After a few days (or weeks) away from the blog, returning to it always feels intimidating. I worry that I have nothing of interest to write about, or that there are so many interesting things to write about that the simplicity of the blog will be overcome. I begin posts and then, having been distracted by infant or restless pup, do away with them.
But then I start formulating blog postings in my brain while in the shower or cooking dinner. An idea for a little essay will cruise through my mind at light speed, high-fiving my firing synapses as it goes; a word sparks the formation of a sentence that is lost before I can find a suitable piece of paper on which to write it. I dismiss these ideas. Or, I make them empty promises.
But then, before settling in to an hour’s worth of worry about Claire’s bottle strike (now somewhat resolved), or Ivy’s liver levels (getting better), or how I will ever begin to wrap my mind around this massive book idea in the midst of everything else that’s going on, I hear a little voice that tells me to return to the blog – as if the blog is my muse, or a counselor. To return to the blog as if the blog has ideas for me that I cannot see or hear unless I am writing for it.
Perhaps Joyful Things is to me as the Island is to Lost: administrator of magic powers, mysterious healer, maker of bizarre connections. Or maybe it’s just here to remind me that the practice of writing, in whatever form, takes practice and requires the sort of attention I give it here as a means of exercising my brain – sort of like what running suicides does for soccer players.
Either way, whenever I’ve finished a post, I know by how my brain feels settled and a little more alive that it has been worth the time. I would probably feel this way if I diagrammed a few sentences, too, so I’m not talking about artfulness – just that the practice and ritual of this thing is productive. (Don’t worry – I’m not foolish enough to think that anyone else finds diagramming sentences as interesting as I do. I would like you to keep reading Joyful Things. Therefore, you’ll find no grammar lessons here.)
So, for the love of the blog and the love of the craft, I’m back, just in time for fall. Enjoy!