Forward And Free

Business Card FRONT

Every now and then in life, it’s necessary to say “goodbye” to the past so you can say “hello” to the future.

If you’re like me, you don’t find those transitions easy. (And if you’re also autistic, like me, you probably find them especially difficult!) But when they’re over, somehow, you realize a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders. You can move ahead on the journey with less baggage. You can be free.

I found myself in one of those moments this past week. As many of you may know, I ran a blog for several years called “JourneyCraft.” It was a blog about the craft of writing and storytelling that was, overall, more focused on technical guidance than on the writer’s journey.

I loved writing that blog. It got me work. People told me how much they learned from reading it.

And then, one day, it was gone.

Several months back, our credit card company thought they might have been the victims of a security breach. Though we personally had had no trouble or noticed any strange charges, our cards were withdrawn and reissued just to be sure. In the ensuing chaos, several automatic billing accounts fell through the cracks . . . one of which was my site host for JourneyCraft.

You can imagine my shock and dismay when I received an email stating that the site had been shut down due to lack of payment! I called the company. We got the billing mess straightened out . . . but the site was gone. A quick call to my faithful former webmaster confirmed that the content was most likely lost forever.

At first I was devastated. Though I no longer updated JourneyCraft, the site still got robust regular traffic. And it stood as a sort of emblem of a time in my life: the early years of my creative pusuits, when writing about writing helped me sort out the challenges I was facing in writing. How could such a terrible loss have happened over something so silly as a billing error?

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the loss of the JourneyCraft site was not (as it seemed) the worst thing that had ever happened. In fact, it might be a blessing in disguise.

JourneyCraftPath

I blogged recently about how I came to understand that writing is about what happens between words, not about the words themselves. JourneyCraft was a representation of an era before I understood that principle: a time when I honestly thought that I could master an emotional connection with readers by dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. That isn’t to say that JourneyCraft’s content was faulty; as technical instruction, I would stand by those articles even today.

But the me that wrote that blog was a very different me. The me who writes here today is a woman, a writer, a steampunk, an autistic, a nomad, in search of human understanding. This blog is about sharing myself and my life with you in a medium that I’m comfortable with, so that I can do the one thing that I find harder than any other: connect with you.

As the months of have passed, I’ve already come to value the richness and depth of the conversations sparked on this blog. They are all part of a new era of creativity with a new focus and new direction. One where I’ve stopped talking so much about writing and just gotten down to the business of wrestling with words.

When I realized this, I finally understood that losing a website’s worth of content, while unfortunate perhaps, was indeed a great blessing.

The slate is clean. The old me is gone. There is nothing to look back at.

I am free.

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