Writing in the margins: happy blogiversary!

Happy anniversary to this blog! I started creating this website and blog just over a year and a day ago, and it’s been quite a ride. Between a concussion, starting in my fantastic alternative academic position, coming back to the French horn, injuring my horn-playing lip, and trying to find time to write in the margins, it’s been a busy year.

When I started this website/blog a year ago, I tentatively named it after a phrase that kept rattling around in my mind at the time: “tell your stories of this joy.” But life, as this year has reminded me on too many occasions, is not always joyful, and having that word – joy! – emphasized so prominently rankled on my conscience. I left the title up in one form or another, until it finally dawned on me: right now, I’m writing in the margins. That’s the perfect name for this blog! 

I’ve used this phrase on Twitter and in a recent blog post about writing. I’ve always been a writer, and right now, this phrase describes well the ways I fit writing in around everything else. The act of writing in the margins (of a book, or a life) implies thinking about the bigger picture, posing questions, figuring out what’s important, all of  which is a central part of the process of being a thoughtful person.

When I  wrote the post on “writing in the margins” a month or so ago, I explained that I was seeking three things:

  1. a regular writing practice
  2. better organization for my writing endeavors
  3. community

I’m happy to report that I’ve made good progress on #3, have at least started to get ahold of #2, and well, #1 remains elusive.

#3: Community. Over the past month I started a writing group for alums of the great writing classes offered at The Thinking Writer. We decided to use the new-ish writing group platform Inked Voices. This site organizes online writing groups of varying sizes and for varying topics; including the option of a closed group for alums of the site. Unlike using Facebook, a WordPress site, or Google Docs, Inked Voices facilitates in-line commenting as well as overview commenting on drafts, as well as general forum discussions for its groups. It seems like it can work very well for online, asynchronous, distance-based writing groups.  I’m excited to be reaching out and finding others with whom to discuss writing!

#2: Organization. I’ve looked through my (electronic) files, and have a better sense of what’s in there, but am still at a loss as to how to organize the little snippets that have yet to develop into something worth pursuing, vs. the longer drafts /brain dumps that seem to have more shape and substance.

#1. Practice. So much of it has to do with inertia. When I don’t write, I don’t write. When I do write, the words tumble out much more easily. Writing this post, as well as some other writing I have been doing, has finally gotten me out of the “object at rest stays at rest” phase. I know, of course, that a moving object will eventually experience friction: I’ll slow down, there will be another pause, but for now, at least, the words are moving.

Please join me in wishing Writing in the Margins a happy one-year blogiversary!

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