Writing & Righting : Live a Good Story

Hello, dear readers! Let’s take a moment to address two exciting things that are probably rather obvious to you :

1. There is a .com after my name. What that WHAT?! Yeah folks, I’m like all legit now. A big ginormous THANK YOU to Darrell Vesterfelt for hooking me up with my new space!

2. Just in time for my new site, I’m joining more than a dozen other talented writers in a one day blog series for Prodigal Magazine that asks :

What does it mean to live a good story?

I hadn’t intended for these two things to coincide, but I think it makes sense today to address this idea of living a good story, and what is has meant for me since I started this blog in May 2009.

Someone asked me a while ago about the name I chose for my blog.

Why “She Writes and Rights”?

Most people can make a good guess about the idea of editing, of learning to be a better writer, but I have never really told that story. There was really no catalyst or epiphany that led me to it, and I don’t remember other monikers I contemplated or what sparked this particular idea.

What I do remember about that time is me, laying on a borrowed twin-sized bed surrounded by unpacked boxes in my friend’s apartment, and I was completely restless with my life, restless with the blank space on my resume where my future was waiting. I had just graduated from college a few days before and I was getting married in three months and I smelled like bacon grease because I had just come home from my waitressing job at a hoity-toity breakfast restaurant that I had grown to hate.

And I felt hopeless and daydreamy in that stupid, self-pitying, nothing I want will ever happen for mekind of mood. I wanted an undefined more that I knew, vaguely, involved writing rather than waitressing, along with financial stability, career credibility.

I wanted to be a writer, but I felt totally inept. I didn’t know any writers. I didn’t know how to get published. I didn’t know where my career was going. I worried that if I was indeed a writer, then I was surely destined to be one of the crazy ones, the kind that writes one good book and then freaks out and puts her head in the oven while her kids play in the living room. (I was deep in the melodrama that day.)

And I just wanted to do something that mattered.

I didn’t know if blogging was it, but I wanted to try it. It sounded better than staying in that awkward horizontal position, head propped up by pillows, chin to chest, staring at my computer screen as it balanced on my stomach, while I clicked mindlessly through Facebook and debated my sanity.

And so I just did it. I started a blog.

And I hoped that the “writes and rights” part would leave room for me to stop and start and try, try again until the act of writing and sharing it with others regularly became habit, every post a small step in the right direction… Bird by literary bird.

Slowly, the lone little island of my blog became a community I could connect with about my creative life. Slowly, my words and thoughts have moved from writing about writing to actual writing, real reflections on the world around me and the chapter I’m living in the bigger Story of who we are and why we’re here.

This is the truth at the heart of “She Writes and Rights,” and it’s as much about the way we live our lives as it is about the way that we learn to write :

We are not finished. We are works in progress.

We love it when a character is moved to action and change, adventure! We love it when something effects them deeply, and they are forced to move from sitting inert on a twin bed in the post-college,woe-is-me melodrama, to living, to being who they are called to be. We love them even when they get it wrong all wrong and throw their hands up and say who the hell knows what all this means, and when they try, try again to find the truth.

Because we’re all writing and righting as we go.

We’re living in the creative tension of choosing to serve some greater purpose, some Story jam-packed with action, adventure, change, risk, radical Love.

What does it mean for you to live a better story?