Post #14 – Why I started to blog

I have been blogging on and off since high school, back when Xanga was all the rage.  I’m not sure exactly why I started to blog then, other than I’ve always used writing as a way to express myself.  As an introverted thinker, I find writing to be very relaxing.  It helps me process and sort my thoughts and relieve stress.  I love having the time to choose the perfectly nuanced word to express what I’m thinking or how I am feeling.

I do know that I started this particular blog shortly after I permanently injured my wrist and could no longer play the piano for hours a day.  Playing the piano and music in general was my preferred way of expressing myself prior to my injury.  Since my injury, I have become an avid writer.  In addition to journaling, I blog here, at www.rachelbuckingham.wordpress.com, and several other blogs.  I am also a freelance writer, currently writing several articles and my first novel.

In addition to using blogging to express myself, I started this blog as an effort to write more and hone my skills.  That is also the reason I have chosen to participate in the postaday2011 challenge.  A writer cannot improve without writing (and reading in my opinion).  So I blog because I love writing; it is an extension of myself.

Post #10

Just so you know, the titles of my posts are numbers simply so that I can count down how many I have written!  It is so invigorating to see that number climb!

When I’m snowed in, I entertain myself in a number of ways.  I catch up on some of my favorite TV shows on Hulu.  I love watching House, Castle, Chuck, Lie to Me, Bones, Criminal Minds,White Collar, Burn Notice, and Psych. Yes, I know that is a lot of TV, but I have a lot of free time since I only work a few hours a week at my current job (and still get paid well!  It is such a blessing!  Back to reality in February though.)  I love House, Bones, Lie to Me, Bones, Criminal Minds, and Psych because they each star a character who is extremely gifted and a little neurotic or quirky.  Sometimes I identify with them as they are misunderstood or excel at something completely random.  I also wish that I could be that intelligent and gifted (though not a jerk like House or Dr. Lightman).  I like to watch Castle, Chuck, White Collar, and Burn Notice because I think they are entertaining well-written shows.  My husband and I like to watch them together.  What shows do you watch?

When I’m snowed in, I’ll also read.  I love to read!  I delight in afternoons with no distractions so that I can read a novel cover to cover.  I developed a love for reading as a child and was a literature major in college.  Books are so fascinating!  I’m always looking for a good read.  Do you have any suggestions?

I’ll also write when I’m snowed in.  I’m a freelance writer in addition to being an avid blogger (I contribute to more blogs that I can count at the moment) and an English teacher.  Writing is really relaxing for me.  I love all aspects of it, from researching to outlining to the actual writing.  I definitely love the editing stage too!  Writing provides an outlet for me to explore and express my thoughts, emotions, and ideas.

On morning people

I do not consider myself a morning person.  If given the choice, I would much rather stay up and enjoy the stillness of the late night (and technically early morning) hours than awaken before or as the dawn breaks.  However, my mother is very much a morning person and decided that all three of her daughters would learn to appreciate and enjoy the early morning as well.  I promise you, she would not only do well in the military, she would thrive.

Growing up, my mother would arise around 4 am and proceed to ensure that my sisters and I were awake by 6 am at the latest.  On countless mornings, I was aroused from my deep, peaceful slumber by the sound of one of my sisters practicing the Steinway baby grand piano we have in our living room.  Our house is exceedingly open; sounds carries remarkably well, much to my dismay.

The worst part of it all is that both my mother and my sisters are actually tried and true morning people.  They not only have the ability to wake up quite early, an ability I also possess after years of training, they are also happy to be awake that early and are quite cheerful.  The cheeriness both sickens and annoys me.  I simply cannot understand why anyone would be happy and excited to be awake that early every single morning.  I can understand the special occasion.  The morning of a day that is looked forward to with much anticipation.  But on a regular, daily basis?  Really?

I can awaken early in the morning and not be completely angry about doing so.  But I highly doubt I will ever be happy and cheerful before at least 8 am unless it is a special day.  I will admit that I enjoy how productive I can be when I have an entire morning in which to accomplish my ever-lengthening to-do lists.  For this reason, and only this reason, I have decided to attempt to wake up at 6:30 am every weekday morning.  At the very least, I need to be up by 8 am.  That way, I have my mornings to do homework, run errands, blog, and journal.  Oh, and of course, read.  We shall see how this goes.  Here is to hoping that I can develop healthy, productive habits!

Sometimes you just have to be there. . .

A couple of my friends have been avidly quoting Monty  Python and the Holy Grail all week.  And until last night, I had not seen it but was still amused and entertained by their accents and quotes.  Actually, it was downright hilarious at times.  So we decided to watch the movie last night so that I could finally understand.  Maybe I had just hyped it up too much in my mind becuase of their spectacular quoting, but I found the movie to be entirely disappointing and not nearly as funny as my friends.  I think that the humor in the movie is just one of those things that you just have to experience in person to really enjoy.  At least for me. . . however, I am glad that I did finally see the movie.

Also, you cannot truly understand how torturous movies based on dense, philosophical novels can be unless you just watch them.  Trust me; watching those movies could be used as a form of punishment.  My friend Crystal and I have decided to read a list of books in an effort to prepare for the GRE Subject Test in English Literature, which all applicants for grad school in English must take.  However, some of these books are so dense and philosophical.  And unfortunately, the movies are just not that much better.  At least the movies are only a few hours of torture rather than the more than 20 hours of torture that it would take me to read each novel. . .

Disconnected

The past few days I have felt really disconnected from my life, especially from the things that I love most.  I haven’t felt like journaling.  Or reading.  Or writing.  It is an emotional disconnect, stemming from both exhaustion and fear.  Today I am refreshed and ready to face my fears.  And connect with life again.  Enjoy my passions.  I journaled and admitted my fears and desires to God.  I began to think about my 5-7 page paper for my San Fransisco Renaissance Poets class that is due Friday and found myself immersed in thoughts of modernism, post-modernism, spontenaity, objectivity, and mind-body holism.  Yes, I am a nerd.  😉  After dinner, I am meeting a friend to discuss some of the poetry of Gary Snyder, followed by a quiet evening of reading (and possibly more writing).  While I do hope to chill with one of my closest friends at some point this evening, I will be completely content to discuss poetry over a cup of coffee and read.  Recently, I have rediscovered a great deal of enjoyment in reading and writing, as well as in being alone in a crowd.  Quiet evenings at Grounds, stolen afternoons in the library, etc.  And of course, the always reassuring company of one of my closest friends.  Whether we converse or sit in silence or play a game or drink coffee, I enjoy spending time with him.  With that, I digress.  I have been disconnected from my life.  But no longer.  The time is now.  Carpe diem!

I’m a nerd . . what can I say?

Writing helps me process and clear my mind.  I’ve journaled on and off since I was about twelve.  A little over a year ago, I began journaling on a daily basis.  It helps.  You see, a little over a year ago, I  suffered a permanent hand injury.  It ended my career as a pianist.  Suddenly.  Just like that it was over.  I couldn’t play like I used to.  At first, the doctors told me that it wasn’t permanent; however, my hand and wrist responded negatively to treatment.  The injury only worsened.  Finally, the doctor said that there was no injury, and he was mystified as to why I was in pain.  Well, I’m still in pain over a year later.  It’s permanent.  And yet, it’s nothing at the same time.  Regardless, I am no longer a piano performance major.  More imporantly, I can no longer express my thoughts and emotions through playing and music like I used to.  Journaling was and continues to be my attempt to express myself.

Journaling rekindled my love of writing.  I love to write.  I am the nerd who enjoys writing papers, at least for the most part.  Writing is the most effective way that I can communicate.  I can sort my thoughts.  Choose my words.  Explain myself thoroughly.  If you know me well, you have probably experienced the sometimes extreme frustration that I experience when trying to explain a concept, or even a story, verbally.  I’m not frustrated with anyone other than myself and my lack of effective communication.  Writing solves that problem.  Words flow so easily from my pen.  Or through my fingers as I type.   I don’t necessarily understand why I can write so much more easily than I can speak.  After all, I have to speak the same words that I would write.  But I can write.  Sometimes I can even write eloquently.  I think it is a gift.  Something that God wants to use.  And something that I want to develop.  Since I began to journal, my writing has definitely improved.  And I have become more confident as a writer.  It is all quite good.  And the best part?  I enjoy it.  Writing relaxes me.  It can be a release.  Writing calms me down.

My friends should appreciate my love of writing.  It spares them from having to listen to me ramble on and on about whatever thought I am pondering for the day – whatever concept I am finding intriguing.  Very few of my friends actually enjoy such conversations.  I value the friends who do.  I also love writing about any thoughts I deem pertinent.  Or at least thought out well enough to be beneficial to anyone outside of my head.

I’ve come to the conclusion today that I need to read even more than I already do.  (I’m an English major; I read quite a lot.)  I think that continuing to read will also improve my writing.  Being exposed to writers of different styles and time periods will help me be able to write for different audiences.  I think it should help me continue to develop my voice, which excites me.  I’m extremely excited about my writing.  It will definitely be a part of my future – part of God’s plan for my life.  I just don’t know the exact form yet. . .but I’m eager to explore.  The beauty of life is in the journey. . . so why rush to try to figure it all out now?