A 10th Anniversary Revival

the story a day cafe logo with the words "the evolution of story a day cafe: a blog with a purpose"

A preface to the renewed plan for this blog

I struggle with consistency. You need only to look at my history posting to this blog to know this about me. I have started only to stop abruptly too many times to count.

Lately, I've been extensively examining this pattern of mine and charting the evolution of this blog that looks something like this:

Early 2013: The Writer's Block & Cafe is created

My first attempt at this blog was called The Writer's Block & Cafe. While trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I imagined creating a place where writers could meet up to share ideas, stories, and advice over a deliciously brewed cup of coffee. At first I imagined this being an actual physical place--a cafe serving coffee and French-style pastries that would be located in Austin, my hometown. However, because I had zero experience, qualifications, or anything else required to start such an dream, I elected to create a virtual space for this idea to blossom instead. Knowing myself, I probably did some Google research on what the best way to go about this would be, and eventually decided upon Blogger as a result. I never posted anything, though. The blog was literally just a blank template with a title for the first several months it existed.

August 2013 - Spring 2016: Story a Day Cafe becomes replacement

I scrapped the original blog and created Story a Day Cafe because I liked the way it sounded better. I wrote my first post about my experience over the summer working as a camp counselor. I still had the same idea of wanting to create a space for writers to connect and share their stories, but the more immediate goal was to start writing and posting consistently. I started out posting three times a week with a goal to eventually be able to post something new every day. My posts during this time were light and easy to write--mostly listicles and recipes.

In this Spring of 2014, I was feeling inspired by the creative writing class I was taking at TAMUCC with the lovely Dr. Carstensen (seriously one of the best writing instructors a young artist could hope to have), and I finally managed to reach my daily posting goal. My posts during this time branched out from the typical listicles and recipes and started to include more personal narratives, short stories, and poetry. My writing practice became a healing and empowering way for me to give voice to my thoughts and experiences. 

I would maintain this daily writing practice for the next couple years.

Spring 2016 - 2018: A long hiatus and the birth of Akara Yoga Space

After my granfather passed away in October of 2015, I struggled to maintain consistency. In the thick of my grief, the writing practice that had healed and empowered me suddenly felt pointless. My posts became sporadic and infrequent before stopping altogether in the spring of 2016. 

During this time, I quit writing. Technically, I didn't really quit as I kept several journals during this time and was constantly writing inside my head, but I had pretty much completely given up on my identity as a writer. I turned my focus instead to the healing practice of yoga. 

I became a yoga teacher with a vision to create a space where people could come to find healing through the practice of yoga and meditation. Just like the idea I had with my blog, this place would start out as a virtual space called Akara Yoga Space that I hoped would eventually become a physical retreat-style place. 

The content I created during this time consisted of instructional yoga videos, guided meditation audios, and informational articles on the practices of yoga.

February 2018 - July 2018: A sudden reconnection with writing

I was put on bedrest during my difficult pregnancy which severely limited my yoga practice. In the months leading up to the birth of my daughter, I started to reconnect with my writing practice. I finished a first and second draft of a novel that had been nagging at me since I first started it sometime in 2011. I also started and stopped several other novel ideas that had been sitting on my harddrive waiting to be written. Once my daughter was born, however, I quickly became consumed by motherhood and stopped writing again.

May 2019 - Present: A return and redesign of Story a Day Cafe

Desperate to reconnect with the sense of self I had lost in the throes of motherhood, I decided to restart my blog. I longed for the satisfaction of finishing a novel, so I redesigned Story a Day Cafe to facilitate this goal. It worked for a few months...before I got distracted by another creative project I was working on with my husband. However, even though I stopped posting the drafts to the chapters I was writing, I wound up finishing 2 out of the 7 novels I'd been working on by the end of 2019. One in particular I've written several more drafts for in the years since.

I've pretty much been stuck working on that one particular novel ever since. All the other novels I've started working on in the past few years have been connected in some way to In the Space Between, the title I'm currently going with. I have this idea of all my novels existing within the same world but within different time periods, and I've been experimenting a lot with alternative perspectives and fleshing out the stories of side characters from In the Space Between.

My writing has become more of a hobby I enjoy in my spare time.

However, in the Fall of 2021, I returned to TAMUCC to finish my degree in English and pursue a career as a librarian. And as I've immersed myself in a community of writers again, I feel this pull toward my initial idea to create a space where writers can connect and share their stories. Since I've also finally made peace with my inner writer, I also want to dedicate time to write consistently again.

Naturally, I'm inspired to turn to this blog again to make it all happen.

My current hope:

In addition to encouraging me to developing a consistent writing practice again, I also want this blog to eventually become a space where emerging and experienced writers alike can give voice to their experiences through the art of storytelling in all its varied forms of expression.

A quote box with the current hope for the blog written in it

I realize this intention is a common thread in all the dreams I've reach toward over the years. I also realize that I don't have the greatest track record when it comes to actually turning these dreams into a reality.

But maybe I can show up anyway. Maybe that's what's most important.

My inner perfectionist will adamantly disagree with this of course, and I have yet to win an argument against her. The bitch really knows how to twist the knife!

But here's to trying anyway, even though I'm likely to fail. Here's to showing up even when--perhaps especially when--it's most difficult. Here's to learning how to silence the toxic voice of my inner perfectionist one day and one story at a time. Here's to redefining success as the ability to keep showing up no matter where I'm at and just be.

I don't quite know what this will look like yet. In the past few months, I've been working on generating content and outlining my vision for another redesign for the blog. I probably won't post anything for a while, though, as I'll be working on the structural and functional design of the blog first. And once that's finished, I'll start slow: probably posting mostly revised and recycled content. 

But my goal is to start posting regular new content here again before the end of 2023.

Welcome to the journey. I hope you'll join me.

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