Changes A Brewing at These Are Not Tan Lines

Well, it’s been over a month since I’ve written anything on the blog. When I started the blog, the point was to get me to write regularly, and that hopefully, having some kind of audience would be the added boost to that. The next step was finding a focus so I would be motivated and keep going, and travel does that for me. I subscribe to Afar magazine and at airports regularly pick up the other travel magazines for my travels. I am constantly thinking about the next trip. So, what motivates me in life, also motivates me to write.

And that is mostly still true.

However, since beginning the writing program at Hopkins last Fall, it’s been a bit harder to keep motivated. The ideas are still there, and possibly more abundant because when you’re inclined to think about writing, ideas naturally come up. But, my mindset about writing has also changed. And it continues to evolve.

The personal essay form of writing works for me in some ways, but it doesn’t in others. I’m learning to branch out in different areas of the craft. And I’m writing quite a bit. However, little of what I’m writing is likely to end up on the blog because the whole purpose is to branch out of our comfort zones. For example, yesterday I turned in a profile piece about a brewmaster at a 2-year-old brewery here, Baltimore’s first production brewery in city limits for 30 years. It was a fun project that involved interviewing and well, in this case, drinking a little beer and chatting with folks in their taproom. I have never written a profile before, and in fact, I’ve never even thought about writing  a profile before.

In the past, I’ve relied on two ways of writing: 1) very objective third person for academic purposes (I’ve done well here and have had a couple publications in my my “day job” field) and 2) personal essay heavy on the first person. Being exposed to everything in between makes me realize how strange the dichotomy of my writing exists. It’s opened up a world to me making me push myself out of my comfort zone and shown me also where I want to improve in the areas I feel most comfortable.

Despite only being a year old, this blog was part of the reason that got me to this point. It’s part of the impetus for me to apply to the JHU writing program, and if it wasn’t for some of the earlier posts that I used for my submission, I likely wouldn’t have had much to show of my writing.

That being said, I’m not entirely certain what’s to come with this blog. I do hope to keep up with it. But, it seems that my writing is developing in different ways that don’t really exist within the confines of my self-defined boundaries of what I intended to write here. However, I still love to travel. And Cory and I have plenty of travel plans coming up…and a honeymoon to take after we get married next year. And hopefully all these writing classes I’m taking will lead me back here. And I’m still taking pictures galore, so at least those could show up here occasionally.

But in the meantime, we’ll just leave it at “we’ll see what happens.” The likes of my “audience” probably don’t care, but writing those words gives me the permission to not feel guilty when I’m not posting. In the meantime, you should still stay tuned because things will definitely pop up here and there on These Are Not Tan Lines.


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