The Way I Want to Talk

280 characters is not enough characters for everything I want to say

When I was writing Somebody’s Daughter, I worried about what would happen after it was published. Would it still be mine? I mean, of course it would be mine in a way, but would it still feel like it was part of me? The same way it has for the last decade? Some side of me wondered if I wouldn’t be glad to be rid of my memoir as a project, and a creative challenge that inevitably became a mental and emotional one. Big themes like incarceration, parenting, love, poverty, perfectionism, sexism, abuse, and the delicate bonds forged in families don’t exactly make polite conversation, but ruled the majority of my thoughts for the better part of a decade. Maybe, after I’d written all that stuff down, and been interviewed about the details over and over again, those memories would simply refuse to resurface. It seemed like a possibility. Maybe it was a wish. Either way, it wasn’t real. And here I am.

I feel grateful to have my work well- received so far, but that wasn’t my main concern. Most of my worry came from the fear I wouldn’t know who I was, or what I was doing when “writing the book” wasn’t THE primary goal of my creative life. For ten years, my memoir was what I was up to whenever anybody cared to ask. There were, of course, other projects and jobs along the way, and there was a lot of personal power in knowing none of them would have to withstand the pressure of being number one on my list. That’s all done now. But I’m not done. Not even close.

I’m thankful I’m done writing the book. I’m happy to have that particular process, for that particular project, to be finished in all the most important ways. Of course there will be more promotion, and I will be trying to sell this book for the rest of my life (it’s my first!), but there will also be a letting go and moving forward with new projects- like this one. I’ve never had a newsletter before, and the only reason I want one now, is the chance to do something I have never done before: record the process, talk through it, and let it turn into something new.

Share Somebody's Notes

This is the first post of many and I’m excited to share more of my thoughts and adventures soon. That’s why Somebody’s Notes is here. And if you’re here for that too, I hope you’ll stick around and join in some big, kind, but impolite talks with me. The posts I publish on Thursdays will always be free, but our Tuesday discussions will live behind a paywall. If you don’t have money to get behind a paywall, but you know you want to be part of our conversations, email me at ashley@ashleycford.com. We’ll work something out for you. In the near future, there may be some audio elements included here, but we’ll take our time and get it right. Also, my husband Kelly made you a playlist. I told him I wanted to feel like a champion when I listened, and I wanted you to feel that way too. 

Thanks for hanging out, 

Ashley

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