May 7, 2013

The Beginning

Hello again!  It's been 14 years since I started my first blog (called an online diary back then) and 6 years since I've written in it.  It's sadly growing cobwebs over in Diaryland land.

Why start another now?  Well, most importantly, I miss writing.  I miss the focus and insight it allowed... and I feel like I've lost a little piece of myself by giving it up.  Writing is one of my first loves.  I've been writing since my early elementary school years.  I remember my teachers asking for, say, 2 pages of creative writing; I'd turn in 8.  I loved making up stories and with as much detail as possible.

I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  For my 11th birthday, my aunt gave me a beautiful Brother electric typewriter (fairly new-fangled in 1981) with my full name etched in script on an attached silver nameplate to help achieve my goal.  I adored it.

As I got older and my interests grew, my writing ebbed.  I did keep a journal through high school and college, though.  I would write pages and pages in a single day!  I was an angst-y teenager and early 20-something and found that writing down my streaming thoughts was very cathartic.

In college I was naturally writing a lot of formal term papers but it wasn't very fulfilling.  (I didn't pursue an English or journalism degree, after all.)  However, after graduating from college and working in my profession, I took a night course about writing and publishing non-fiction articles.

I found I preferred non-fiction.  As it turns out I was much more creative as a child.  Isn't that always the case?!

Soon after I got married I wrote and published a couple short articles on a wedding planning website.  I was paid, even!  Shocking.

I started the Diaryland journal in 1999 and, again, found it very therapeutic.  The Diaryland community was strong and I read several diarists and had my own following, too.  I hate to say it but writing fell off my list of priorities after my first child was born.  I had three million other things to simultaneously think about, including keeping myself showered and my son alive.  My diary entries became fewer and farther between and then eventually stopped completely.

I look back on my days when I was writing frequently and am amazed by how much better my writing was.  For me, quantity = quality.  On top of journaling, I used to write crazy long emails to friends and family.  Oh, to have that kind of time again!  Now?  I'm lucky if I send my sister a one-sentence text every week or so.  It's so shameful it hurts.  See that?  Writing keeps relationships alive!  (Especially if you're not a big phone talker, like me.)

This shiny new blog will allow me to get back into one of my first hobbies, improve my writing skills, and put my somewhat obsessive thoughts somewhere other than my head.

This blog is going to be a little more structured than a diary.  There will be topics, albeit a bit random.  You will see a lot of posts about travel, at least at first.  My husband, Mars, and I are planning our first trip outside the country since our honeymoon in 2002. (!)  Yes, we're taking the kids. (!!)  We're planning 3-4 weeks in Europe (Germany, Switzerland, France, and England) starting in mid July.  That's all we know so far.  My obsessive-compulsive researching brain is going a little psycho over the details.

For example, I've already started obsessing about my "capsule wardrobe", luggage, and how I can pack solely in a carry-on.  Oh, how I love this!  But I'm barely sleeping because I'm spending all my free time on the internet reading travel articles, shopping for luggage and clothing, and then reading product reviews.

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