As a kid, I didn’t really think of myself as a writer. I wasn’t really encouraged by any teachers to become a writer, either. It’s not that I received that much criticism, but the spotlight for creativity always managed to be on someone else. I managed to squeak by with decent grades on papers, but that was as far as it went.
In college, I tried to join a writer’s club. I can’t remember why I went to that meeting, but I felt way out of my league. Of course, at that point, writing seemed to be reserved for the well-read and the English majors. I was neither. I mean, I enjoyed reading, but I never seemed to be reading the right books or understanding the books I did read the right way. Basically, I had no real confidence when it came to my writing.
So instead of traditional writing, I tried blogging. I was introduced to it through my college roommate. She blogged to her friends back home, and I really loved the interactive aspects of blogging. So, I started my own blog, but it never really took off. I didn’t have the kind of interactions or views I thought all other blogs must experience. It was strange to feel isolated in a place where so many other people found connection.
When I got married, I started working from home, and it was the first time I was physically isolated from people for large chunks of my day. That gave me some time to really devote to blogging, which I thought had been the problem. But I kept moving from one site to another trying to reinvent myself almost on a yearly basis. It was hard to maintain a following when I was moving around so much online. Plus, my confidence kept me from really finding my own voice.
Over time, the subject matter on my blog found its direction. In 2014, I started Katy’s Life Story because I wanted to share my story of pregnancy loss and my journey to having a baby. I had no idea at the time how long and heartbreaking that journey would be, but I kept writing. I started getting some feedback from others, and it felt great, but I started obsessing about the numbers, the likes and the comments.
At the end of last year, I realized how much validation and pleasing others had affected how I write. In fact, I struggled with even calling myself a writer. My first inclination was to leave. But I realized the blog wasn’t the problem, it was how I saw myself as a writer, and that was what I needed to change.
I started listing the reasons I write. In truth, the numbers were just a distraction. With all of the reflection I’ve had over the years from my writing, I feel like I know myself on a better level. I have had the courage to learn new things, embrace the things I like and become more of who I was created to be. And I have made a few amazing friends and connections who have inspire, encourage, and challenge me when I need it most.
Going forward, I want to challenge the way I write, and appreciate it for the art that it is. I want to play and connect, to read other writers and see how they put words their own words and thoughts together. This journey is far from over, and I’m excited to see where this will take me, line by line and word by word.