In late 2009 as I was finishing my master’s work and finding I had all kinds of free time because I didn’t have to spend hours on homework every week, I stumbled across an old portfolio of my undergrad writings. Some of them, in hindsight, weren’t that good and the professors were just being nice, but other pieces still resonated with me. I still loved some of those poems and short stories fiercely and felt that they should be somewhere safer than in a file folder in our basement. So I set up a free Blogger blog and named it Trusty Chucks.
Trusty Chucks because I had been wearing nothing but my blue Converse sneakers for the past year as my body and my feet stretched and swelled with the growing baby I was carrying. And then after she came and nothing else fit or felt comfortable, I learned how to mother her in my Chucks. I took her to the doctor for the first time in those Chucks. Afterwards, I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and had a giant margarita for the first time in over nine months while wearing those Chucks. Which means I was also wearing those Chucks the first time I got really tipsy as a mother because I went a little too fast and hard on that giant margarita.
My worn Converse Chuck Taylors were there as I transitioned into a new phase of life, one that felt comfortable and confusing at the same time. And that summed up who I was as a writer too. Writing was comfortable and familiar to me, but I didn’t have a strong identity yet or know where it was taking me.
Trusty Chucks just fit.
With my new blog all set, I retyped my favorite college pieces and hit publish.
That was supposed to be the end of it, I wasn’t going to share them with anyone, I wasn’t going to write more, I just felt that those pieces needed to be somewhere out on the internet “safe” so I could find them later.
Then a few months passed and I felt the itch to write again, only I was knee deep in new baby haze and couldn’t think about anything to write except stuff relating to that precious little thing. So I wrote about Elliott Quinn, about her upcoming first birthday party, about her wiggly feet, and about how our lives were finding new rhythms now that there were three of us.
Again, I didn’t share this with anyone. I believed I was doing this as an online diary, just to satisfy the urge I had to write. Sharing your writing is scary and it never ever crossed my mind to ask other to read what I was writing.
That was a blessing in disguise, because most of it was
really kind of bad and not worth reading. But it helped me hone my voice, play around with my point of view, and figure out what stories I felt were best to get down. This went on for over two years: me writing and no one reading.
Then one day I noticed that my stats–people that came to read my blog–were growing a little bit. My first thought was oh no! followed a few days later by well, why not? I started sharing a few things here and there with friends and family and never really stopped.
At this point, people have been coming here and reading Trusty Chucks for four years. I’ve deleted many things I wrote from 2009 and 2010. Some of it still exists, but when I moved my blog from Blogger, it just felt full circle to get rid of some things that I didn’t feel fit anymore. But some of it still exists and I would recommend not going back to it. Let’s just say, I tried a little bit of everything: crafty blog, coupon blog, baby blog, photography blog, blog-every-day-about-nothing blog, all the blogs. I’ve loved trying on different hats and seeing which ones spoke to me and to you. I’ve loved experimenting with something I thought was great and then a week later not caring about it. Blogs are fun like that. Especially when no one is reading or paying attention, when there’s no pressure or stress.
Trusty Chucks today, right this moment, is what I’m most proud of. I figured out how to write what I really wanted to write all along, I was just not confident enough to whisper it to myself. I have always just wanted to write but I was afraid, afraid people would not read it, afraid people would hate it, afraid people would disagree with me.
Good news: all those things have happened. Better news: I survived.
And now all these years later, Trusty Chucks fits like a nice, broken-in pair of shoes. And I can’t wait to see where we go together.