In July 2005, my family lost my beloved father in death. Naturally, all things suffered because of this loss, which meant my overall desire to do anything. One of those things was writing. Significant because writing has always been my tool for dealing with personal pain; my longstanding avenue for catharsis. But I didn’t want to pick up a pen or type a few words on the computer. I didn’t want to do anything. And yet, because writing chose me and not the other way around, my art didn’t thoroughly abandon me. I found myself penning a few poems here and there, some about my father; I started a short story or two. But by 2007, I was done. Even if your art chooses you, you have to feed it with inspiration if you want it to remain by your side. There was no inspiration. I was blocked, absent of ideas, and basically a functioning griever, going through the motions of life and work and all that came along with it. At that time, I was temping at an architectural design company. Eventually, they decided to take me as a permanent staff member. One afternoon, I mentioned my two-year long writing block to one of my supervisors. She asked me if I blogged. I replied that no, I didn’t. She said the following. “Blogging will help you get the ideas and your creative mind flowing. Believe me. Try it. It’ll work.” Well, This Square Peg tends to be obedient when given suggestions. (Don’t confirm that statement with my mother. She will refute it.) That very evening in 2007, I started my first blog.
I knew that there wouldn’t be fiction or poetry flowing from these fingers. Not yet. No, I simply began to document my thoughts. Having kept a journal since I was 13 years old all the way through college, I knew how to pen the endless sentences that ran through my mind. (I still have those journals and I still read them from time to time and oh, boy.) So I began to look at blogging like journaling, except it was online and open for a few people to read whenever they found my little corner on the web. And I wrote and wrote and wrote. About my days, my adventures at work, my sadness, my goals and dreams. I wrote with the intent of merely occupying my mind. That happened and then some. It was also a great source of accountability–whereas a physical journal could just sit there, hopelessly ignored by me, each post I wrote helped me to be accountable to my goal of writing regularly. Eventually, the blog became almost like a friend who was there to listen while I talked to myself and whomever was reading. For six years, I blogged faithfully, even after the creative side of my mind stretched its arms, did away with the cobwebs, and began to churn once again.
My first post on that blog was entitled “So I Don’t Forget.” Blogging/journaling so I don’t forget my love of words, the utter joy of stringing words together. Needless to say, that little blog restored that joy exponentially. After a slight break with blogging, I came right back to my old friend through This Square Peg. I didn’t forget.
Shout out to that former supervisor who gave me that advice years ago. And everlasting thanks to my father, my Daddy–he was Daddy from the start and always will be–who loved the arts and generously gave that love with me.