MaDonna Maurer is an American, married to a German and living in Asia. She blogs with purpose and runs several, each with a specific focus. She has recently joined our reviewing team and her review of Apple Gidley’s Expat Life Slice by Slice can be found on her RaisingTCKs blog as can Paula Lucas’ Harvesting Stones. Here she shares what motivated her to start and run quite so many. Be inspired.
I believe it is safe to say that my writing has evolved. I can remember my first journal in elementary school, the ones with the gold plated heart-shaped lock that came with a tiny key.What in the world does a third graders need to keep a secret? From that early time I figured out that writing helped me process. Journaling was how I coped with high school and college. Then in my early twenties, I moved to China. Of course, I took a journal – actually I think I took a few in fear there would be no paper. Oh, how little did I know back then. Those first journal entries were full of excitement, some culture shock, and even my fears. During my years there, I realized I had a passion for writing – but I wasn’t sure what I should do with it. That was about the time I first heard the word “blog”.
In my mind a blog was an online newsletter, a place to keep up with friends and family. I tried it, but I just wasn’t comfortable with the format and the lack of privacy. I felt torn with what I could/should share with the World Wide Web. It wasn’t until a couple of years later, while taking an online writing course that I began to understand what a blog could be used for. At first I just read blogs from other writers in hopes to gain more advice on the craft of writing. Then I re-opened my blog-site and renamed it, Random Writings. I started blogging about my own writing journey, homeschooling my daughter with special needs, and whatever other “random” idea I had. All of this was okay, but it just seemed aimless to me. I felt I needed a focus.
About two years ago the “light” came on. Two pieces of advice that I seemed to always run across was 1) write what you know and 2)sit down and write. I know about raising kids overseas; I know about raising kids with special needs overseas; and I know about raising adopted kidsoverseas. Thus, raisingTCKs.com was birthed – so to speak. I wanted to help and encourage other families that were thinking about moving overseas with their children. I wanted to connect with and learn from others who are in the midst of raising their own kids overseas.
I still don’t have it all figured out – parenting or writing – but I’ve learned it’s a process. I do believe that whatever I write – whether blog posts, book reviews, articles, or books – that I’ll bring some sort of expat angle to the project. It’s what I know. It’s what I’ve come to love. I guess I’m taking that writing advice to heart – now to practice that other piece of advice to “sit down and write.”
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