Thank you for joining me for my very first newsletter! I want to start things off just the way I aim to continue, by being completely honest. I am amazed to find myself here. This newsletter has not been a long-time dream or goal. In fact, even looking back to a few months ago, I did not see it coming.
In fiction, backstory refers to the history and events that lead up to the main story or plot. So, allow me to tell you a little backstory.
For years I told people that if I could start life again in my twenties, I would become an editor, or…maybe a writer. I thought briefly here and there about returning to school, but with four kids and a full life, the idea always retreated as fast as it emerged.
Two years ago, the notion came around again. Except this time, it stuck. It planted in my heart and kept digging its roots down deeper. I seemed to be getting nudged by God, my husband was encouraging me, and so, I did it. I went back to college, and after passing the dreaded math requirement, I haven’t looked back.
But, coming back around to the honesty part, I seriously had no bleeping idea what I was getting myself into. Through the first year, I kept telling myself I was going to be an editor. My hands were firmly wrapped around that goal. But with each passing class, God gently pried one finger after another back until I found myself a few months ago faced with the scariest truth I’ve ever known. I’m a writer. I’m terrified just typing that. The delete button is calling me.
Writing is scary. It’s vulnerable and hard and I live in my head for hours on end straining over diction and punctuation, losing touch with the physical world. My mind becomes like the heavy-duty cycle of the dryer: whirling about, words and phrases tumbling until I pull out something and plunk it into a Word document. It’s a bizarre life.
What’s more, today’s writer deals with realities that have just about derailed me: websites, social media, and technology that advances every three seconds. Who wants to deal with that? Okay, someone does. But not me.
The people in the know (hereafter known as “they”) told me to start a website. I said no. Then my writing program assigned it, the stinkers. Also, they said I need a writer’s social media platform. Since I’m bipolar with my presence on social media, the manic episodes being short lived, I balked. They said I need to get out there and promote myself. A) I hate that. B) I stink at it. Then they said start a newsletter. I’m sorry to say, I dragged my feet there, too.
After much ado about something, here I sit having launched a website, an Instagram writer’s page (with nothing on it yet…see previous bipolar comment), and as of today, a newsletter.
However, I am proud to announce that I am really, truly, sincerely, all in with this newsletter. I’ve had a complete change of heart, and this may be the one way to connect and grow an audience I’m actually jazzed about. Making new friends and having meaningful conversations is something worth celebrating. I can’t wait to embrace this new community, and I hope you will stick with me. I’m committing to a bi-monthly rhythm for now, so expect to see something in your inbox every two weeks.
As for other writerly things, eight classes are what separates me from my B.A. and I’m currently working as a remote journalist for a global mission’s organization, who, much to my surprise and delight, just asked me if I would be interested in doing some on-location work. Travel around the globe to meet people and write their stories? Oh goodness, yes.
Really, this whole thing feels a bit like God has led me into the forest where there is no cell service. I can’t consult Google Maps and there’s no path back to where I started. I’m simply putting one foot in front of the other. You’re here early enough to come along for the walk. We might end up somewhere fascinating. We might not. I make no promises.
That brings me to the newsletter itself. My desire for this space is embedded in its title, Holding All of It. Throughout my degree program’s training on websites, social media, etc., we have been told to “find your niche.” What’s your writing genre? Your message? Your brand? We are largely told to specify and define ourselves as a voice in one key area. Well, I’m putting my foot down here. I’m not doing it.
I’m working as a journalist as well as writing articles and devotional material, all while tinkering in fiction. I don’t want to be stuck in a corner writing one genre and talking about one subject. Maybe somewhere in the metaphorical forest we’re in, I’ll find a distinct path, but for now, I want to hold all of it. Or at least as much as I can.
On top of that, it’s a big and broken world; there is a lot to discuss. The one constant? God. The One who really is holding all of it. Keeping myself open to the conversations of His making is what I’m here for. What I do promise is to weave my journey as a writer into every conversation, allowing that theme to be the mainstay.
Above all, this is indeed a conversation. I truly want to connect with my readers and dive deeper into all of it with you.
That wraps up my heart for this first edition. Thanks for listening to my story, and I’d love to hear yours. Comments are open on my Substack page. Let’s chat or drop me an email.
Til next time,
Welcome Tiffany! I feel you in all of this, with you for it 👏🏻
I love this so much!