I never imagined when I posted my first essay “Rudi from Latvia” on December 1, 2010 that I’d still be doing this two years later. I created Flying Not Screaming to impose a weekly deadline upon myself so I’d actually sit down and write something. As I posted on my About page, I also desperately needed to figure out how to fly gracefully through life’s unknowns rather than scream. Over a hundred essays later, I am still doing just that. Showing up at my desk–even on the days when the words aren’t flowing–and discovering as I rewrite draft after draft a little bit more about how that whole flying thing works.
I have experienced a magical two years because of this site, and I am incredibly grateful to all of you for participating in this project with me. I did not expect when I started Flying Not Screaming that people would actually read what I posted. Blogs are a dime a dozen. I am humbled and somewhat flabbergasted to have an audience. I know with absolute certainty that I would not be celebrating this anniversary without each of you. Your loyal readership fuels my commitment to honing and improving each sentence I write so to not waste your time, and your thoughtful comments and encouragement always seem to arrive when I am feeling most stuck or unsteady. Thank you for reading, for letting me write about you, and for giving me the courage to sit down before a blank page and try again.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a most special thanks to Ron and Nancy Smith who have been pivotal to the endurance of this site. A few months after I began Flying Not Screaming, they very tactfully volunteered to serve as my editors. Since then, I’ve sent them every word I write (including several drafts of a Young Adult novel), and they’ve cheerfully corrected my often numerous proofreading errors and checked facts and quotes for accuracy. They are not just my editors, they are my writing guardian angels. I push myself knowing that they are my first readers, and I wouldn’t be half as good without them.
Several times in the past two years, I’ve announced I was taking a hiatus from Flying Not Screaming. Occasionally, I quietly decided to close down the site all together so I could focus my creative energy on fiction. But when push came to shove, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, even though I felt pulled in two different writing directions without enough time for both.
This past fall I realized that I am unable to let go of Flying Not Screaming because I’ve come to rely on the essays to keep my life on an even keel. Working my question out in words has become my way of growing the better parts of myself, and has helped me let go of that which makes me less than gracious or kind. What I end up posting is my attempt to stretch my wings, my way of shining a little light into the unknown that frightens me so much.
Although I am happy to report that much of my screaming has subsided, I still have a long way to go in the flight department, so I plan on continuing Flying Not Screaming for at least another year–posting essays in an attempt to illuminate the murkiness. I have also begun to shape the past two years of essays into a book-length manuscript. As I work on this new project more questions arise that need exploring, creating fuel for future Flying Not Screaming essays. I am crazy excited about the writing months to come and as the third year of this site begins, I invite you to come fly with me. I so appreciate your company.