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Segullah, My Mentor

By Courtney Kendrick

Everyone has a blog these days. Or at least one out of three people (according to no polls or official stats that I know of) blog. It is the new self-promoting scrapbook in this modern world. It is an open-invitation journal, slightly edited for general public consumption and mostly intended to portray a certain personality. A blogger is in charge of their own PR, image consultation and personal presentation. One can conceivably shape their own character out of a small space on the internet with the final result looking somewhat autobiographical, sprinkled with fiction.

Blogging is an exercise of writing, but should never be mistaken for the real thing. I made this error when I first started writing for Segullah. Unaware that we were going to be a published journal, I joined the group assuming that we’d be writing personal essays to share amongst fellow writers. I wrote a piece about infertility and sent it to the group with hands washed of the topic. Being published in a literary journal means more than one draft, possible fifteen drafts. There is an element of expectation in that you must say something that is worth publishing. Truth reigns supreme. You may not pick-and-chose the good times, the mundane must also be covered. An untidy ending is almost always better. It is having to consider peer feedback, resolve concerns of the various editors and the scrutinizing eye of the all-seeing copy editor. Writing really is a terrible, exhausting process and usually by publication I can’t read the final copy without feeling a bit nauseous. I learned quickly that blogging is a hobby, writing is a craft. I also learned that I am a blogger by nature, a very unwilling writer by experience.

After a few attempts at being an editor, I asked Kathy (editor-and-chief) to free me of this obligation. I hate second drafts myself, so why would I demand the same of someone else? Also, I am not a recreational punisher, and lack the sadism possessed by an effective editor (soft smile.) Really, as it turns out, writing-for-real was more like freshman English than I cared to remember. Kathy and I soon settled on my blogging once a week for Segullah’s new blog, Blog Segullah (what other title choices did we have?)

Blogging for Segullah gave me a forum to write about being a Mormon woman. I’ve written about modesty and debt, celibacy and fat jeans, Young Women’s camp and infertility. There was also a post about General Conference sweet rolls, (you love them, I love them.) Possibly the best part of being a Segullah blogger is reading the post-post comments of thoughtful, faithful women who sometimes agreed, sometimes disagreed with my presented point-of-view (not everyone thinks a bit of cleavage is okay, I get it, I get it.) Many times the comments out-shined my original essay which was (occasionally) alright with me, perhaps it meant that I had inspired. Most of all it meant one draft, one draft only.

Though it is blogging, posting for Segullah takes more time and effort than the sporadic stupor that I spill out on my personal blog (cjanerun.com, click on the ads please.) Amongst other things, Blog Segullah is a literary journal site which makes me someone of a poseur, a genuine-one-draft wonder. I carried on regardless until I found out I was going to grow a human being in my uterus and subsequently became devastatingly (too dramatic?) sick. I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to keep up with my esteemed colleagues. My spirit told me it was time to retire from Blog Segullah.

Thanks to my dear friend and blog editor Maralise, we shook hands on a deal that meant I’d be coming back to Blog Segullah from time-to-time to be a guest blogger. From writer, editor, to featured blogger and now guest blogger I am grateful for the whole experience supplied to me by Segullah.

I now go back to join the mass of personal bloggers who have become my people. Yes, a simple blogger’s life for me. Maybe when I have efficiently matured I will try being a writer again. Until then I will continue idolize those who are brave enough to study and cultivate that skill (that is you, my friends of Segullah.)

Loves and Literary Kisses,

c jane

About Courtney Kendrick

(Emerita)

19 thoughts on “Segullah, My Mentor”

  1. Wow! I'm sad to see you go! I get it, though. I'll look forward to reading your posts, even being on the less-is-more side of the cleavage debate. 🙂 You writing is witty and fun, and I've enjoyed reading about your pregnancy experiences, too.

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  2. I'm still not over it. I could really use another post about cleavage, and I'm serious (could we free write about that please?). You forgot to mention that Maralise begged and pleaded, used promises of European chocolate and never-ending praise to get you to stay. I would take less than a one-draft wonder from Cjane over a polished (read: depressing) piece from me any day. Miss you already.

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  3. I understand. I'm "on leave" from Segullah which basically means my hubby and I have no income and I am required to work for food.

    I must ask, though…are you going to receive a retirement pension from Segullah?

    I will continue being a loyal fan of your blog.

    By the way…I think our babies are due the same time!

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  4. Does the C in cjane stand for controversial? I will miss the discussion that was brought about by your posts. You made us think about things perhaps a little differently than usual, or just plain think. Thanks for the brain stimuli!

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  5. My heart gave a little leap of joy when I saw there was a post from c jane on the Segullah blog this morning. We miss you! I, too, am thrilled that you haven't abandoned us entirely and that you'll still be posting on occasion. I love your blog, and I love your writing. You've got the voice thing nailed. You're funny, and fresh, and real, and . . . I could go on and on. (Should I?)

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  6. Cjane, like Sharlee, I was tickled to see your name on the post this morning. I love your writing and I love the way you make me see the world in a different and welcoming way. Thank you.

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  7. My darling CtummygrowingJane,
    Every once in a while a fresh voice appears like an unexpected breeze through a window. That is you. Thank you for all you have done.
    What a lucky baby.
    LOVE..love…love you.

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  8. Now I will never see you again! Booo! 🙁 Thanks for bringing me to Segullah. Love you and miss you. BTW, I'm not in the picture from the retreat, which is probably a good thing since I don't really fall into the 74 or 72 million points smarter than you category.

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