the writer

I initiated this as a travel blog, a temporary residence while I drove across the country and back this summer.  Upon coming home, a travel blog felt rather purposeless as my travel during the year is mostly limited to driving back and forth to work, with occasional forays to the grocery store.  So I’ve let it wait a little, resting, perhaps, like a good roast should after a broiling summer.

Meanwhile, I’ve embarked on a more metaphysical sort of travel, a trip I’ve been trying to further ever since  junior high when I wrote three chapters of a “novel” on loose leaf then carried it around with me as if that would induce inspiration.  It’s a journey that has pulled me forward in fits and starts ever since, a ridiculous idea leading me on, akin to those people who wax philosophical about wanting to see Europe or spend Christmas in Hawaii but are always waiting for the right time to do it.  In a way, it’s a journey that I have resisted because (a) writing is hard and (b) the chance I’ll make any real money is laughable.  But I don’t make real money now, so who am I kidding.

Spending the summer the way I did, traveling and making writing – any kind of writing – a priority, cemented once again for me that writing is something I do.  It is frustrating because the writing is never good enough.  It is terrifying because what if, sometimes, they are good enough.  It is fulfilling because I am entirely in control.  And it is never, ever enough.

Growing up, I tried to avoid the skin, the label, of writer because even then I had a faint sense of the weight that comes along with that title.  I used to think that being a writer meant that everything I wrote had to be good and as long as I never owned up to it, I could escape the weight of it.  At the same time, I thought I could avoid being a teacher simply by stating I never wanted to go into education, all while I re-taught the day’s chemistry lesson to the kid who sat behind me in class.  Teaching, like writing, was just something I did.  It couldn’t be a career (Ha!).  What I have come to see, slowly, is that being a writer, like being a teacher, was a journey I was already on, one that was taking me through my own life rather than waiting until I was ready to take it.  And the weights – the desire to create, the need for the words to be perfect – were already on me.  Like it or not, I am a writer.  I might as well wear the skin.

It has been pointed out to me that writers, that is, writers who take themselves seriously, maintain writing blogs in order to have a professional face, however small, in the writing world.  And so I have spent the evening giving this once-travel blog a new skin, literally, to match my own as a writer on the writer’s journey.  And I have no idea where this trip will take me.


14 Responses to the writer

  1. Nan says:

    Now I have something to look forward to each day
    Keep writing about your trip ,thankful that I am able to
    enjoy my grandchildrens diversified activities.
    Keep safe,thats a cool boat.

  2. ginny AKA Mom says:

    So happy you have arrived at your destination safely and can now relax and enjoy. I also look forward to reading this blog. Janet is so disappointed that she missed you in NY but is hoping to see you on your return.

  3. janet says:

    Love the blog….the writing is so interesting and expressive. The boat is awesome…..never knew such a kayak existed.

    I am thoroughly disappointed that I missed you on your way right through Saratoga Springs. However, I was thrilled to learn that you’re staying a month and hopeful that you will pass through again.
    Colin is visiting tomorrow and we are looking forward to it as a special treat. Seeing you would make it a grand slam. We have a very private and comfortable guest room with Christie and Kelly written all over it. I’m considered a good cook and a welcoming hostess so I hope I get to impress you w/ my skills or not.
    Here’s the guilt trip: you’ve never seen our home in Saratoga and you’ve been part of our lives since your birth. In short,
    we’d love to see you and meet Kelly.
    Please consider stopping in to see us for a meal and/or a night. We would be thrilled with anything you can arrange so we can share some time w/ you. We’ll help you get on the road for an early start or make whatever accommodation you’d like.

    Enjoy the peacefulness of the lake and it’s surroundings. Be well and take care.

    with love,
    janet and bob

    P.S. Guilt trip cont’d: You’re gazing at the Adirondacks every day……our camp on Friend’s Lake is just about directly across from you….please consider anything…even a drive-by.

  4. MOM says:

    I am enjoying your writing and your experience in Vermont. You have chosen the best year for this. The Redmond Jr. High posted temperatures of 105 degrees today. You would be very uncomfortable here. Seattle was 103 today.
    It sounds like you are having great fun and really getting to appreciate Vermont and cabin living.

  5. MOM says:

    I loved your writings and thoughts on the Quebec piece. I had forgotten about your many years of high school french so I bet you are better than you give yourself credit. I’ve never been to the city and it looks so international that it makes me want to visit it. Fortunately, I’ve gotten to peek at it through your blog, thanks.

  6. john AKA dad says:

    Chris, Quebec looked very colorful and historical. I can’t wait for the entire photo package when you return.It sounds as though you are having tons of fun. Love, dad

  7. john AKA dad says:

    Christie, I see that you are experiencing the ‘wet of both worlds’! Sorry, bad pun. Good writing weather though. All I can say is ….WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!!!!!!!! Love,dad

  8. Aunt Diane says:

    Christie, the world is a really beautiful place and your commentary on your travels are eloquent. Enjoy your wonderful trip to the east coast (the best place ever!!) Maybe you will hit Thoreau’s “Walden Pond” in Concord Mass. for additional inspiration! Especially love the pictures with you in them! Much Love, Aunt Diane

  9. Megan says:

    Christie! So I’m using this as a way to say hi to you and Kelly, as well as to YOUR FAMILY who I haven’t seen in like 20 years. Hi John, Ginny, and Colin!! I looked over some of your blog. The writing is great. You sound like you should be in the new york times travel section! Really… nice job. And wow, it sounds like you guys are having quite a time up there. I’m sorry we didn’t manage to hook up. You won’t still be there over labor day, will you? We’ll be up in VT that weekend. much love, megan

    • thetriptakesyou says:

      Megan the great!

      We’re starting the trek home on the 15th, so no, I guess we missed you. I might be back east again next summer for a family reunion so maybe we can try again because I’d love you see you more than once ever 15 years. 🙂


  10. Nan says:

    Thanks for the pictures of Saratoga,always wanted to visit there.I used to bet on the jockey but never won big either.Just returned from Whidbey and the family and the crabs were the best.

  11. MOM says:

    I look forward to each writing and they seem to just keep getting better – I almost don’t want them to end. Your photographs are wonderful in quality and they give a realistic feel for the places you visit and the Vermont countryside. I’ll be thinking of you as you head west. Safe travel

  12. Poetikat says:

    I read your recent poem at “Bolts of Silk” and wanted to find out some more about the person behind the vision.
    I could almost have written the last two paragraphs of this post except that I didn’t pursue the teaching career I started. I do maintain a writing blog “in order to have a professional face, however small, in the writing world”.
    It always feels like it’s just not enough.

    • thetriptakesyou says:

      I appreciate the visit and your comments. Your last sentence strikes a chord. Do you think writers are ever people with an achievable threshold of enough? Maybe that’s the curse of the desire, the more we write the more we see what’s possible.

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