a kind of reintroduction.
in which i finally make a decision about writing.
How do you start something new? Or rather, in my case, restart something so long neglected it feels like starting something new?
A couple of people in my life — namely my incredibly patient husband and my incredibly patient friend Emily — are all too aware of the existential crisis-level feelings I’ve been processing over the last several months related to writing, creativity, social media, the internet, etc.
I recently came to the long-debated decision to officially abandon social media (more on that at a future date), which felt like an incredible burden lifted off my shoulders, but also begged the question… but what about your writing?
I first began writing on the internet in 2008, even earlier if we count the days of Xanga. (My darling husband had no idea what Xanga was, bless him.)
That’s 14+ years that I’ve been putting words out into the world in a public fashion. I’d like to say it’s been fourteen consistent years, but as the last three or so years are evidence, it’s been 14 years of fits and starts. And this most recent interruption is one that has often seemed insurmountable.
In an ideal world, I could pinpoint one specific thing that would explain why I’ve written a grand total of five posts on my blog since 2019, why I’ve spent more and more time away from social media, why I’ve felt so out of step and out of rhythm with my own creativity. But that would be impossible, because the truth is, a lot has happened in the last few years, and I could sooner grow 6 inches by sheer force of will than identify the root cause of my lack of writing in recent years.
Since April 2019, I went from single to engaged in less than three months, got married three weeks before the world shut down, started a new job, closed a business (so I would have more time to write… oh, the irony), bought a condo, renovated a condo, got pregnant, broke my foot, totaled a car, had a baby, went back to work, and left full-time work. Plus, you know, the majority of that happened in the midst of a global pandemic.
Even if you didn’t have the same ridiculous number of major life transitions I did, we’ve all been through a lot the last few years. And I don’t know about you, but it’s only been in recent months that I’ve allowed myself to acknowledge that, maybe, just maybe, all the turmoil of the last few years had a bigger impact on me than I wanted to think it did.
So back to writing…
There have been a lot of days where I’ve felt like it would be so much easier to start from scratch, to figuratively burn it all down and begin anew.
I’ve felt this burning desire for two primary reasons.
First, I’m sure largely due to the aforementioned fits and starts, I feel like I should have way more to show for 14+ years of writing than I do. So starting fresh seems like a better option, because no one can judge me for my small readership if I haven’t been doing this for very long. (Which then begs the question… why do I write to begin with? Is it for the accolades and the followers? Or is it for something else?)
Second, I find myself wondering… what does it even look like to be a writer in 2022? Especially a writer without social media? Do people even read blogs anymore? What does it look like to truly connect with people who read my words through something other than one of the big social media platforms?
If you’re reading this right now, it’s likely because you found my writing at some point during those 14+ years.
It may have been all the way back in 2008, or possibly during the days of 20-Something Bloggers, or maybe when I began writing about simple living, or when I was rambling about books on YouTube, or through the work I did in the online business space, or perhaps just a random internet search. I don’t know what exactly brought you here. I don’t know what has kept you reading, despite the sometimes deafening silence I’ve given recently.
I don’t have all the answers about what it looks like to be a writer in 2022, but I do know this: I love sharing my words with you, and I’ve missed it.
Part of what has kept me from writing in recent months is this feeling that I have to get it right. That whatever decision I make about my writing now has to have considered all the possible options and ramifications, and it must be right.
Do I have a blog? Do I write a newsletter? Do I use both? What platform do I choose? How does social media play into it, if at all? Do I write some things on a blog and other things in a newsletter, or others still on Substack? If so, how do I decide what goes where? Do I take advantage of the paid feature? Is there a single person out there who would subscribe if I did?
Overthinker, party of one. 🙋🏼♀️
Emily P. Freeman, author of The Next Right Thing book and host of The Next Right Thing podcast, shared recently that perhaps the word “right” isn’t always helpful, because we can become so paralyzed by wanting to do what’s right that it prevents us from making a decision at all. That’s where I’ve been since sometime in the spring.
Instead, she suggests, that we just need to take the next simple step, do the next one thing, and see where it leads.
My next thing, perfectly right or not, is coming back to writing, and doing so in this space.
Because I want to write about the things I care about, the things I’m learning, the things that make me happy, and the things that are challenging me. I want to share those things with the people who care enough about my work to consume it intentionally, not passively. I want a way to connect with those people without dealing with algorithms or the negative impact of the attention economy. And this seems like a pretty great place to do all of those things.
So with that extremely long explanation… it’s time for a bit of a reintroduction.
My name is Sarah (not Sarah Anne). I’ve been married to my incredible husband for two and a half years, and in January of this year (on my birthday, no less), I gave birth to our son.
I‘m a follower of Christ, first a foremost. I’m also an EXFJ, a Type 2w1+3, an Otter/Golden Retriever, and a Ravenpuff… if you’re into that kind of thing.
I love books, music, and theatre. I have a slight obsession with spreadsheets, systems, and organization. I love to travel and explore new places. I adore decorating and wearing neutrals with pops of jewel tones. I’m on a perpetual journey to simplify my life in whatever ways possible. I love people and learning the big and small things about them.
Those are a few things about me. Now it’s your turn.
I mean it when I said I want to connect with you. It’s my hope that you will not just read the words I write and walk away, but that you will engage by commenting and sharing your thoughts as well.
So, please, friend… would you introduce yourself? For the first time or again? Let me know a little about who you are, where you’re from, and anything else you want to share. I can’t wait to meet you. 💕
Thanks for reading, friend. Subscribe to get the latest posts sent straight to your inbox.
P.S. If you’re here for the bookish things… something will be coming for you in 2023. :)
Hi! I’m Taylor and I found you via Goodreads, I think, but I have no idea how or when I found your Goodreads profile haha. This year I also had my first child, a boy born in January 3 days before my birthday :) My husband and I also moved from the Nashville area to a tiny tiny town 2 hours south. A lot of change and adjustment this year! I love reading, music, and horses. I’m excited to continue to read your work!
Hello. I’ve been ‘following’ you since Love & Spreadsheets’ days. Great read above! So glad you’re making space and time to find yourself within your skills and loves.
I had sent you an IG request about something, yet don’t know how to connect now. I’m not familiar with Substack. 🤷♀️
Hope all is well with you and your family! Blessings.