t much money involved– because J.K Rowling is the exception, not the rule.

We create blogs and participate in National Novel Writing Month. We slave over drafts and try our best to silence our inner critic. We research self-publishing and agents and wonder how we will ever be heard when so many people are waiting for the same thing. We take our words and submit and submit and submit until we finally see our name in print.

We keep writing.

And we wait.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

-Ernest Hemingway

Knowing all this, it’s a wonder I still write at all. It would be much, much easier if I had chosen a different path.

But that’s just it, isn’t it?

In many ways, writing chose me.

I love words. I love how I write faster when I get excited about an idea, and how my handwriting becomes more and more unreadable. I love the click-clack of my keyboard and listening to my writing playlist. I love my Scrivener outlines. I love writing so late at night that I’m the only one awake. I love stories, because when you get to the heart of a fairy tale, it’s just another way to tell the truth.

I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else and still feeling so unbelievably happy.

I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else when my heart is hurting.

I write because I believe God hears prayers, but He also reads letters.

I write because I don’t want people like me to feel so alone.

I write because it’s fun.

I write because it’s therapeutic.

I write because sometimes it’s the only thing that feels effortless, and sometimes I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life.

I write because the world can never have enough books.

I write because I have something to say.

I write because it’s who I am.

I write.

I won’t ever stop.

On Blogging

I have a confession to make: I am not good at finishing things.

As a writer, this is kind of a problem. I have countless drafts that have gone unedited and uncompleted, and ideas that have been in my head for years but never put on paper.

Blogging is no exception. When I was in high school, there were several blogs I would check on a daily basis, and I toyed with the idea of starting my own. I made accounts on WordPress and Blogspot that have since been forgotten. After college, I decided to try again: I kept a blog while I was in Spain, and attempted another while I was searching for publishing jobs. I abandoned the first because I told myself it was ‘just for the trip’; the second was forgotten because depression has a tendency to leave you incredibly unmotivated.

Quills and Crystals is the fist blog I have stuck with throughout those years, and while this is a project I absolutely adore, there are times when I ask myself if I should be doing something different. I don’t have a particular goal in mind, or even a theme; I just write whatever strikes my fancy at the time. And yes, there are several ideas in my ‘drafts’ folder that I have not yet written.

Looking back, I think the main reason I abandoned blogs was because I was so paralyzed by the thought of having the perfect blog right away. I read my favorite blogs and forgot that they, too, probably started blogging on a whim and had to figure out what type of writer they wanted to be.

That’s where I am now: this beautiful beginning of simply writing from my heart and sharing it on this vast space we call the Internet.

It’s not always easy. I’m a relatively private person, and so I often wonder if I’ll regret writing about deeply personal experiences. But art exists for the soul, and writing–blogging or otherwise–is my way of making sense of the world. Art also exists so that we know we are loved and understood; if I can write anything that makes you feel less alone, I am happy to share it here.

Aside from the challenges of personal posts, blogging can be difficult because there is so much I want to say. I could talk for hours about tattoos, or the awesomeness of Genesis, or Disney princesses. I could also talk for hours about feminism or politics. While Facebook is a battleground for opinions, this blog is a place where I can coherently write and process information.

Blogging can open so many doors for writers, and I’d be lying if I said my career wasn’t part of my motivation. But this is also my heartspace; when I don’t journal, I come here. For once, I am not trying to find a box to fit into. I’m just trying to be me, and that comes with a great deal of introspection as well as whimsy.

So, if you are along for the ride, thank you for reading. Thank you for your kind words and letting me connect with you in a way only the Internet can provide. I think I’ve finally started a blog that’s here for good. ❤