It’s time to celebrate a new arrival. For weeks I’ve been working on building a website. These weeks follow a few months of avoidance, procrastination, and other forms of writer's block. Initially I thought I knew enough HTML and CSS (if you need to ask, you don’t want to know) to pull one together in a reasonably short period of time, say a couple of days.
Suffice it to say that as I began the journey through my out-dated web editing program, into some open-source freebies, and out the other end into a bare-bones text-editor with absolutely no frills, and concurrently through dozens of pages of on-line tutorials, CSS reference pages, and an actual printed-on-paper book of HTML instruction, I was certain I saw a white rabbit running before me. I lost sleep over links that wouldn’t work, bum style codes, and a host of other problems.
As recently as last night, I was ready to throw an ax through my computer tower. “I don’t need this grief! The world doesn’t need this page!” I wailed. In spite of my determination to remain calm and patient, the stress level soared.
Fortunately, a good night’s sleep worked wonders. Today I managed to get the errant codes calmed down, get the files moved from my hard drive onto the website that has been sitting empty for a couple of months, and you are invited to the unveiling of a major milestone in my recent life:
You’ll notice that the site name is The Heart and Craft of Life Writing. You may wonder where the story went. I went visionary and purposely left the S word out. As is the case with many types of projects, when you walk a few miles down the road, you round a bend or two and see new vistas. I see now that life writing is a more inclusive term than life story writing.
Life writing is any form of writing that springs from real experience, your own or others. It encompasses forms of writing that technically are not stories. For example, writing private pieces for healing, not sharing. Family histories are life writing. Personal essays are life writing, though technically, they are not stories. Life writing can even include fictionalized accounts drawn from your own experience or that of family members.
The Heart and Craft of Life Writing is built on a broad foundation to last for many years. I intend it to be a resource-rich site, where you can easily find links to helpful references, read stories and articles. I plan to have articles from a number of writers. I get enough writing practice with this blog! As time goes on, there should be some podcasts too.
Whether you’ve knitted an afghan, run a marathon, given birth, or finished a manuscript or website, the taste of victory is sweet. It makes the pain seem worthwhile when you've managed to overcome all the obstacles mankind, the universe and your own mind place in your path.
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal
Countdown: Three more days until the official release of The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing. But you don’t need to wait. Amazon has already begun shipping copies.