As many people around me know, I took the last final of my life on Monday. I now have 6 weeks until graduation, and I intend to fill those 6 weeks with more than just work-related things. For a while now, I've been thinking about starting a blog. At first I didn't see the point—I am already an avid journal writer and I use my Facebook account fairly regularly—why bother starting a blog too? But after winter semester ended, and with it all of my English and editing classes, I realized that I was going to miss having class discussions and writing response papers. As excited as I am to graduate, I have loved my experience at BYU. Getting a degree is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it is no doubt the most rewarding. However, a part of me worries that I won't truly be able to be happy without school in my life. I thrive in a learning environment and I need to exercise my brain regularly. This is one of the reasons why I chose to pursue editing—I'll never have to stop learning in that profession.
But, I don't think editing alone is going to cut it. There is something deep inside of me that just wants to write—this desire showed itself long before I discovered that I had a knack for noticing errors in writing all around me. It is for this reason that I am on my 15th or so journal; writing is big part of my decision-making process and it gives me a sense of completeness that I can't find anywhere else.
This blog isn't going to be a journal or a scrapbook, however. I plan to continue writing in my journal regularly, and I will probably start scrapbooking again now that I don't have school taking up all of my spare time (hurray!!), so it would be pointless to repeat everything here. The vision I have for this blog was actually inspired by Patrick Madden, an essayist and a professor at BYU. The very first article I ever got paid to edit was for a Humanities Alumni magazine article entitled "The Infinite Suggestiveness of Common Things," by Patrick Madden. The article isn't about anything important; in fact, it is mostly about essay writing. However, I was intrigued by the way that Madden was able to take mundane experiences and make them not only interesting, but inspiring.
About a year after I encountered this article, I had the opportunity to proofread a collection of Madden's essays that he was going to publish in a book. That project was probably my most favorite editing experience thus far. He wrote about things like laughter, death, garlic, and gravity—random and seemingly unimportant things. I laughed out loud while I read the laughter article, I came near tears when I read what he had to say about death, and I craved garlic mashed potatoes for weeks after reading his garlic essay. It takes a good writer to inspire someone when your subject is "gravity," but Madden was able to do it.
I am not by any means trying to imitate Professor Madden with this blog, however. I simply like the idea of glorifying the little things in life. I am really good about talking about nothing—I have a huge stack of journals to prove it. I am hoping that this blog will do for me what school has done for me my entire life—help me to put the things I have learned into words. I don't think I have what it takes to write for a living, but, like I said earlier, I still need to write. I don't really care if anyone reads this blog or not; I just want to be entertained in an educated sort of way. And as my family knows all too well, as long as I am being entertained (and fed), I'm happy.