Before I started The Messy Middle, the only public writing I did was monthly (actually every 6 weeks) newsletter to prayer and financial supporters. I remember during my first year in China a second year teacher saying, “Oh, you’re so lucky you’re in your first year, you still have things to say.” Well, I never ran out and those 18 years of writing newsletters launched me as a writer. The Messy Middle started in 2011 and two of the cardinal rules of blogging sounded reasonable, so I followed them:
1. Develop your voice (aka, sound like yourself).
2. Post consistently and with what rhythm worked for you. I landed on three times a week.
I started guest posting (OK, I started submitting posts like mad and getting rejected almost as fast as I wrote), but a few ideas landed in the right hands and slowly I went from thinking Facebook was stupid and commenting was gimmicky to seeing how new forms of communication connected people and provided forums for learning from each other.
I was hooked.
And then I was anchored. Knowing I was leaving China and job I’d had for most of my adult life, The Messy Middle turned out to be a secret door to another room in the house called “Amy’s Life.” Though almost everything was changing, I could ride the waves of life because I wasn’t alone.
The Messy Middle is no longer the only place I write. Velvet Ashes and the Book Club, Self Talk The Gospel, and China Source are the perfect combination of writing outlets for my interests: cross-cultural living, books, Jesus, and China. If I could find Broncos Fans Forever (See you in heaven!), truly my cup runeth over. But The Messy Middle is my online home, it’s where all of these pieces fit together and I love us.
Right now I am feeling pulled in one too many directions. This is mostly self-inflicted :) and due to a project I told myself, “Amy, either you do it in 2015 or you shut up about it.” And so I”m doing it. I’m going to share more in Beyond the Surface (new name for the newsletter). One thing I really cannot stand about our modern era is this false sense of urgency created so people think they might miss out. I’m not saying this to be cryptic or markety, I’m just not comfortable with it being on the web. Almost all of you are subscribed, so don’t worry about missing it.
In light of the project, I’m going to cut back to one decent post a week and one post about a sign I’ve seen that’s caught my eye. I’ve missed my sign obsession :). For reals, who can’t use some donkey meat sauce in their lives?
I think a good six weeks should do it. And I know I’m about the only person on the planet who has to schedule around Mother’s Day, but I’m not kidding, the two weeks leading up to Mother’s Day in the U.S. are cray, cray for me. Wonderful and I never know what opportunities will be there for me, but full.
So, lest you got lost in this walk down memory lane, bottom line is this:
1. I’m most at home here in our little community and know I’ve built trust with you. If I say I need to cut back, I know you’ll be supportive, so thanks in advance.
2. I love doing life with you.
3. I’m cutting back for about six weeks and will be posting twice a week (one being a picture of a thought provoking sign).
4. I’ve been reading good books — oh, and can’t wait to see McFarland. Good grief, see what I mean about being comfortable. But you know I love sports movies, so you have my thoughts on McFarland to look forward to. If you haven’t seen the trailer, watch now and then tell me you don’t want to see it. It’s so inspiring it made me think about running and wish I liked it. That’s real inspiration!
From smack dab in the messy middle of life,