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Thank you note

By November 11, 2007thoughts

Dear You,

Two years ago yesterday, I invited you to join me in an Upside Up movement, whatever that meant. Since then I’ve written almost 300 posts, left my home and returned to my home, learned how unexpectedly vast and diverse and intertwined the blogging world was, made some great friends, sent my kids to kindergarten, and learned a lot about myself as I coerced my long dormant writing muscles to rejoin me in life.

Sometimes I write regularly, sometimes I go weeks without writing (like currently), but this space is always near the top of my intentions. It is a room I can retreat to to parse my thoughts — even if I don’t end up sharing them with you. It is a forum I can access when I need your opinion or advice. It is a podium I can pace around if I want to share my opinion with you. And most importantly, it is a never-ending blank page. One that challenges me each time I deign to write something — each time I try to translate the stories in my head. The adrenaline rush of “I have something to say. Where do I begin? Nobody is going to want to read this. Then make it great so someone will want to read it” is so seductive. Even when I’m exhausted or preoccupied or depressed and can’t imagine ever writing another word, I’m still enticed by the challenge of the blank page and the prize of your willing eyes.

I realized long ago that I was not a journal writer. I tried to be, many many times, because I believed I needed to be a journal writer. That it was a failing of mine that I didn’t keep a journal. But let me tell you, with the exception of the uber inward-focussed high-school year I spent in France, I never wrote one single word worth reading in any of those journals. It was lazy writing and it lacked focus. And it embarrassed me every time I went back to re-read anything.

When I discovered blogging (thanks to the staggeringly talented Ian) I realized instantly that I belonged here. And I didn’t even know where “here” was. I just knew that this form of essay writing was exactly the journal I needed. Why? Because it was journal writing with audience.

When I say that, I risk a few things. First of all, it’s obviously egotistical to assume there will be any audience for this sort of self-indulgent writing. Secondly, it risks revealing that I’m a closet (or not) narcissist who thinks everything she says is brilliant and deserves an audience.

Actually, I mean neither of those things. What I mean is that having an audience keeps me accountable. You keep me from being lazy. You ensure that I will spend at least 30 minutes crafting a 5-word post, and later, be glad that I did. You ensure that when I go back and re-read what I’ve written, I will actually find it enjoyable. You keep me writing.

Did you know I was a creative writing major in college? And did you know I hardly wrote a single word in the 14 years between graduating and starting this blog? Since then, not only have I put words on a page nearly 300 times, but I have also managed to create somewhat of a chronicle of at least two years of Zoe and Lucy’s lives. (You should see the journal I tried to keep when I was pregnant. Boorrrring. Oh my got, was it boring.) Also I now find myself, as I was in college, in an almost permanent state of asking “is this something I could turn into a story?”

And all that is a gift I could never have asked for, would not have even known how. And which I will cherish as long as my cherish muscle works.

So I’m here now to thank you. Thank you for all that I’ve written — that you’ve enabled me to write. Thank you for taking me places I never even knew existed. And thank you for being such a kind, supportive and constant audience. I love you all — I mean it.

xo, Laurie

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • PunditMom says:

    And thank you for sharing it with us and inspiring us.

  • Glennia says:

    Thank you for sharing your awesome self with us. I never thought I would be able to make friends with a person I had never met in person. Meeting you in person was just icing on the cake.

  • Kyran says:

    Happy blogiversary! What a fantastic testimony to the genre. I feel the same way.


  • Betsy says:

    300 times? wow babe. congrats. Your stories absolutely make my day and they have enabled me to keep up with your life and where you are in such a vivid fashion. I wish everyone I am close to would let me into their lives this way. Your writing talent is, of course, obvious.
    And I just love the idea that Zoe and Lucy will get to read the story of their own growing up. There could be no better gift to them in the world.

  • Thank you, Laurie. I really enjoy reading what you write. I am like you in that I am completely unmotivated to write a personal journal. Something about the public format gives me a spark that I don’t have otherwise.

    Happy 2 years!

  • debbie says:

    I admit, I feel like there is this second Laurie out there – the blog Laurie. I enjoy her friendship as much as I enjoy red headed Laurie’s friendship. Thanks for including all of us.

  • Ian says:

    Laurie, you are staggeringly sweet.

  • Thanks to our blogging lives, we connected. Glad to share your space here. There’s something so great about pressing the word “publish.”

  • Gordon says:

    Hi, I just ran across your blog via sk*rt, which I was checking out from a post in the StartupHouston blog.

    I had to check it out when I saw the blog’s name – I don’t know if you got it from your kids, but it’s one of the terms mine have come up with over the years.

    Children are very practical, so if it’s not “upside-down” then, well, it must be “upside-up”. Conversely, if the shirt’s not “inside-out”, it’s “inside-in”!

  • Karen Rani says:

    How incredibly sweet. I love seeing you pop up on Twitter too.
    I hope you will keep writing, here, in private, wherever.

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