Whenever I start a new diary, or write an essay, or start any new adventure, I always feel the need to justify it. When writing the first page or so in a new diary, I start by telling the journal a bit about myself. How old I am, what’s my current favorite color, what my favorite things are, who my best friend is. All of those things. (20, pink or turquoise depending, art and writing, and my cat. Just kidding! My best friend knows who they are.) Writing all of that down is just the standard procedure for starting a new diary.
In an essay it’s usually the hook followed by some explanation and the thesis, and every paragraph afterwards has a little topic sentence at the beginning that points you in the general direction of where I want to take the essay. That’s standard procedure taught by most teachers and professors worth their salt and paprika.
I was reading over my first blog again (well that is to say, first real blog) and went to my first post. Unlike any of my other ventures that I’ve started, it kind of just…starts. There isn’t really a method to it. I started out and said what I wanted, and ended it without even saying “Oh yeah, welcome to my blog! I’m posting about my adventures in Europe. So…have fun reading through all of this.” There was no justification. It just was. And yet here I am feeling the need to justify yet again because I think, deep down in myself I feel like this blog has less of a purpose.
That isn’t to say that diaries and essays don’t have purposes. They do. But that blog, my Amazing Adventure, had a true purpose that didn’t need to be stated. Journals need some framework to work around. When going back and reading my few journals that exist, it’s nice to know who my friends were at the time and what my favorite color was. When writing an essay, you kind of need to put it in that framework. My first blog’s front page literally says “Natalie’s Adventures in England, France, and Italy.” You know what you’re getting into. A Pocketful of Pencils is more ambiguous.
I like ambiguous. You know what ambiguous means? It means I can do whatever I want here. And you, dear reader, if you exist and are reading these words as they come flowing forth from my fingertips, are subject to whatever I do. It can be as long or as short as I want it, talk about basically anything that is coming to me. But of course, I’m going to give myself some parameters, so things don’t get too crazy.
Firstly, I’m going to try to stick within the framework of writing and art. Of course, both of those things can pertain to much of the known and unknown universe. Yay for ambiguity! I also want to keep each blog post to less than…we’ll say 2000 words. The average reader reads at 200 WPM and that would mean by lengthiest blog post would take 10 minutes to read. That’s reasonable, seeing as we’re barely over 500 now and I’m feeling the need to wind things down. Course I reserve the right to increase that as necessary. I think writing about my process and what I’m doing to achieve my dreams will probably happen. My successes, failures, and lessons learned. I might post short stories that I’ve written. Poems. I might wax philosophical or religious. I’ll try to keep my posts non-political though. If you get offended, that’s your decision.
I also think it’s fair for me to state that I am a writer. Perhaps an amateur one. I haven’t been published in any big sense of the word. I had almost 1500 people view my other blog from 10 different countries. When I was in 5th grade, a poem of mine got published in some poetry book that is gathering dust on my shelf. When I was in third grade I wrote an adaptation to a fairy tale, illustrated it, and got a singular hardbound copy. Which I still have! And of course I’ve had some teachers and professors that have enjoyed my work. I have countless novel and children’s book ideas that are in different stages of fermentation in my brain and on my computer. Knowing that I’m an unpublished hopeless romantic with a dream to be the next J.K. Rowling probably puts some perspective on any insights I have about the writing world.
It also would be fair for me to say that I am an artist. One that hasn’t gotten paid for any of her work. One who has drawn and painted for her own pleasure for the last few years and is just now attempting to please other people again. I won second place at a local art show once. I’ve fallen in love with many different mediums over and over again and am passionately engrossed with watercolors at the moment. At least in this subject I can share some of my techniques and what I’ve found that works for me. The language of paint is a lot harder to get criticized on. There are plenty of Grammar Nazis in this world but there are few Pencil Sketch, Linear Perspective, and Color Wheel Nazis.
Aside from that, I’m just someone who loves to write, wants to do it for a living, and will continue to do it even if I have to get a job on the side to pay for electricity to power my computer and food to power me. I’m just someone who loves to paint and draw and get my hands dirty and will continue to do it even if I have to get a job on the side to pay for paints and canvases.
Part of my journey to become that best-selling author and illustrator, led me to deciding to write a blog. I loved writing my travel blog, but when I came home it felt like I couldn’t continue it. I wasn’t abroad anymore. My life wasn’t interesting anymore. Au Contraire! There are loads of things to write about, and many of them can be placed in the non-fiction section of a library bookshelf. That’s what this is. Me continuing to write because I love it, you continuing to read for who knows why, and the Earth continuing to rotate on its axis and capture the rays of that beautiful sunlight.
If you are still with me, dearest reader, congratulations! If you stick around, you’ll probably be one of the first to hear about any publications I’ll have in the future. You also just read through my newest phase of justification! That’s all this was. Justifying a beginning. Explaining myself. Using the English language to convey my thoughts and feelings in order to give you an expectation. Hopefully you’ve realized that if you’re going to stick with me you’re going to have to expect the unexpected.