I’ve started working through the Jeff Goins TribeWriters and Intentional Blogging course in the past month. I’m about midway through TribeWriters, which is why you’re seeing some nifty changes around this blog – like a move towards being self-hosted, the newsletter sign up box, a more consistent blogging schedule (which I’m still trying to work out), and a better “about me” page.
And that’s what I want to write about today. The first module in TribeWriters was about honing your voice, and I realized that if I had to describe my voice as it’s been, some of the appropriate words would be:
– all over the map
– into everything
– a little confused
Mostly that’s because I have so many varied interests, and it’s hard to choose just a few on which to focus. But the more I thought about it, and looked at what my passions have been over the years, and the things I was really interested in, it boiled down to the following subjects:
– history (particularly Renaissance English History)
– music (again, particularly Old Music)
– travel (anywhere really, but focusing on how to do it with a baby, and mostly to England)
– books (about all of the above)
and then the real left-field one is:
– my weight loss journey (which I have blogged about a lot on my other blog, which I’m not really focusing on now – to minimize my “all over the map” personality).
S0, out of this deduction, I realized that it really all comes down to history, music, and travel. I can use other platforms to write about my weight loss journey (I’m having fun posting all my meals on instagram, for example).
Then I spent some time thinking about why I care about these things so much, and what exactly I want to convey to people through my writing. And I realized that I’ve always felt more connected to people who came before me than I often do with people who are alive now. Which is probably not the best thing in the world, but there you have it. When I was a kid we lived in a 200 year old house, and I could literally feel the energy of the people who had lived there over two centuries before me, making me feel connected to this great big web we call humanity. I’ve always been an empathetic person, and I’m convinced that comes from reading so much history, seeing so many other stories in the world, and having an understanding that, for better or worse, we’re all just doing the best we can with the tools we have in our toolboxes.
One way people express themselves, their emotions and their journeys, is through the arts, including music. As much as I love pop music (and yes, I will admit that I do, in fact, love pop music) it’s for fun and long drives and for use as a caffeine substitute. It doesn’t touch my soul or make me feel alive the way early music, and specifically early choral music, does. One of my favorite things to share with people is music, and when I was in college I loved going through friend’s CD’s, and sharing mine with them, introducing them to the Hilliard Ensemble or the Tallis Scholars, and explaining the events around which the music was created. Now I love nothing better than sharing my Spotify playlists, or seeing others, and introducing people to the world of early music. In fact, let’s have a Spotify interlude here.
This music makes my heart sing. That’s just all there is to it. I’m sure when some people hear it they think, “ok, that is not my thing,” and that’s cool. My hubby was like that. Still kind of is. But I bet that if you take the time to really listen to some of this music, and give it half an hour of attention, the harmonies and polyphony will start to appeal to you as well, and you may find yourself being a fan. From that, it’s a very short step to wanting to know who these musicians were, what the circumstances were in life, what drove them, and even how the music has survived all this time so that when we hear the stunning 40 part motet by Tallis, Spem in Alium, we are listening to something that sounds pretty much the same as it did five hundred years ago. I have serious academic-crushes on musicologists, who study this stuff and are experts in medieval notation, for example.
Through traveling and reading about other places you also start to realize that you are, in fact, not the center of the universe. It makes you a more interesting person, simply because you are a person who is more interested in other people. When you step outside of yourself in a foreign culture, and challenge yourself to leave your comfort zone, you become a bigger person.
So that’s what this blog is: a place to become bigger people through curiosity and sharing stories about the world, primarily through history, music, and travel. There’s more about me on my about page. Go there if you’re curious about who I am. Thanks for being here.