Welcome! My name is Michelle Lynne Goodfellow. I’m a writer and artist who works by day in nonprofit communications. Welcome to one of my many virtual playgrounds.
I had a thought-provoking conversation with Nicole Tilde on Google+ last July. She had posted this blog post, where she talks about how she came to write her most recent “about” blurb for her website. (Read the whole Google+ conversation here.)
In a recent webinar, Eckhart Tolle talked about the importance of telling your story.
Justine Musk asked in a recent post, ‘What is your one sentence?’
Robert Moss reminded me in his book, Active Dreaming, that a human being is an animal that must define itself or else be defined by others.
I have also had a couple of things happen that made me feel like I was dragging too much of my past into my present.
So, I rewrote my ‘About’ page and thought I would share it here.
Her post really hit home, because I’d been struggling myself with updating the “about” page here on emelgy.com. Unlike the “about” pages on my other blogs, Mirificationis and Kitchen Sink Wisdom, which have very specific subjects and were easy for me to summarize, this blog feels somehow amorphous. I haven’t quite been able to pin down – at least in my own mind – why this blog even exists. Until now.
Nicole suggested writing an email to myself – as if to a friend – so that’s what I did. Here’s what it said.
I fear this is going to make you feel guilty and ashamed (because you’ll think it’s show-off-y and not at all humble), but here’s the deal: You’re writing this blog first and foremost for you. It’s your online journal or daybook.
Do you remember the first published journal entries you read? They were Harriet’s notes in the book Harriet the Spy, and you started keeping private notebooks of your own because of them. And then there was Go Ask Alice, the diary of a teenage girl who gets lost in the San Francisco drug culture in the 1960s… and a number of other Young Adult books written using the journaling device. More recently, you’ve enjoyed Sabrina Ward Harrison's art journals, full of her hard-hitting questions and luscious illustrations. Not to mention your current favorite blogs, which include The Bloggess and Chookooloonks – both first-person perspectives on their creative author’s lives.
You like reading about other people’s stories for the same reason that you loved going to your friends houses when you were seven years old. It amazed you to see how other people lived. It blew your mind that you had choices – that not everyone lived the way you and your family did. Shirley MacLaine once said (in an interview with Barbara Walters), “Show me who you are, and I’ll know more about who I am.” (You liked her autobiographical books, too.). You want to know who other people are, and you want to know who you are. That’s why you write.
So stop feeling ashamed. Don’t care one whit whether anyone’s going to read this or not. Put your heart on the screen. Give a voice to the song that you hear running through your mind’s ear. Show people the things that you find beautiful. (Like that line from the Depeche Mode song that you love, “Let me show you the world in my eyes.”)
Maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who will someday find what you’ve written, and realize that they, too, have choices.
So what is this website about?
This is my online journal – a place where I share things that are alive in me right now. Stories from my own experience. You’ll also find many examples of my creative work – visual arts, photography, poetry and design. (I’m slowly importing some of my favorite posts from my older blogs, too.)
If you’re interested in learning more about me, you might want to browse through the “read me” page for my other online work, or visit my biographical website, where I share monthly updates about my life and creative activities.
What is “emelgy”?
Emelgy is a phonetic spelling of my initials, MLG. It’s been my private nickname for myself for years – I sign all my artwork and emails “MLG.” I’ve been using it as an online identity since 2006 (I think).
Updated April 1, 2013