· By Taylor Cothern
Taylor Cothern - September 5, 2022
About a year ago, my mom asked me to help go through all of my old stuff that was being stored in her basement. As we were digging through boxes of old school papers, I found "books" that I had written. Some just had pictures, some had words, a lot of misspelled words, but they created a story. Most of my stories were about animals, because who doesn't love a great animal story?
As I browsed through all of the stories, I realized that my love for writing has been one that has truly been engrained in me for my entire life. But, I sometimes would look at others and be amazed at the things they could create - it could be creations with food, or paint, or photos. I watched my sister, an engineer, create beautiful masterpieces that actually came to life! That was the problem though. I always compared what others were doing to what I was doing, or couldn't do. So, I overlooked the art of writing.
In my early adult life, I picked up writing again. Journaling became a way for me to release my anxiety. It felt weird at first, because it was something I hadn't done for a while. As writing became more present in my life, I wanted to do more. Then, I got this idea that I should start a blog. I spent months researching how to create a blog, how much money I could potentially make, I even purchased and created a small website. I came up with my own name "intentinalitay" and launched the site at the beginning of a new year! I was ready!
The blog started great, but then it slowly faded. I never saw a single penny come in from my work. I felt like a total failure and thought once again, "I am not a writer."
The hardest part of being a writer is sharing your thoughts. It's hard to share because you are letting others see inside you - the crazy ideas, your feelings, your emotions. Sharing your writing is a very vulnerable and humbling experience. After what felt like a failed attempt at sharing my writing, I decided I would continue to write, but I would never share again.
And then, writing found me. Grace reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in managing the GHG blog. It would be a space for me to share my ideas and work with others in sharing their ideas. I decided to give it another chance. The GHG community is one I truly love and feel safe in.
This space of writing has become more than I could have ever imagined! As I have began to share my writing again, I realize that even if one person can relate to my ideas, it was worth sharing. In working with others, I have realized how powerful words can be, even if you don't consider yourself a "writer." This blog has been deemed "For the community, by the community." I think that phrase truly shows the power of writing and sharing with others.
My journey as a "writer" has been just that, a journey. I have goals of writing and publishing a book one day. I also have goals to fill up every page of a notebook with everyday life thoughts and lessons, that will probably never be shared with anyone. I have even learned a way to keep a digital journal through Instagram (a much better use of the account I created for my once dream of blogging). I simply post pictures and writing for the purpose of documenting life events and everyday thoughts.
In the end, writing for the purpose of pleasing others and making money didn't work, because I was writing for the wrong reasons. When I write for the purpose of letting go of my anxiety and recording my everyday thoughts and ideas, that is when I find the most joy in the art of writing.
If you are in the market to try something new, try writing. Pick up a pen and notebook paper and write about your day, or write about an idea that has been rolling around in your head. Maybe pen and paper isn't your thing - open the Notes app on your phone and type away. Whichever form of writing feels best, start creating some word art.
Taylor Cothern is a wife and mother who also loves teaching writing to 6th graders. In addition, Taylor loves writing herself in hopes that each idea will touch the life of someone else.
Follow Taylor on Instagram @intentionalitay - an account full of life lessons and thoughts based on intentional choices