Today, I break the rules.
So I have this big idea that is only half defined.
How big? At the moment it’s covering the wall of my bedroom in those giant flip-chart post-it sheets. Most of them are filled with TINY handwriting. Most of the handwriting is mine, but some of the drawings belong to my husband. He’s listened as my heart spilled out onto paper and tried to sketch in the details as I talked.
At night, I can hear the paper flap against the wall as the ceiling fan blows.
When I walk past, I add more words.
I have no idea where it’s going.
I have no idea if most of it will ever even see the light of day.
It breaks all the rules.
I view myself as a story teller first, a writer second, and a blogger third. Before I ever wrote a blog post, I was writing crazy emails and Facebook posts. Before I ever wrote a word, I was telling stories across the table to my friends.
In all the years I’ve been telling stories, I’ve followed one basic rule.
Rules of writing #1
NEVER start telling a story before you know the ending.
In general, it’s a great rule.
Imagine if you were reading a novel and partway through the book the author said “I know you bought this as a romance novel, but I just realized that the characters don’t love each other. Sorry, but the rest of the book is going to be more of a horror story.”
Imagine if your friend called for advice about a really big challenge in her life and partway through she stopped to say “but then I figured it out and we lived happily ever after.”
Imagine if you started bragging about your amazing romantic weekend and suddenly remembered the embarrassing parts and had to cut the brag off with this awkward silence.
Imagine a stand-up comedian telling a joke and then standing there with a blank look on his face saying “sorry folks, I haven’t quite worked out the punchline on this one.”
But the rule has limits.
It means I can’t write about an ongoing struggle (like the whole weight loss thing).
It means I can’t share about my first year as a homeschool mom (because I honestly have NO clue how it’s going and my kids have another eight years before they graduate and who wants to wait THAT long to hear my homeschool craziness?)
It means I can’t always share from that place of uncertainty where I don’t know how things are going to turn out and I’m riddled with self doubt and insecurity.
The truth is, by the time I know the end of the story I’ve had time to tidy up some of the messier bits.
If I were a lifestyle blogger, I’d be guilty of showing you photos of perfectly decorated cupcakes in a perfectly dean kitchen… without showing you the photos of the dirty dishes in the sink, the three batches of failed cupcakes, or the few cupcakes where the icing did something funky and a bit risqué.
(You should know me better than that. I’d be instagramming that funky cupcake before the icing even dried.)
So where does that leave me? How in the world does this kind of half-formed big idea become a “pin-worthy” topic for a 31 day series on anything?
I have less than 24 hours before the big October challenge starts and all I have is a half-formed obsession.
Blogging is such an adventure.