I cry. And then I write.

I cry every day. Not sad boo-hoo tears. Sometimes not even really actual tears. Just that lump in the throat on the verge of crying feeling you get when you feel something deeply. It happens when I’m happy or sad or moved, usually by an unexpected moment of humanity, either witnessed by or extended to me. A child trying to navigate a melting ice cream cone. Someone letting me go ahead of them in the checkout line because I only have four items and they have 846. A video of a pup welcoming home its war vet owner. The person who moves over, without me having to glare at them, to offer me a seat on the bus. That hard-knock life story kid who makes it through to the next round on “American Idol”. My emotions are always right there…on the surface. I am easily moved. So to process it, to make sense of it, to prevent myself from wading in a puddle of tears all day, every day, I write. For myself mainly. For friends and family quite often. I need to get the emotions out…somehow. I also eat lots of pizza and chocolate to deal with the emotions…but, well, ya know. It’s a slippery slope into perma-stretchy-pants land. So I cry. And then I write.

People tell me I’m good at it (the writing, not the eating, though I have mastered that quite well). I don’t really understand that. I just write. I write the way I think and the way I talk. That may not be a good thing but it’s the only way I know how. I don’t worry about, nor am I interested in, the “proper” way to write. I’m not interested in “constructive criticism” when it comes to my “process”. I don’t write for that part of the experience. For me writing is just a way to express myself and if someone starts telling me that I am not expressing myself the “right” way, well, ain’t nobody got time for that. I get grumpy and defiant and my Triple Taurus vibe comes out (yes, that’s right. I said it. Triple Taurus). Plus, I’m much too thin-skinned to accept that type of feedback with an open heart. I know my emotional limits. I can’t change the way I write, my approach, my style, nor do I have any desire to. It is what it is. I just write. Because I feel things. So I cry. And then I write.

I took a fiction writing class in college during my senior year to fulfill an art requirement. The sad irony of the child of two artist parents is that I am the least artistic person you will ever meet. My stick figures are round. So a writing class seemed a good option. I enjoyed it. But it was frustrating because there were rules and criticism and it just took the joy out of the experience. I do however, enjoy the editing process. I usually just start wring stream of consciousness style and I have a tendency to use “&” a lot instead of writing the word “and”; I am trying to change that. That is a concession I will make for this endeavor. I love to revisit what I’ve written and fine tune it. Finding the perfect word, or turn of a phrase…that is actually where the joy comes for me. Getting it just right. I think that’s why I like writing. I can take as much time as I need to say exactly what I mean to say, the way I want to say it. Total “verbal” control. There is not much in life that I can control. The realm of my written words is that rare exception. So I cry. And then I write.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a talker. Big time. But every day I have moments where I reflect upon a conversion I’ve had and think, “Ugh. Why did I say THAT? Why didn’t I say THIS?” I cringe with the memory of all the “likes” and “umms” and “omgs”. The sputtering and floundering. I wish I could take those words back. A do over. A verbal rewrite. But I can’t. So I cry. And then I write.

More and more, over the years, people from all corners of my life, people who see short snippets of my posts on Instagram, or other social media platforms, people who don’t actually know me and therefore have no real vested interest, and aren’t obligated to the polite supportiveness of friendship, tell me I’m good at it. Writing. They tell me that a lot. All the time. Everyday. And so you get to a point where you think, “Maybe you need to listen. Stop dismissing it. You love to write. It brings you joy. People tell you it brings THEM joy. The say you have a gift. Don’t waste it”. So I cry. And then I write.

It seems everyone has a blog these days. This is not a ground breaking feat I’m embarking upon. People do it every day. But for me, it’s epic. Life changing. Dare I say, it’s even bold…for a person who is, by nature and habit, not a risk taker. This blog. My blog. A place for my writing to live. A forever home for my words.

I am creating this space because people often ask me, “So, where can I find your writing?” I’ve never had a place to direct them. It is, however, hard to imagine anyone other than immediate friends and family would be interested in the things I have to say or the stories I have to share…like the time I thought Marvin Gaye and Jackie Kennedy were my parents. And that time, for two weeks, when doctors debated if they would need to amputate my leg. And that time Len Horne requested to meet me. Or how I grew up not just IN the Haight-Ashbury but actually ON Ashbury and Haight Streets, in a house where Jimi and Janis once lived. Yes. I’ve have stories to tell. But do I dare? And then there is the privacy thing. I am fiercely private. “Lulu” is my nom de plume. I won’t be posting picture of myself here. I worry that certain details I write about will out my identity. And that terrifies me. Maybe I’ll get over it. I’m not sure. So I cry. And then I write.

The emotion of what I’m doing…finally…after so many years of false starts. It’s terrifying. I even put a little bit of money towards this blog because I have creative OCD and I want the site to look a certain way. Fonts matter. I’m sort of weird that way. So it feels real. Like, am I really doing this? So I cry. And then I write.

And as I sort through the myriad of offered color palates for the blog design (OMG, why are there so many?) I am overwhelmed and afraid and excited. And as with any major shift in life, there are signs…everywhere…right this moment that I am doing this thing. My cat rolls over on the TV remote and the weight of his furry tummy presses the buttons and changes the channel. It’s a movie. The well-known character in the scene says, “I am a writer”. Is it a sign? I glance down at my Instagram account and my most recent post, a quote about writing by F. Scott Fitzgerald has just been LIKED by Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, Mariel. Is it a sign? So I cry. And then I write.

I know that signs are everywhere because my friend Lake tells me they are and Lake is all knowing and wise and intuitive and the one person, more than any other, who is not going to tell you the warm fuzzy thing that you want to hear, but the deep profound thing that you need to hear so that you will grow. It’s been this way since we were in the first grade. So if Lake says there are signs, trust me, don’t try to fight it. There are signs. So I cry. And then I write.

I am seeing the signs. I am listening to them. I am respecting their power. And I will give my words a place to live, a home, worthy of their power, instead of deserting them, scattered throughout the universe and forgotten. I will honor my skill, my talent. I will respect my voice. I will share my stories. So I cry. And then I write.

I have no idea what happens after this. I am terrified at the idea of strangers reading my words. I have no end goal here. I just want to write. And if people read my words and appreciate them, that is truly wonderful. If something I share moves even one person in a positive way, well, that will be beautiful. But I have no expectations. So I cry. And then I write.

And so now, in this very moment, I feel strong and powerful and in control. And the tears have stopped. I’m not crying. Is it a sign?

Time will tell, my beauties. Time will tell. xo lulu

26 thoughts on “I cry. And then I write.

  1. I read. I CRIED. There is such an aching familiarity in your words… please don’t change the way you write. It’s refreshing and parts of it were beautifully honest. Well done (and no, I’m not just saying that).

  2. I knew it would be great! Being one of those people who don’t know you personally but loved your writing after probably two lines, please let me say I will be reading your blog daily. And loving it! 💕💕

    1. Thank you so much. That means a lot to me. My friends HAVE to be nice & supportive to me – lol – so comments such as yours really touch me! xo lulu

  3. Love. I am (and I have posted all of two, yes two times) a writer (so per my previous admission, therefore not really a writer) who loves the stream of consciousness style which is why I feel I connected to your writing and style! thanks….I’m new here.

  4. Another good read. I’ve been a crier lately, too. I figure it’s just too many boo-hoo worthy events going on around me in my world, the rest of the world. In reality, I bet it’s just because I’m a wuss and finally forced to confront who I am!

  5. Hi. You were my sign. Since April 1st I have published my romance novel and I cry and then go on with it. And cry. And go on. Over and over again. I just related so much to your words. I long for people to read my book and my blog. And yet the idea terrifies me like the boogieman once did. I feel raw and exposed and so eager. I have found myself in writing but it makes me feel strong and weak at the same time. Thank you for your words. They comforted me.

  6. Love it. Your thoughts seem so timeless. I could read this again in 20 years and connect with it. And like you I am a crier. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

  7. I can honestly say how much your words in this post resonate with me and just want to add to the noise of fans on here that remind you how brave and brilliant your writing is. Have you ever heard of Brene Brown? She’s on Ted Talks and teaches about the power of vulnerability. She also has a brilliant book out called ‘Daring Greatly’. Anyway, wonderful blog and you definitely have another follower. Amylou x

  8. Discovered your blog today and I’ve read a lot of the posts. I must say that I really really like it with this being my favourite post. I hope that my blog will one day be like this

  9. I also cry so much, so often. Whether it’s someone winning gold in the Olympics, my niece getting her first certificate at school, a song I haven’t heard in ages, happiness, sadness, excitement… the list goes on. I enjoyed your blog and will be cheering you on as I read more of your writing. Thank you and bless you.

  10. Lulu….ur writing is crystal clear. Like something written just for u to read and smile 🙂 you write without filters and that is what makes your writing so very unique and it touches us because at skin deep we all feel and we all love, it’s just that in the daily rut of life we wear various masks to skim through the crowd and at such times reading your stories directly from your heart are home coming. I’m already addicted to ur writing. Do not change and do not stop. I created my own blog for this very reason of giving my feelings a voice and I’m new here. Just a week old 🙂 you inspire me ❤

  11. That was a good read. Yeah, People always tell you that you are a good writer and they keep telling you so, and you’ll always keep changing the diction. Your styles. Your manner of writing. You never gonna get stiffed and you’ll always want to change that afterwards. But. Verbal. You can’t. And you cry. And you write. And you keep amazing us like that. Loved it. 🙂

  12. I love the way you write 🙂 as a disenfranchised overly emotional aspiring author, trying to get my fire back – you made me cry. Good tears. I may get back to sleep now. 🙂 you’re the first blogpost iv read on this so thanks lulu X

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