Years ago, my daughter was struggling to write an essay for her high school English class. It was about 11:00 at night, the paper was due the next day, and she had a major case of writer’s block. More specifically, her perfectionism and — bless her heart (because she gets this from me) — her procrastination had created this last-minute panic. She was frustrated, I was frustrated, and things were going downhill fast.
Finally, I just blurted out: Just write some shit down!
I know… not my finest moment in parenting, but dang it, it was good advice. For her and for me. There’s no other way to write than to just… write, dammit!
So I kind of guess that’s what I’m doing with this blog. Just writing some shit down and seeing what sticks.
I want to use this blog to help me process the myriad of revelations, thoughts, and questions I’m generating as I research a specific series of events in America’s relatively recent history, which is the backdrop for the novel I’m working on. This blog will be my own internal sounding board as I grapple to integrate what I’m learning about the civil rights movement in the late 1960s into my own consciousness as well as into my storyline. I find that putting thoughts into written words helps solidify ideas.
A wonderful bonus would be any conversation that might come out of some of those ideas and commentaries. Voices other than my own weighing in on these issues are very welcome – from other writers, from anyone who would be a potential reader of my story, and especially from anyone with lived experience closer than mine to the subject matter.
I know that I am treading on sacred ground. I wish to tiptoe lightly and respectfully over this territory without causing damage to the landscape, while also perhaps shedding some exploratory light into the more shadowy areas that many of us may not be fully aware of.