#29: Write My Life Story in a Day

It wasn’t easy, but it was good. I would say I have a really great outline of my life story after a nearly full day of writing. I realized at the end I had forgotten a few key pieces, such as the traveling I’ve done and some of the opportunities I had in high school. I don’t expect anyone to ever read it (and I actually hope they don’t) but I think it’s important for everyone to chronicle their life, if for no other reason than to just have it on paper for themselves. I know I have a lot of life to live, but it feels good to have the first 25 years down on paper. Or, well, virtual paper.

Just for kicks, here’s my first little paragraph I wrote. I have not gone back and edited anything, but I think that’s the fun of it – it’s just a flow of thoughts, of what you can remember, in the order you remember it. And sometimes, in the order you’ve been told it…

So many components of my life were set into motion before I was born. I suppose this is true for everyone, but it seems glaringly evident when I look back. I was born on September 7, 1985, to a 17-year-old high school senior. She hadn’t meant to get pregnant, but when she found out she was, she decided to embrace the process of adoption. I cannot know for sure what sort of struggle she might have gone through to come to this decision, but it is the decision itself that counts for me: here I am, alive and happy.

Journal Project

Though I love keeping journals, I, like most people, am very bad at keeping up with them. I always start out strong and die out by the end of the month. I recently read a great idea, however, from The Happiness Project about keeping a “non-journal.”

The concept is simple. Find a journal with at least 366 pages and write the date at the top of each, without the year. Then, anytime something significant happens in your life, find the page coinciding with that day and make a one or two sentence journal entry, along with the year. It will take a lifetime to fill, but just think of how neat it is to look and see what else was happing on this day other years, and to see your life fill with meaningful memories.

Search though I might, I have yet to find a journal with at least 366 pages. So I went to one of my favorite online shops, Etsy, where you can purchase handmade items from crafters around the world. I sought out the journal folks, found one I really liked, and asked her if she thought making a journal for this new project was reasonable.

Not only did journal junky make me my own personal journal, but she made me FOUR. Yes, I now have my own handmade journal for each season of the year. I can’t wait for a rainy Saturday to fill it up with days and sketches of the seasons. Please check her out and check out my pictures of the journals she made me!

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The Audience

Several possible audiences exist when you create a blog.  Your particular target depends on a number of factors, which are all very similar to the questions you had to answer in first grade when making “book reports” (I say making instead of writing because they usually had more markers and glue than words).

Factor one:  Who are you?

Whenever I see a new blog, I first think, Who are you?  And why should I read your blog?  I feel like if I actually asked this question, instead of just thinking it, a surprising number of people respond, No one important, and I don’t care if you read it or not, including myself.  If you are someone hilarious, your target audience is people who enjoy hilarity.  If you are someone depressed, your target audience is people who are depressed…and people in Psy.D. programs.  If you are affiliated with a certain religion, your target audience is others associated with that same religion.  And so on.  Granted, one beautiful quality of writing on the internet is that it is like acting—you can be anyone you want.  So I guess this question really is, who do you want to be, or at least who are you claiming to be.

Factor two: What are you?

A serial killer who helps the FBI solve murder mysteries by studying blood spatter (shout out if you love Dexter)? An unemployed loser who sits on his but drinking beer all day?  A yoga goddess who knows how to achieve complete peace with the world?  What you are is very important.  It determines what type of knowledge (or lack thereof) you will pass on to your audience.

Factor three: Where are you?

This actually isn’t terribly important due to the depths of the earth the internet can reach.  However, if you are in the United States (for example), and speaking English, you probably don’t want your audience to be a small Creole speaking community in Africa.

Factor four: When are you?

I had to use when because it fits…but really, how old are you?  Are you writing for your own age group?  Are you telling people older than yourself what you don’t think they know?  Or passing on your infinite wisdom to the hooligans down the street?

Factor Five: Why are you?

What’s your story?  Why are you who you are?  This is getting really deep.  Just think about it.

My audience.

Well, I am a fairly average girl, who has innumerable thoughts going through her head at any given moment and overanalyzes most of them, living in the southern U.S., in my early twenties.  And why I am…is just a really complicated question.  I’m sure that will appear evident overtime.

Therefore, my audience is pretty much anyone who feels like listening.  Ideally, people who can relate and a) sympathize, b) ignite an in-depth discussion of the topic at hand, or c) wants to know about my life.  “C” is probably just my parents (hi family…).  “A” and “B” are maybe some friends?  Co-workers?  Random blog junkies?  I’m not really sure. 

Love.

Welcome to Fleeting Thoughts…

My reasoning for starting my first blog is multi-fold:

1. I journal anyway, so if I post, an occasional clever thought my appear.

2. I am always wanting to improve my writing, and knowing that someone else might read it is a good motivator to truly scrutinize my grammar and vocabulary (fun word to say of the day: scrutinize).

3. One of my life goals, off my ever-growing list, is to write a book. Somewhere in this blog, an idea for a topic could be born.

4. If college has taught me anything, it is to ask a million questions and listen to the answers people give. I love hearing opinions that differ from mine. So as I come up with the occasional debatable topic, I can think of nowhere better to place it than a blog. Bring on the discussion…

5. And finally: so my family and maybe the occasional friend can keep up on my life and thoughts.

Maybe someone out there can even keep up with my thoughts. If so, we are meant to be friends.  Stay tuned.