on emptying myself and what it means to be a writer.

I constantly have words swirling around in my head.

All day, every day.

When I’m in the shower, or doing the dishes, or taking Everett for a walk around our neighborhood, I’m writing in my head. I have no control over it. Even if I deliberately think to myself: Ashlee, relax! Just be here and breathe and stop thinking so much! I can’t. I can’t stop thinking and I can’t stop the words from forming. They are just…..there, dancing around in my brain waiting for me to put them somewhere else.

So you see, I need to empty myself.

I need to write, to get the words out, because if I let them stay there in my head, I start to feel too full, like how a person feels after Thanksgiving dinner. I get stuffed. And then I start to feel a little sick.

And then someone brings out the dessert and I’m like HOLD UP.

Hold. Up.

There is always room for dessert.

So I change out of my real pants into the stretchy kind and make a little extra room.

And I dive right in, licking my fork with each delicious bite.

………….

This blog has always been the place where I empty myself. It’s where I dump the words that are swirling around in my head all day, to ensure I never get too full.

And now, I’m embarking on a new writing journey, a bigger journey, to dump even more words and truly empty myself. I am still not sure what will come out of it, but I think it will be an ebook of sorts. I don’t know if I will attempt to self-publish, or if I will find someone to help me. I don’t know how those things work, but I’m willing to figure it out to share my story. It will be a collection of short essays, things I’ve learned in my twenties—lessons on friendship and marriage, grace and motherhood, who I am, who I am not, and who I want to become someday. Sometimes I think it’s a great idea, and sometimes I think it’s dumb. I’m thankful for friends like Katie who read pieces of it and say, “Keep going!”

In the meantime, I’m still here. This is still where my heart resides. I’m learning that the more I empty, the more the words come pouring out. I’m like a sixteen year-old boy, a bottomless pit.

So thank you for being here, for reading, for listening. While I am emptying myself on other pages, I will continue to empty myself here. I am grateful for this space, for this community, for you.

This is where I change into my stretchy pants, where I lay the napkin across my lap and grab a clean fork in eager anticipation.

This is where I make the extra room.

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11 Responses to on emptying myself and what it means to be a writer.

  1. Kiki says:

    I feel the same exact way when it comes to writing. I couldn’t have said it better. Writing is definitely an outlet, a creative space, and a therapy-of-sorts for me and that’s why I’m so grateful for blogging.

    And thank YOU for writing what’s on your heart. You’re such an inspiration to me to keep writing and telling my story. :)

    p.s. That yoga photo is AMAZING–I actually saw it right after my yoga class last week. And I know I always say that about you photography, but it’s the truth.
    Kiki´s last blog post ..prayer chain.

  2. Claire says:

    Me too, friend, me too. I don’t have a book in me yet, though. Unless its an essay book, maybe someday! You go, girl!!
    Claire´s last blog post ..Magnolias and Sunlight

  3. Just love you and your crazy talented way with words. I’m so thankful you put your stretchy pants on here.

    Keep going.
    Katie Blackburn´s last blog post ..why I love it: baking simplicity

  4. I love what you said here: “I need to write, to get the words out, because if I let them stay there in my head, I start to feel too full, like how a person feels after Thanksgiving dinner. I get stuffed. And then I start to feel a little sick.”

    As a fellow writer, I completely agree with you! Keep on writing girl—get those lovely words out in whatever way makes sense right now :)
    Natalie Lynn Borton´s last blog post ..collect: tea rose sweater scarf

  5. You have a wonderful way with words and expression! Loved this: “Sometimes I think it’s a great idea, and sometimes I think it’s dumb.” I know exactly what you mean! There are days when I feel all excited and confident about my ideas and my writing, but then when I look over it the next day I think, “What was I thinking?? This is terrible!” Lol. It’s all part of the glorious writing process!

    Every Monday on my blog I post quotes on writing, and in February I had a “Loving Your Writing!” theme. You might like these to help motivate and inspire you! I’m sharing the link to part 4 because it also includes links to parts 1, 2, and 3: http://lauramarcella.blogspot.com/2013/02/mqd-loving-your-writing-part-4.html?m=0

    Keep writing, Ashlee!
    Laura Marcella´s last blog post ..Monday Quote Day!

  6. This is SO exciting!!! Good luck!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures´s last blog post ..Buenos Aires, Argentina: Recoleta Cemetery (Part 3)

  7. Becca says:

    Of all the blogs I read, your posts stay wth me, they make me think, and inspire me even weeks later. I am so excited for you! Best of luck on this journey!

  8. Amanda says:

    so glad to hear that you’ll continue to share your thoughts here-I need some honest girl blog talk in my life once in a while and you’re saved to my favorites <3 Loved watching little E grow, I started reading your blog right about when you had him. I have a 15 month old son, so I'm right there with you on having a little boy to love.

    All the best
    Amanda
    Amanda´s last blog post ..A new

  9. Natalie says:

    Love this! Excited for your next chapter, or should I say “chapters” :-)

  10. Sarabell says:

    I’m so excited for you!
    I self-published my first book last year and now I work from home as a full-time author. It’s hard work but it’s so rewarding and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
    Sarabell´s last blog post ..Villebella- Ogden, Utah

  11. Caroline says:

    “I need to write, to get the words out, because if I let them stay there in my head, I start to feel too full, like how a person feels after Thanksgiving dinner. I get stuffed. And then I start to feel a little sick.” Yes! That. I totally understand.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Back in the Game

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