Hello again. It’s been a while.
If you only had this website to judge me by, you’d assume that I dropped off the face of the earth as a response to Tr*mp becoming president. Fast forward a whole year and a half and not only I am still alive and well, thankfully, the world hasn’t imploded. Sometimes, I think we’re on the verge.
So what keeps an avid writer from posting ANYTHING for 18 months straight? Let’s go back a bit.
First, let’s be clear that when I say I hadn’t posted content, I literally hadn’t written one word for myself or any publication, posted or unposted. My last piece, ironically enough, was an interview with Bozama St. John, a high-powered, driven tech leader who was resilient and knew where she was going. Talking to her was so inspiring. I pinned the digital version to the top of my Twitter page, and felt like I was ready to push the ‘go’ button on the freelance game. I posted an oversized Post-It on my dining room wall and mapped out who and what I wanted to pitch and what my goals were for the year.
I’d taken a pretty major position in my full-time job in PR/marketing at the top of the year and was excited about doing both things that I found enjoyable. To add, I completed a leadership program, made good contacts and placed stories for clients in national publications. Things were going well.
Then, a month after my mama retired, she got sick. A quick check-up via the emergency room turned into more than a two-week stay in ICU, including a code blue. My daddy’s dementia progressed severely, and when my mother returned home, it was a long, but successful recovery time. Essentially, I was taking care of both of my parents.
I felt so much, but had nothing to write, if that makes sense. Full, but completely empty. There’ve been a million things that have happened in culture, music and politics–in my life— that would’ve made me open my laptop immediately. Everyday, I would promise myself that I’d write atleast a paragraph. Because writers write. Right?
I didn’t write a damn thing. Some of it was laziness, but most of it was that other things had become priority– family, work, trying to nurture relationships through it all. Life was no longer a breeze. I’d been “off the scene” for so long, I became uninterested in magazines, writing or blogging totally. Are personal essays still a thing? Do people care what I or anyone have to say? What’s important to me right now besides my day-to-day life?
In between, all of my editor contacts left their jobs as the revolving door in journalism continued to turn. #EbonyOwes sparked again, and I joined a Freelancers Union so EBONY Magazine could finally pay me for the work I’d done over the course of a year (I should receive payment soon). It was turnoff, to say the least.
The next phase of the drought consisted of my father’s illness progressing even more to point of struggling to find around-the-clock caregiver solutions. He’s now in a nursing facility where he can be cared for 24 hours a day. Things are turning around slowly, but surely.
A few months ago, I played the follow-up game on print pitches and the hamster wheel has been turning slow, then faster, but I won’t stop. I told myself though, that before I try to write anything to be published, I have to atleast write something for me. What was once like breathing air to me had become a challenge.
So, today, I did it. For me, not for the self-absorbed reasons writers might sometimes push out words. There is no bow I can put on these words or a moral to the story either. Just do it, no matter how it long it takes. Take a step.