I started The River Into Words when we were fresh off the boat in Ireland in 2008. We had a family blog, where I updated the parentals and our support base, but with the change in geography my brain bordered on sensory overload. We spent those first few weeks and months observing and watching and thinking over everything.
(Including, but not limited to school enrollment, bus schedules, the cost and weight of meat in kilos and euros then converted to ounces and dollars, skinny jeans, how many times to offer tea, how many times to say no before graciously accepting tea, team dynamics, family dynamics, rain pattern dynamics, left side driving and left hand shifting and how to park on a sidewalk on the opposite side of the road.)
All these peripheral life things, which up until now I had taken for granted, were flooding my heart and mind. If I didn't free the river of words (of thoughts and ideas and questions and doubts), I'd drown in it.
TRIW was never particularly focused, but I liked that. I felt freedom to "pour it out in a poem to the King... and occasionally yell." The river ran the gamut of mommy to faith to lifestyle to culture to transition to expat to re-pat to whatever-type blog. Many good conversations were had, great Jesus-y and internet-y connections were made, and it provided a tiny amount of pocket change (like $20/year, which just barely covers my yearly haircut).
And then, the river ran dry. I began producing quantity over quality. I was afraid that if I didn't put something out there (no matter how dull), I'd be forgotten in a sea of quasi-discontented-moms who lay it all out there.
Not all of it was dull. God and I worked out a whole lot of things on those pages. I introduced you to Asher there. I hosted some brilliant guest posts and stayed connected with my widely-spread community, there. I remembered falling in love with Matt, with Ireland, with home there (these posts are now transferred here).
Other things contributed to my blogging apathy:
- Google+ confused me and I didn't like how my blog, my profile and my images were all bound within it;
- I had committed to an advertising network (who were great when it was time to close up shop), which kept me from doing some things I would've like to explore;
- I couldn't look at the blog without wanting to change something about it. I needed white space, figuratively and literally.
- The River Into Words - as a "brand" - no longer seemed to fit me, my writing needs or my audience.
Also, some rightly-discerning words echoed in my ears. After spending a couple of years back in the US, we were getting ready to depart for Ireland again. In one of many last hurrahs, my big sister took me out to lunch, looked me square in the eye before we even ordered a thing, and asked:
When are you going to start taking this writing thing seriously?
She said I had a gift (I know. Whatever). And if I didn't push myself now, if I didn't explore new genres or devote actual TIME to CRAFTING the gift, I was stupid. She told me I had to take time for myself and my art and if it fed me, it would benefit my kids and our family in ways I wouldn't expect. She's a truth teller with a side of love. It's my favourite thing about her.
So it only took me 18 months to ruminate on her wisdom, to come around to the idea of letting The River Into Words grow (or go) and turn it in to something new.
Which, if you're still with me, is how we ended up here...
And if you're still here? Thank you.
(to be continued)