Monday, March 7, 2011

One Who Writes

I've never imagined myself a writer. In school, I loathed any assignment that involved me putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I went so far as to fail - that's right FAIL - English classes because I refused to write papers.

My senior year of high school, I was booted out of the Gitfted/Talented program AND the Honors program down into a (gasp) Regular English class. I failed to excel there as well because they were using skills that it was assumed that I had already learned (like diagramming sentences).  These skills turned out to be things that I had managed to maneuver my way around without completing and/or learning. Sadly, if your teacher is in awe of the 'intelligence level' of the new class she's been given, you can substitute a poster, poem or dramatic presentation instead of a written project and be applauded for your intellectual brawn. While this is fantastic for your GPA, it is terrible for your body of practical knowledge.

In college, I dropped out of an English class when the first paper was due. I sat in front of my boyfriend's (um, that was DON!!!) computer for DAYS agonizing about it. I got myself so worked up that I couldn't even start it. So I gave up. Soon afterward, I changed my major from Biology (lots of writing) to Interpreting For the Deaf (very little writing).

While I've always been an avid reader, a rapt audience for a well told tale and a bit of a storyteller myself, it never occurred to me that I could write. People that are good at writing are the ones who were part of the Creative Writing Club or contributed to the poetry magazine or cared about the student newspaper or actually passed an English class... right? Oh, wait - it becomes glaringly obvious that I've never contemplated writing out of the context of high school or college... no wonder some writing makes me feel like I'm being tested.

Anywho - onward to my point... I started this blog as a way to help pull myself out of what I feared was a mild to moderate case of post partum depression. I also wanted to document this part of my life because I felt like it was happening at warp speed, and I was afraid that the depression would cause me to forget all of the good stuff. I wanted to be able to tell Lily Ruth what her babyhood was like. Over the last year and a half, it has morphed into more than that for me. It has become a way to express myself creatively and openly. At times it has even been my link to the witty, brainy girl I sometimes catch a glimpse of in the mirror. Of course, I have to 1) have time to stand in front of the mirror, and 2) remember to look for more than just uncovered zits and stray eyebrow hairs in order for that to occur. But I digress.

Putting myself online was a leap. I initially didn't want readers. Then I desperately wanted readers. Then I realized that it didn't matter if I had readers if I wasn't writing in a way that was true to me. So here I am. Me. Flagrant abuser of punctuation.Giving proper sentence structure the finger (since I never bothered to learn the rules - take THAT, public school system). Totally reliant on spell check. But I like it. I like this me. I like my blog.

I'm thankful that you're reading. I love it that you've stopped by. I'd like it if you could spare a little time to check out the blogs in my side bar. Some of my favorite friends, online acquaintances and a few quasi-celebrity crushes are also pouring their best into their little corners of the interwebs.

This week especially, you should check out my friend Emily's blog My Pajama Days. I have alluded to her before in the context of blogs that make me want to be a better writer. She's that good. She hosted an essay contest for the first anniversary of her blog. It ended up being less of a contest, and more of a 'if you enter, I'll post your essay', but whatever. I got just as sweaty, nauseated and nervous about sending in my entry as if it had been my college application essay... which, by the way, was about 'why I'm terrible at essays' - I'm amazed that they let me in... but I sucked it up and sent it off anyway. It'll be up tomorrow (Tues, 03/08/11). Stop by and read it. Stay and read some of Emily's stuff - she's a very powerful writer.

And now we come to another reason that I've never considered myself a real writer - I have NO idea how to end most of my posts. I've made my point. It's WAY past my bed time. I can't find my phone so you can't even have a new Lily Ruth picture to distract you. Oi. Oh wait, there it is! Here she is enjoying the Tex-Mex love known as The Taco Garage:

PLEASE don't tell the mom police that she's ingesting soda! It kept her happy and quiet long enough for my friend and I to finish our lunch AND our conversation. Of course, now that I've thrown that in, I have nothing left to say. So I'll just trail off in a (hopefully) inoffensive manner.................. (bye).............. love you!


  1. Rachel - one of the things that I love, Love, LOVE about your writing style is that it is conversational and unpretentious. Thank you for hanging in there for your daughter, your family, your friends, and yes - your readers. Motherhood is hard but together we make it look easier.



  2. Em, YOU make it look easier. I make it look like a terrible idea :-P

    Love, R