Gratitude, Journals and Words


Words – what do they mean to you? Are they a collection of adjectives, verbs or nouns in a dictionary? Or do they have the power to transport, awaken an imagination when strung together artfully?

As a writer who aspires to be able to someday write professionally, they should mean something beyond that of a way to communicate. It’s embarrassing to admit how passionate I am about writing and still, I’ve not managed to even touch the tip of a halfway point in the work-in-progress that I consider my most “serious” prospects. 

Over the last six years, I discovered just how much I love stringing sentences together until they resembled something that would proclaim more than, “it was good” while putting together film or book reviews. In that avenue, I realized that writing wasn’t just something I could do, it was something I identified with – the communication I thought I was best at. It’s only been recently I realized that even in that “safe” forum,  I’ve begun to question what I want out of these aspirations; am I really serious or do I just see it as a temporary bit of fun? Writing is a progressive challenge. Each season of it demands to see improvement; each goal is to look back and see that growth.
 
Recently I’ve been discovering the heart of writers through some of the blogs I’ve been reading – really listening to what they were saying. I am not sure why. Not because these talented voices didn’t have something inspiring to say or lessons they could teach before, more because I’d looked at blogging as more “fun” than an environment that would dig deeper – to challenge someone if the words were sincere. 

Once upon a time, I began this blog as an “impersonal” space. I didn’t have expectations for it to turn into comment threads that would humble or inspire me or a place that could be a part of a bigger “community” in which I felt welcomed. Dreaming Under the Same Moon has evolved into something I didn’t foresee – it’s a fun place and something I look forward to being a part of during the week. You (the reader) are the reason behind that. No matter how many times I may write that or thank you for being a part of this readership, I want you to know, each sentiment is sincere. If ever it sounds less than that, then the fault is mine.

Blogging with my heart on my sleeve or as a kind of “journal” is not my style (I wrote about this in detail last year). It never has been and while I’ve become more comfortable moving beyond that scope, and feeling as if, through faith, I’ve started on a journey that I am open to learning and becoming more confident (knowing my opinions, having “grown up” more in these last two years), life isn’t an open book. Some things are private and some want to take flight. Blogging about life doesn't always have to happen in journal form - writing a book review can be very personal depending on the effect it had on its reader. Which leads me to realizing the place I am at now seems different. I’ve been encouraged by a variety of outlets, and realize I am on an interesting learning curve. 
 
Challenges are bound to come. God is bound to take us by surprise. Enjoy it – whether it’s through words or experiences. Whatever lessons are in store, wherever you may be in life... enjoy it! 
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Rissi
33 Comments

33 comments:

  1. Oh, Rissi, I love reading posts like this. :D I used to, and I guess I still do, tell people that for me, when it came to my writing that I loved piecing together sentences and crafting stories. I just love stories, even when they frustrate me or make me cry.

    Great post! :D

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    1. Do you know, Rosie - I like writing posts like this (a nice break from the "structure" of reviewing) but run out of thoughts too easily.

      Me, too! Love stories and reading through them; the sign of "good" stories is when they touch us. Lately, many have had that effect. :)

      Thanks for reading!

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  2. I really enjoyed this post Rissi!! It was very lovely. I often admire how you write your posts and reviews so eloquently and seem to say everything you want to in just the perfect, loveliest ways :) You are an amazing writer! I've seen myself changing with blogging as well, hopefully for the better, haha. I really love you blog Rissi :)

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    1. Thank you for reading, Sierra - I sure hope we'll be seeing more posts from you after your (hopefully) relaxing break. :)

      Isn't seeing change fun? Sometimes I am unsure exactly what that "change" is but it comes with maturity, I think. When each of us started blogging, we knew next to nothing. How far we've come is a testament that it's been a journey of lessons - and hopefully for all of us, maturity in our faith. That's when it's most exciting!

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  3. I am very fond of words, and am learning that it's not easy to 'string them together artfully'. Though I think you do that very well. Thank you for this post. =)

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    1. You can say that again, Evelyn - it's not! Far too often, it's more overwhelming than "easy."

      Are you working on a book? That seems to be the hardest thing to concentrate on because you don't easily "see" the end in sight whereas a blog post or review always has an "ending."

      Guess the best things worth accomplishing don't come easy - and perhaps those are the things most worth conquering.

      Thank you for reading, Evelyn!

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    2. Yes, overwhelming is the word sometimes! I am, in fact working in a book. (How did you guess?) though right now it's more planning than writing, but I do have the prologue and {almost} the first chapter done. =)

      I agree, books are harder because you can't see the end. I love writing blog posts because it gives me a chance to practice, and it doesn't take a ton of time. (Well, depending on what I'm writing about!) I also write snippets that simply describe a scene and I see how much emotion I can put into one page. I really enjoy those!

      I do think that is very true, the harder it is to conquer the more it is worth. =) that's why I appreciate good writing, cuz I know how much hard work went into it.

      Thank YOU for writing, Rissi!

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    3. Good for you! Glad to hear there is progress. Planning is just as important - I'm not a writer (so far) who makes an outline but it may not be a bad idea. :)

      That's the greatest thing holding me back from finishing one of my WIP files, Evelyn. Just feeling overwhelmed - it's nice to be in a circle of writers because, as you say, we "get" all the work that goes into it and hopefully can encourage one another if things are at a standstill. Perhaps together, we'll conquer those files on our computer. We can do it, right!?? ;)

      Yes, indeed, anything that is difficult to conquer is all the more appreciated when the dust settles. That's what we have to keep reminding ourselves of.

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  4. You are a very talented writer, Rissi. You have a gift for finding the right words to say--somehow I have such trouble hitting on the right phrases. I know what I want to say, but a lot of the time it won't come out of me.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this, Hannah - it's because of all of you commenters and readers that I'm so invested in blogging. This has been a real "journey" and as a result, I've learned so much.

      You aren't alone in finding it troublesome to sometimes find the right words - believe me, I struggle with this often because I am my own worst critic. That's the perfectionist in me and I often want to challenge myself so much more. And I sincerely mean it when saying that it's the inspiration or encouragement from fellow writer's like you that helps. :)

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  5. I love your blog, Rissi. I have to say that I am personally very lazy when it comes to writing, and so therefore, I would like to tell you how much I've enjoyed checking in every week, because I know I don't always say something to encourage you in your endeavors.

    You've made a marvelous little "corner of the web" and I am excited for whatever progression you should choose to take with it. I know I'll love it.

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    1. Camille, checking in once-in-a-while is awesome by me. I enjoy getting your perspective on whatever movie or post you are sharing thoughts on. And please don't mistake this post as me looking for encouragement - that's not who I am in the least, I have been inspired by so many of the blogs I follow, the writer's don't even know how much but it's meant a lot and one night I was just inspired because of that to write this.

      Do you blog anywhere or have you thought about it, Camille? I'd sure love to follow your writings if you do. :)

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    2. I know you weren't posting this for encouragement, I just thought I'd share some! I really do enjoy your blog, so I thought I'd say so. :D

      No, I don't have a blog or anything. I'm one of those people who dreamed of being a writer when I was young, but didn't end up becoming one because I didn't work at it enough. I like to journal and write, but it is very sporadic, and I think I've gotten a bit out of practice since high school. I was OCD about grammar and spelling then, I now I look at my stuff and am embarrassed (did I really just put the wrong "their/there" . . . NOOOO they will think I'm STUPID!!)

      Actually, I think my perfectionist personality contributed to me not pursing writing, I never thought it was good enough, so I just would put off writing about a subject until I had all my thoughts together, which never happened. I'm amazed that Charity is so prolific with her writing, considering this is similar between us.
      I really identified with these articles of hers: http://charitysplace.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/perfectionism-just-stop/ & http://charitysplace.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/can-an-intj-be-a-writer/

      Which is why I love commenting on your and her blogs, I can contribute, it gets me writing a little, but the huge commitment of a blog isn't hanging over me. Thanks for the opportunities. If I ever start a blog, I'll certainly share!

      Have a lovely (cool) Monday. Here in Michigan, we are having our hottest week of the summer.

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    3. ...and I really appreciate your sincere words VERY much, Camille - I am grateful for your encouragement. When I was reading all these comments, I suppose it made me pause and wonder if it sounded like I was looking for some sort of acclamation which is what led me to comment on that in my reply. Sometimes I look back at things and say, "did I really just write that!?" Makes me embarrassed sometimes because in writing it's that much harder to convey what you want to say. In person there is the benefit of facial expressions and tones, here... well it's a challenge to know if a person will know you are just teasing or that you mean something sincerely and aren't using "creative licensee" to overdramatize something.

      Know just what you mean - I'd like to finish one of my books "just because." To prove to myself I can, but I don't necessarily know if I'll even self publish once that happens. We'll see. I didn't think you blogged anywhere but wanted to check because for sure, yours would be one I'd like to follow.

      Thanks for sharing those links on Charity's blog - I read that perfectionist post and was like, "yes! GREAT post." Made me realize that we do need to just STOP, and yet it's oh-so hard. Matter of fact, I just looked up an old TV review for the next Femnista article I'm writing and cringed over how "wordy" it was. Made me want to revise the review - and perhaps I will! ;)

      Good way to look at writing - and you are certainly welcome here anytime. If you'd ever like to contribute a blog post, you'd be welcome to "guest" here. :)

      Ugh! I sympathize with you - so NOT very cool here today. That humidity zaps ones energy. Keep cool!

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    4. I can tell Rissi that you put A LOT of effort into making an articulate message that conveys it's intention. That is hard to do on the internet with typescript as your format. Bravo! I'm so cheered up when I visit!

      Thanks for the invite, that's so sweet of you! I'll keep it in mind if I ever decide to go outside my comfort zone. ;)
      Hugs!

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    5. Writing in any forum *is* hard. When the message seems to come through to the readers, that makes it more worthwhile. Thank you for your kind words, Camille - means a lot to know readers understand where the writer is coming from. :)

      Awesome. If ever you do wander into blogging (and I understand your reservations. Believe me), I'll be following along.

      *hugs*

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  6. Wonderfully said, Rissi! Blogs are such personal things, even without writing 'personal' posts. Just looking at the layouts, etc. can say so much about the blogger. In a way, blogs are a story, too.

    And don't worry about not being able to finish a work-in-progress, or that it's 'taking too long'. The best things in life take time; every writer's process is different. Some takes years, others months. But the result is the same: a book that people will cherish. Your time will come. God will bring it to you.

    Keep up the awesome blog, and many blessings on your endeavours!

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    1. Well said yourself, Rebeka - blogs in and of themselves (regardless of the subject material) are a "personal" thing. Hadn't thought of it like that. Serious bloggers put a lot of time into their blogs - especially blogger's like you and I who chose to respond to comments (I wouldn't want to do it any other way) or those of us who review for author's/publishers.

      Anything worth doing that should be taken seriously should be given time, I haven't even given that to my WIP to be honest - or certainly not a fair enough amount. Ah, well. Someday! ;)

      Thank you for your kind words - they mean a lot!

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    2. Aww, thank you! And you're welcome! *hug* Bloggers unite! ;)

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    3. YES! We bloggers need to stick together. Love the support and welcoming feeling of this little community. :)

      *hugs*

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to read it, Juju. :)

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  8. Beautiful, Rissi. Really. What a privilege to have a blogger like you in this community, to connect with and learn from. Thank you for that.

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    1. Thank you for your support, Ganise - I am always grateful for it.

      Isn't this community fun and wonderful? I've enjoyed being part of it and am SO GLAD you have joined us in this thing called Blogging now as well. Cannot wait until you come back from your much needed break - bet they'll be more great posts to come from you! :)

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  9. This was lovely, Rissi. And I understand. I've been noticing how I've changed since I started blogging and I've only being doing it a small portion of the amount of time you have! I've found that I actually do enjoy writing and crafting a blog post. That has really surprised me about myself! :)

    And trying to find the balance between staying impersonal and sharing bits of myself is kind of hard sometimes. I don't want to scare people away with too much insight into my weird brain, yet I don't want to only post reviews either. See, here I am trying to explain it to you and the words just won't come. And I shouldn't be taking so much of this comment space talking about me! *sigh*

    Anyway, my point is I really enjoyed this post! Blogging, writing, reviewing, it opens us up to a world I'd never imagined and I'm loving it. You have been a big inspiration and encouragement to me. I hope you know that. I don't want to overwhelm you with my gratitude either, but please know how I appreciate you! :) I've watched your kindness and care with your reviews and your interactions with others, be they authors or bloggers or readers or all three. God has blessed you with a gift of encouraging community and friendships in a way. And I for one am a happy recipient of it! :)

    So keep it up! As long as you enjoy it anyway. And whatever you may post, or end up writing one day!, will be wonderful. I'm very positive on that. :)

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  10. And wow! That was lengthy. Sorry.

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    1. When this blog began, it had a different purpose and now... wow! I've been so grateful to all of you for your support and welcome that it's slowly merged into something that makes me enjoy being a part of this community. Writing blog posts is challenging but enjoyable - and anything "good" worth doing should present challenges.

      Your comment about a "weird brain" made me smile, Kara - that is SO me also. (Take as much space as you want talking about you - it's nice to get to know you more.) I say things like that all the time - so basically, we'll be crazy like that together, right!? ;)

      As a girl who grew up skeptical of the Internet (partially because of my upbringing and hearing stories on the news, etc.), I think a large part of my blogging starting out "impersonal" was due to that just because I didn't know what reaction there'd be (if people who had no respect would comment, etc.) so that left me "careful." Now that I realize there are SO many talented bloggers/writers out here who are kind, respectful and have become friends, I've definitely opened up more and that is of course, owed to you all who have been great friends!

      Thank you sincerely for all your kind words.

      Right back atcha, girl - keep it up! :)

      (Never apologize for lengthy - your comments are always great.)

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  11. http://simply-hannah-elise.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-book-lovers-award.html

    Hi, I tagged/awarded you as a book lover, if you're interested!

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    1. Cool! THANK YOU, Hannah - I'll be by later to check out your latest post(s). :)

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  12. I love this, Rissi! (And sorry I'm commenting a few days late.) The part where you mentioned questioning whether you're serious about this writing thing, realizing it's a progressive challenge...I faced those same questions/realizations a few years ago when I was first contemplating jumping into the writing thing. I decided if I was going to spend time on it, then I wanted it to mean something...

    Love your blog!

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    1. Yes, well said, Melissa - it should mean something! I think sometimes I forget that or think "there's time for that later." If, as an aspiring writer or published author, we are serious about the trade then we owe our writing the benefit of serious consideration and time. seeing change and improvement makes all the angst worth it, right!? ;) Sure am glad you decided to jump into writing! The result of that looks fantabulous.

      Thank you - as always - for stopping by and your kind words, Melissa. I love your blog - it's such a fun place.

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    1. THANK you for taking the time to read it, Heather - really appreciate that. :)

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