Writing: Where are you going, where have you been?

Last week, a friend of mine might have said, “You’re a good writer.” I say “might,”because last week I wasn’t feeling like a good writer. I was having some writing challenges and that is not easy to take for someone who writes like it’s breathing on a regular basis. Anyway, he followed that comment up with the question, “What do you want to do with it?”

It’s the perennial “book” question.

I told him that I don’t know. That hitching my wagon to a book would be a bit like getting a tattoo; and I’m not a tattooed person because I simply would never be able to choose a design that I would love and want to be permanently marked with; it’s too much commitment. Now for people who have known me for any length of time probably find this odd — the girl who got married at 18 is afraid of commitment?! Well, yeah! Maybe that’s WHY!

What am I going to do with writing . . .  I’m doing it, in a way, aren’t I? I blog and I certainly write enough for work (although, in the field of public relations one of the first hard swallowed truths is that you will write under someone else’s name — you may even publish an excellent piece in a notable publication with someone else’s byline and bio attached to it. You will write plenty with no name attached. There is no writing ego in PR.

Blogging changed some of that for me; I could write and publish without cost and uninhibited (for the most part). I could write as me (one reason for the eponymous blog www.marijeanjaggers.com (such ego! A blog named for myself!).

I’ve also written numerous articles in more “traditional” publications, ezines, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, magazines . . .  two styles I ceased pursuing long ago were fiction and poetry. Gah do I write some bad poetry. Ironically, some of those poems have been published, as have a handful of my short stories. But that was long ago and I’ve been amicably separated from the act of fiction, the travesty of my poetry, for many years.

Where is it going though? I really don’t know. I stopped writing plays the minute my father started. I’ve lost several starts to books — books that were going nowhere — and have others languishing on hard drives. I just haven’t fallen in love with one, yet.

Maybe this, then will be my epitaph: “She spent more time falling in love with people than words; she was the writer that almost was.”

About marijean

I'm a public relations professional, social media consultant and work-at-home-mom living and working in Charlottesville, Va. I'm Marijean Jaggers and this is my blog.
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8 Responses to Writing: Where are you going, where have you been?

  1. Dr. Dolly says:

    Hey, loving people’s pretty awesome. If there was more of THAT instead of people pursuing their careers self-righteously without loving others, this would be a better place.

    Pull a Ree Drummond and turn your most poignant blog posts into a book (that will in turn become a major motion picture). 😉

  2. Laura McAllister says:

    I’d say you’re doing very well Marijean. Writing and people — two great loves — each an adventure, unpredictable and satisfying.

  3. Sean McCord says:

    I am honored to think that my innocent query prompted this post, and delighted to see that you are thinking about your writing. You are, in truth, an excellent writer, and I recognize your struggle. I merely asked the question of you that I have long been asking myself, and the answer keeps coming back “someday … when the kids are older … when I have more time … when I have more to write about.” In the meantime, I too write when and where I can, taking satisfaction in expressing myself in the smaller spaces that I can share with friends.

  4. Sara says:

    So you should write biographies 🙂 preferably of people who are still alive. Nothing makes a great biographer than someone who falls in love with their subject.

  5. George A.M. Heroux says:

    I hope that there was no causal relationship between your father’s beginning as a playwright and your cessation as one. What if he begins to write a blog, would you stop blogging? What if he begins to do PR, what then?

  6. Danielle says:

    Oh MJ — I’m feeling it too. What did you decide to do with your “year” anyway? What is that one thing? Is it writing? Is it to write something everyday? Could it be to take one of those 30 day challenges where you write no matter what and see what you’ve got in the end? I don’t know either.

  7. marijean says:

    Oh DAD (ladies and gentlemen, my father, the Heroux above). Of COURSE not, jeez. But now that you’re on Facebook, I’m seriously considering bailing out of it. I kid. (You’re not thinking of starting a blog, really, are you?)

  8. marijean says:

    Danielle, I settled on taking good care of myself, and when that (see the post, Everything, All at Once) became a little out of control, I had to step back and take one thing at a time. I thought about writing daily but since I really do that in one place or another anyway, that wasn’t the right choice.

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