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Preparing to explore

A few weeks ago I found myself realizing, amid the general frustrations of what was an unusually unpleasant work week, that I don’t write much anymore. At least, not as part of my job. Sure, I write hasty emails (more full of typos than I care to admit) and now and then edit an internal procedural page, but rarely do I have the opportunity to immerse myself in a project, grok the inner workings of something, and then find the best way to present those workings to an audience.

Now stop me before I start coming off like a whiner, because I am doing a lot of other interesting things. But that one bit, the writing bit, the bit that drew me to the technical communication field in the first place….that I miss.

I have thought of myself as a writer since practically the moment I memorized the Berenstain Bears’ Inside Outside Upside Down, and called it reading. I wrote stories in kindergarten, and in elementary school relished the English assignments that involved making books—real books!—with our own stories and illustrations. When I moved to a new state, I wrote my best friend novella-length letters describing my misery. In college, I majored in creative writing, penning short stories and poems. And then I became a technical writer.

Now, I am more manager than writer. And several weeks ago I realized that I really miss writing. I realized that not only am I not writing at work, but I’m not writing out of work, either. The only time I update this blog is when I’m traveling, exploring and wanting to share the experience.

But here’s the other thing that my introspection reminded me: I don’t need to travel to a new country to explore and share my explorations. There are plenty of amazing place to explore in my own backyard. Why am I not doing that?

My goal is to go exploring. Once a week. Explore, and share, short or long, something written. So I can stretch those typing fingers and use my words.