I have been thinking a lot lately about how I want to post in here more regularly and how I can accomplish that. One of the things I have been considering is using this space occasionally as a free-writing space. If you’ve read other posts of mine, you may remember my post about things I’m still learning. I wrote: Sometimes I feel like I want to share what I write from a work in progress place. Raw and vulnerable and off the cuff. A work in progress, just like me in real life. Maybe I should start a series on that, open a little window for myself to start trying to be more comfortable this way with you. Today as I sit down at my computer, I think that I will do just that. I’d like to start a mini-series on writing.
Over the last couple of months, I have taken a variety of different online writing courses through the Exhale creativity community. It’s been quite interesting to get back to the roots of writing, To work on specific assignments and learn new styles of essay writing. Most recently I’ve taken a creative non-fiction course. One assignment of ours was to write about something hard to write about. I had no idea what my topic would be. Sifting through my collection of emotional baggage for potential, I felt particularly drawn to write about my experience with infertility.
This is something I’ve never written much about in the past. And it is not an easy topic for me to broach. In the spirit of being raw and vulnerable and off the cuff, I must admit something. I have a habit (born out of a need for self-preservation) of mentally blocking a lot of hard emotional stuff that I’ve dealt with in my life. This means it usually takes a lot of intentional “unpacking” of those things to work through them. Fortunately I spent a lot of my life being an avid journal-keeper. Processing the hard emotional stuff with a pen in my hand.
When I was younger, every time I found my way into some sort of existential crisis, new relationship, or major life challenge, I turned to my writing to help process the experience.
The problem is that somewhere around the end of college, I stopped writing. For a long time I thought it was because I had “lost my creative voice.” Years later, with the help of some serious self-reflection, I realized that I stopped prioritizing this form of self-care and essentially fell out of practice. This realization has come full circle for me now as I find myself motivated to start writing again as a way to redefine myself in this season of my life.
Once I decided to write about my experience with infertility, the first question I had was HOW to share the story. To be honest, I haven’t really figured that out yet. That is the beauty of allowing this space to be a work in progress. One thing I know is that it sure would have been helpful if I had kept a journal during that time! So much of the experience is tucked away deep inside me. I remember specific bits and pieces, but the details all feel fuzzy. The timeline of events is a hot mess in my mind. In the moments I sit down to try and write it out, I’m not even sure I can write about it.
But then I take a deep breath, focus, and begin. I know I can.
For now it looks like brainstorming. Free-writing. A bunch of confusing memories dumped out on the page. Slowly the first draft of an essay I’m totally re-learning to write comes into view. It’s only one small part of the story. But it’s a start. And I will keep writing it. Because this is all a process. As is healing. And growing… and real life.
So I’ll leave this here for now. The start of a series on story-sharing and connecting. A series on writing. I’ll be back as it continues to take shape. And I’ll tell you more about it. Thanks for being here with me.