Monday, April 15, 2013

One Year in the Quiet Corner

Today is the one year anniversary of this blog.  I like it here.

It's curious, and sometimes sad, to look at paths not taken.  When picking a major for college I decided of all the areas that interested me music was the most likely to deteriorate and not remain a viable option if I didn't continue it.  So I headed that way, unsure of what I would do with it since a performance career didn't appeal to me and at the time I didn't plan to teach.  When I stumbled on the idea of instrument making it felt like finding a home, and I'm glad it's something I pursued.  I'm unlikely to reach the top of my profession, but I appreciate the challenge of trying to earn a place there.

A different direction that I had the option to take was writing.  I love to write.  It was always the easiest thing for me in school.  I was one of those (irritating) people who could put off a paper until mere hours before it was due and dash off something that the teacher would not only give me an A for, but praise as an example to other classes.  But I only wrote as part of school assignments and that was it.  I didn't decide to take a stab at writing on my own until I was in my mid-30s.

I wrote an essay for the This I Believe project on NPR which they recorded.  I started a novel because why not?  I've written three and have ideas for many more.  (The first one I plan to self-publish soon, so stay tuned for that!)  My essay Lessons on Love was purchased by Rewire Me (which plans to run it next month) and was recorded for broadcast for this upcoming Mother's Day weekend on a local radio show called Lake Effect.  And I had good run for a few years writing for Babble.

However, the truth is my full time work is violins, and I have to fit writing in around the edges of that, and parenting, and other things I do.  Writing doesn't pay any bills, and doesn't deserve as much attention as my husband or kids have a right to.  Most of the time if Quinn wants to play a game it's time to shut my laptop, because as much as writing is something I like and feel a need to do, I can't justify it taking time away from other things that have to take priority.

I like to think I have what it would take to be a full-time writer if I put my mind to it.  But there is a limit to how many full-time things I can be, so I will probably never know.  That's not the path I chose.  But sometimes there are ways to sneak off a given path while still heading the direction you want to go.

This blog is like a secret trail.

I get to lead my life as a luthier and run my business, and still find time to write.  Periods when I'm able to truly buckle down and work on big chunks of fiction are hard to come by lately, but the only way to get better as a writer is to write, and this blog keeps me disciplined.  I always have a few drafts in the background.  I never get writer's block.  This has been my space to collect my thoughts and organize them, where I challenge myself to write regularly, and risk showing it to the public.  Every time I hit "Publish" it's scary, but this really has been my quiet corner of the internet to do something I love.

I wasn't sure anyone would visit my blog once I had to do it on my own apart from Babble.  I'm grateful as many people followed me over who did, and surprised and pleased some new readers have found me.  My readership may be smaller here, but it is of shockingly high quality.

Writers write to be read.  Even writers who are really luthiers.  Thank you for joining me here and making this endeavor worthwhile.


  1. It took me a long time to realize that writing is what I do. Well, reading and writing, as it's usually reports or policy briefs. But I don't want to manage programs or talk to people, I want to read and I want to write about it, and it's such a gift to have a full-time job where I do.

    Does it make me a writer? I'm still not entirely sure, even though I technically write for a living.

    1. And happy anniversary! I was too caught up in the interesting discussion of roles and choices and forgot to say that. I'm so glad you found a place to keep writing here. :)

  2. I remember that I found you because of an interesting comment you made on Anymommy's blog (can't even remember what it was, now). I didn't even know you had been on Babble.

  3. Congrats to one of my favorite bloggers (writers)! I love this space and look forward to each of your posts.

  4. Happy Anniversary! Thanks to you moving here I never have to get drawn into the annoying timesuck that is Babble. I really enjoy your writing and appreciate the things you share. I don't read many blogs (honestly, I try not to) and yours is the only one I comment on. I like that while you can celebrate the good things the Internet has enabled, it's not at the expense of 'real' life. That's how it seems, anyway! And as a UK reader, you provide a refreshing counterweight to the America we generally see in the media over here. Keep on writing!

  5. It's funny how I'll lurk somewhere and then one day comment and then can't seem to STOP commenting. ;o) I found you through a comment on another blog (Peg's maybe?) and then, well, I stayed because you do what you do so very well.

    Thank you for this quiet, contemplative yet fun corner. Happy blogoversary! :o)

    I read below you're enjoying your conference. Hooray! (Be brave and take out your viola and make some beautiful music!)

  6. Happy Anniversary! Who knows? Maybe writing full-time is waiting for you around a corner you haven't come to yet.

  7. Happy anniversary! I adore your blog and your writing...

  8. Happy anniversary to one of my favourite writers!

    Often when I read your blog, it feels as though you've gone into my brain, organized my thoughts and articulated them beautifully... better than I could have done.

    I, too, am glad you left Babble; I've rarely been back since you and Jane left.

    PS - I'm so glad you're okay today!

  9. I'll try to keep your corner from getting too quiet.

  10. Happy anniversary! I don't comment often but I do often think about what you've written for a long time after I've read it: to me, that is the best kind of writing. From your funny post about your boobs (I can relate!), to your quietly grateful posts about life (and the DMV), to your serious writing on gun control, and most everything in between, your writing resonates. I agree with lesliesholly: who knows what time you will be able to devote to writing in 10 or even 20 years?

    If I had chosen a different path (or if I had been able to choose two paths simultaneously!), I would have pursued astrophysics. As it is, I'm pursuing a career as a psychoanalyst. We all have many and varied lives behind the life we lead with!

    Thanks for writing.


  11. Well. I didn't know I'd be referred to as quality today. Thank you (as I bow.) Oh, paths. They tend to go places we never imagined, don't they. Sometimes, if we just keep walking, they'll lead us even more unexplored (and unimagined)places.

  12. I appreciate your thoughtful, honest take on life and your ability to express how you truly feel. Thank you for keeping this blog going.

  13. Oh exactly. I see myself in every line. (Except the part where I lack the wonderful, additional talent of being a luthier and actually earning a living at something!)