When I started Thoughts Happen in September of 2008, I had no idea where it would take me, but I knew I needed to write, and write often — for an audience. Magazine articles, my first love, are wonderful, and it’s great to see those bylines, but I had too many things I wanted to get into words and not enough places to publish them.
And writing in what I lovingly refer to as my Notebooks Full of Crap wasn’t quite fulfilling enough. Because I am no Emily Dickinson, squirreling my best work away to be discovered after I’m dead — I need an audience to keep me honest.
Lucky for me I live in the Blog Age. Under the wide umbrella of Kindness, Curiosity and Humor, I claimed my domain and started writing. Everything from Star Trek to colonoscopies were fair game for my posts, with a smattering of Shambhala Meditation, Girl Scouts and tennis thrown in for good measure (not to mention my turtle Littlefoot, who's a muse of sorts).
But along the way I found that the lack of a clear focus, instead of being freeing, was becoming a burden. More often than not I woke up on Wednesday mornings — my designated posting day — thinking, “Oh God, what am I going to write about today?”
Wasn’t I doing this for fun?
Ironically, something from my latest post, about Lionel Poilane, the baker who created a bread sculpture of a bird in a cage, came back to me. "The bird is inside the cage. He is trapped and he can feed himself with his own barrier. … After you are nourished with your own limits, you can fly to freedom."
I needed a boundary to push against to feed my creativity again, to get me excited about blogging. But the whole reason I started Thoughts Happen as a generalist was because there wasn’t any one topic I felt I could sustain with the necessary enthusiasm or authority. There are plenty of good creativity blogs and Buddhist meditation blogs, the most likely candidates.
But I came to realize that I’ve had a life-long curiosity about our relationship to Stuff. Recycling, garbage, finding novel ways to use things that are commonly discarded — these things fascinate me. How do we interact with the objects of daily life, particularly with things that are normally thrown away? And how are the ways we interact with our Stuff informed by our spiritual and community values?
The spark of an idea for a new blog was born, and immediately a flood of new post topics rushed to my mind.
So Thoughts Happen will go into semi-retirement, and a new blog with a refined focus will take its place as soon as its design and functionality are fleshed out enough for public consumption.
When I started Thoughts Happen three years ago, writing was something I did, but I did not yet identify myself as a writer. Three years later, I’ve got 144 posts under my belt (wow), and my commercial writing business has grown alongside it as well. I’ve developed a small but loyal readership and met some interesting, thoughtful people through the blog’s Facebook page and my Twitter followers.
Thoughts Happen has served me well. I hope as readers of mine you will join me in the next leg of the creative journey ahead. Watch this space for what’s go come.
Photo of Path In Winter courtesy Jennifer R. Graevell Photography, Some rights reserved