The Phoenix

This blog saved my life.


Not in a suicide prevention way, well not really, although my creativity was dying a slow, self-induced death, but in a letting in the light kind of way.


For many, many years, I denied my creative urges. There was never enough time to take that adult ballet class or break out a blank canvas; I was too embarrassed to sing karaoke; too tired to write poetry; to emotionally drained to flesh out my screenplay idea. And…well, you get the idea.


I recall visiting a hypnotherapist some time ago, who told me most seriously that all this creative suppression was not good for me. Her eyes widened concernedly as she grasped my hand and told me to let it out. Just let it out.


But I didn’t.


Oh I dabbled. I loved planning get-togethers and parties and that kind of thing. I attended some writer’s conferences, added to my manuscript in progress, penned a poem for The Rock here and there. But I didn’t embrace being creative the way I should, the way I needed to, and so I atrophied. I became bitter and envious of other writers, I grew frustrated and snappy, I strained against the rope I’d tied across myself.


Then, I resigned. I floated through days in a dream, not paying attention, not caring.


And I know. Really. I’m aware I have a family who loves me and who I love back. Being a mother and a wife are major parts of my identity. But they’re not everything. There’s a flap yet unfolded before I’m to be whole. I glued that flap further shut with my apathy and my anger and my not doing and soon, the closure spread to my other parts.


So I felt myself dying. A light snuffed out, only to occasionally sputter back on.


Then one day last November, right around my 39th birthday, I decided to shed my darkness. Whether or not I was afraid, whether or not I’d fail, just whether or not. Here I come.


So I registered a domain, made a design decision, and started writing regularly. I’d had a blog before — for 7 years in fact, but like me, it’d grown bitter and apathetic.


And I know. Really. It’s just a blog. But it’s allowed me to express myself. To unfold. In 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, I can remember who I am, just by writing a bit of myself and letting it fly. Sure, it doesn’t replace my other writerly pursuits, but rather is one of them. What that’s done for me can’t be measured. I’ve learned to love to write again, to trust my voice more, to share, to come undone, to goof, to connect, to shed, to shed, to shed, to bloom.


There’s more. My book, for instance. The one I’m excited to be writing again. I credit my blog for giving that pleasure back to me. And I thank you for listening and supporting and helping me save my life.


So sometimes I think it’s all fairy dust, just fairy dust, these dreams, these words. But that’s OK. Because I’m believing again. And there’s something magical in that.


26 Responses to “The Phoenix”

  1. insane mma says:

    Glad to be of service. Im a lurker. I think my blog saved me too…from throwing my kids in the trash.

  2. Kizz says:

    Thanks right back to you. I’ve been catching up a bit on PrompTuesdays today and they are a glorious gift.

  3. I believe you speak for thousands of women (some men too) who now blog. The opportunity to use my mind for more than wife/mother duties, which are rewarding and important, has been soul food.

    Helps to have a little encouragement and support in this collective creative writing class we’ve all jumped into. Please feel encouraged and supported by me :)

  4. Steph says:

    Good. Because you, my friend, are one of the best writers I know, and it would be a sad thing for you to forget that.

  5. robyn says:

    deb, i can relate. i feel like i *have* to be creative in some way or my insides will wither up. your blog has helped me to be creative. and besides that, i just love reading what you have to say.

  6. This is great and serves as a reminder for all of us not to put off those things that are inside of us craving to come out. Thank you for that. I look forward to reading your book when it is finished.

  7. mami Jen says:

    Good for you. I enjoy reading your blog. I think its wonderful to have such an outlet. Just letting our words and thoughts float out here in cyber space. Having others applaud them is just icing on the cake.
    You always bring a smile to my face.

  8. Da Goddess says:

    Fairy dust is good. And important. Without it, our lives are so boring and lack the magic that makes everything interesting.

    For me, blogging is my outlet for everything. The good, the bad, the ugly, the inane, the absurd, and sometimes even the creative parts of me all get to be expressed. And there are so many posts that sit in draft mode because the act of writing them was all I really needed to do to exorcise those demons or muses. But publishing something to the blog — letting it see the light of day and giving it over to public scrutiny — also serves me well.

    Plus, I’ve met some wonderful people and that’s a super special bonus.

    I heart you, Deb! Keep writing and remember that we’re all in this together.

  9. Gawd, how I love you.

    I’m back in town, but too tired and full of themed-shaped waffles to write at the moment.

    Is it okay with you if I just cut and paste this post into my blog? You’ve said everything I’d like to say, but, as always, way better.

    Gawd, how I love you.

  10. Noble pig says:

    That’s a wonderful story. I totally understand your feelings of wanting a creative outlet that is not judged but just an expression of self. Good for you!

  11. Jamie says:

    Funny how a blog gifts us the opportunity to just … be. Sort of like Costco, I didn’t know I needed it until I got there and had to have it.

  12. I think sometimes, when we blog, we feel ill equipped to call ourselves ‘writers’ (Or maybe that’s just me!). Sure, I don’t doubt that everyone who publishes a blog thinks they’re a writer, but for those among us who do or wish to be, this venue, where we can spill the contents of our heads and hearts, and we can get feedback or affirmation or guidance, whatever the case may be, is vital to helping us keep the idea bright.
    I’m glad our paths have crossed, and I’ve enjoyed your writing!

  13. deborah says:

    I think the Universe was trying to get your attention when you decided to finally do this blog. You are a very talented, funny, witty (which is different), quirky, creative, unique writer and the world would be less without your writing and your blog.

    Now get working on that book, missy!! And I mean it!

  14. Tricia says:

    After years of writing commercial copy, I also had to find my creative writer’s voice again. I had no idea the community of bloggers that exist, but your reasons for blogging and my reasons for blogging, and the reasons of so many women who blog are much the same and in each other we’ve found an amazing readership. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  15. Momma Mary says:

    I’m glad to be of assistance. :) You’ve given me something to look forward to writing every Tuesday, and something to look forward to reading. Every. Day. :)


  16. myra says:

    You are sprinkling your fairy dust all over the internet and we are the lucky recipients. Yours is among my favorite blogs ever. And you have an amazing gift: your emotional outpouring has a powerful and lasting impact on your readers. Your blog is good for the soul.

    Oh, and for me? Ditto to pretty much everything you said. But you said it better.

  17. Ferd says:

    I’m happy for you, Deb.
    A step in a very good direction for you.
    And glad you’re feeling better, because you’ll have to clear that “40” hurdle this November. Yikes!!!

  18. Vered says:

    Awesomely said. I know what you mean and I for one am very glad that you’re blogging. I love reading you.

  19. Erin says:

    It’s not just a blog. For so many of us, it’s the only part of our lives that are ours and ours alone. No one crying outside the bathroom door, tugging on our legs saying, “Up.” I’m so glad I discovered it, and also, you.

  20. Beautifully written post, Deb. It also sums up exactly why I blog. I’ve written for years as work, but my childhood dreams of being a novelist, of writing my own stories, embracing my own words died under the pressure of producing copy that sells.

    It’s not that I doubted I could write before I started SHE-POWER – I’ve made a living from words – but I had lost my unique writer’s voice. In my life I tend to be a feisty straight shooter, and I hated the fact that you couldn’t ‘hear’ me in my creative writing.

    But 12 months of blogging has changed all that. Now, when you are reading one of my posts, you really are hearing me talk. For better or worse, that’s me. My blog has helped me embrace the crazy, creative individual that I am and I feel very grateful for that.

    Glad to hear you feel opened up and renewed. When you’re creative, you have to acknowledge this spirit in you or a part of you dies and that would be a very ad thing for both your hubby and your kids.

    Kelly x

  21. Auds says:

    They may be fairy dust, but like you, it’s important fairy dust nonetheless…it has kept me hanging on through what is turning out to be some of the darkest times of my life.

    You don’t really realize, until you let something go, some creative aspect of your being the you neglect to nourish and give release to, that you snuff out bits and pieces of yourself that are as inherent (sp) as your arms or legs.

    I’m glad you have found your lifeline of sorts, and I’m glad I found you via your blog…women like you keep me hanging on, reading and writing, because sometimes the writing is all that keeps me going.

  22. San Diego Momma says:

    I’m so thankful to have friends like you guys.
    Thanks for your comments. They completely lift me up.


  23. (sorry i’m late)

    i have had a post similar, though not nearly we well-written, to this one about how thankful i am for my blog. my blog is goofy and is used mainly for therapy – when i have something to bitch about… or if i just want to post some pictures of myself and/or my kids after an event. it’s good stuff for me to be able to have an outlet of sorts. and believe it or not, it has done good things in my marriage.

    glad to be of help to you since you are my favorite writer online, and i can’t wait to buy your book! :)

  24. Green Girl says:

    Amen. I love how you told about this. It’s the creating that keeps me alive too. In a way that’s different from all the other parts of my life, lovely and wonderful but I need the creative outlet too.

  25. Eden says:

    This made me squee inside :)

    I’m eager to hear more about this book.

Leave a Reply