Describe your experience as a Today Voice contributor
The time has come for my last post as Thursday’s Voice. It feels surreal and bittersweet to type that. I have really enjoyed my experience as a Today Voice contributor over the past year. I have learned so much about myself, especially as a writer, through musing about the weekly prompts. I am grateful to Peter Combs, our Today Voice Editor, for this opportunity, as well as for creating such interesting topics for my fellow contributors and I to write about.
As a blogger for over six years, I have rarely struggled to find the motivation and inspiration to write. But it was a new and different experience for me not to choose what I wrote about for The Today Voice. One of the biggest things that I take with me from this experience is to know that I am capable of, and even good at, writing about topics others’ give me, while doing so with a regular weekly deadline. That is not something I ever imagined I would do and allows me to dream even bigger now, when it comes to my future writing. Back in my school days I would often struggle to find inspiration and confidence when I had to write essays. I am happy to share that I don’t feel that way anymore.
I am proud of myself for never missing a week, despite many times when my life was very busy and it was tempting not to fulfill my commitment as Thursday’s Voice. There were many weeks when I found it very easy to write and others not so much, but I welcomed the challenge. It was so interesting to reflect on various life experiences, lessons that I have learned and influential people that have been a part of my journey.
Though I will miss The Today Voice being part of my weekly routine going forward, I also am glad to be able to give more time and energy to my own blog. I noticed that some weeks it was all I could do to get my Thursday’s Voice post written. Thus I did not prioritize writing at Bereaved and Blessed as much as I have in the past. I missed that and it is one of the silver linings to saying goodbye to this year-long writing project.
I also have some regrets about my experience with The Today Voice. In the beginning I read and commented on my fellow contributors posts every week. I loved getting to see their take on the prompts, especially whether we interpreted them the same way. I was fascinated to find out if there were similarities and/or differences between our posts. But over time the busyness of my life took over and though I still tried to read what the other Today Voice contributors had to share, I rarely commented on their posts. For that, I am sorry. I realize that it is never too late and would like to revisit and comment on many of the ones I missed the first time around in the future.
There were also occasions this year when I was struggling with a prompt and reading another Voice’s words helped inspire me to write my own entry for that week. In seeing another contributor’s point-of-view I was able to find or rediscover my own. That was an unexpected benefit of participating in this writing project with others who were writing about the same topics every week.
To Bridget, Brian, Peter and Amanda, thank you for sharing your voices with me and everyone who has been touched by The Today Voice this year. It was an honor to be a part of this journey with you.
To my family, friends and others who have read and commented on my Thursday’s Voice posts, thank you for your support and feedback. It was awesome, interesting and validating to hear what you thought about what I wrote and shared here.
Describe your experience as a Today Voice reader.
Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.