a cuppa

I am not British but I went to England for two weeks in college and I fell in love with everything about it. We did London for only a few days at the end - which was great of course - but what really captured my heart was the English countryside.

The gardens. The architecture. The very friendly people and scrumptious food that belied much of what people told me to expect about the place.

I've always wanted to go back and write from England - rent some little cottage or stay in a charming B&B or something while I write my next book.

Ah, dreams. That's kind of what I'm writing my next book about. 

And that's what brings me here. I started Creative Teacup a year ago as I was transitioning my business. I wrote about education for a few years, wrote my first book, traveled around and spoke at colleges, and had a truly wonderful time.

But at some point, I realized I had said all I had to say about that first book. And even though colleges were still inviting me to speak, I knew it was time to move on. I applied to a doctorate program thinking that would be the next thing - I'd move from writing and speaking about education to being a part of some of the changes needed when it came to access and opportunity.

I got very very close to that route, but deep down, I knew it wasn't quite a fit for me. Educational administration is vital work. But it wasn't me.

On to the next thing - another book idea. I'd like to pretend I planned all along to be a writer. But I didn't.

I was an educator who got an idea for a book while walking to the print shop on campus. 

What made me a writer, I guess, is I decided to follow through with that idea and actually write the book. 

Looking back on my life before then you'll see writing everywhere, except in my plans. It was always just something I did privately or in essays. I started off being an English major in fact with some vague idea of being an English teacher because of my love of writing (being a writer never really crossed my mind) but then I took a British literature class and couldn't relate to nor understand all the poems about ships and bowed out.

And in a college success class when a professor asked us to write out five year and ten year goals I found myself putting down "write a book."

So it didn't come out of nowhere, but it was one of those things that felt impossible. 

Until it wasn't. 

So I guess it shouldn't really be surprising that when I was at my next crossroads it was a book idea that took center stage - I would interview people about a dream they achieved and find out how they did it. How do people make the 'impossible' ideas in their head a reality? And isn't it crazy that that happens at all?

So a year ago I interviewed 120 people about a dream they achieved and it was one of the best years of my life. I got all the interviews transcribed into an 867-page word document - over a half a million words.

Then the following year I thought about those half a million words every day but wrote a lot less.

The original idea I had to organize and disseminate the book when I started was not the idea I ended up with. The book became something more than I'd even anticipated. I could have easily finished the book that year by forcing it into what I originally thought it would be - but that didn't feel right. I needed to let this book brew a little longer - I needed to give it (and me) time to be what it really was, not what I thought it was supposed to be.

Which drove me crazy.

Because I love results. I love the end. I love the outcome. "Enjoy the journey" one of my many notebooks (and I mean many, many many notebooks...I have a problem) says. Ya. Sometimes, I hate the journey. If we're supposed to love the journey all the time than I should have quit a long time ago. And maybe I'm wrong but something tells me that it's getting through the parts that aren't enjoyable that can lead to something that is.

So for me, the journey's cool I guess. But I like the endings. I like the moment when I hit publish. When I hold the finished book in my hands. When I sit at a table for a book signing and get to listen to everyone else's stories. That is my favorite part. 

Getting there takes years, though, so I get why it can help to TRY to enjoy the journey at least in parts. So of course, I am. Totally am. Just not all the parts all the time.

And one of the things I've been missing is writing and publishing more every week. I used to write almost every day for my first blog. I just felt like I had so much more to say. It was an advice-blog; I shared ideas to help community college students succeed.

Once I felt like I had said all I had to say about college, I stopped short-form blogging altogether. Because when it came to the next topics that interested me (e.g. creativity) I felt like I knew nothing. I was on the learning end. I was just beginning to explore my own creativity. So what did I have to say about it to anyone else? Certainly not advice.

So this is not advice. I repeat. This is not advice. 

This is just a journey.

And since I'm a non-fiction writer, I'm compelled to share it. It turns out sharing the journey is what helps me enjoy it. It's what helps me feel connected to you, which I love; writing is a solo process and I don't like being alone all the time. So I guess what I'm saying is, I need you. I like you. 

I'm calling these musings "a cuppa" - thoughts about creativity, writing, whatever. I started this blog with the intent of continuing the interview process I loved so much and writing profile features of creative people. It's been going really well except the only thing I didn't anticipate is that the kind of features I want to write take a long time to "brew" if you will. Months. 

And I thought that would be fine. Just post once in a while. Have this nice, clean, kind of literary online magazine thing with just a few 'issues' a year. Clean. Pretty.  I thought that's what I needed while I continue to work on this second book.

But it turns out, I miss the mess. That's the part of the journey I enjoy. So this is going to be the messy part of this blog. The part where I write whatever and whenever and hopefully often.

So I'm not editing myself. I'm not overthinking this. I'm just writing and shipping. 

And also, I don't really know what cuppa means but I think it has to do with having a cup of tea because they say it in Sherlock Holmes a lot (the modern one on PBS, have you seen it yet, binge it on Netflix right now it's the best!!!!!!).

Oh ya and I'll definitely write about TV once in a while. I am not a live-in-a-remote-cabin writer. I love TV and I don't care who knows it. 

Ok. Let's do this. Thanks for being here.