Reflecting on the RISE Blog

By Lindsay Mensch

I spent my first year in RISE drifting on the periphery. There wasn’t any one place that I felt certain I wanted to be; I contributed a large amount of time to the mealworm project, volunteered once or twice to package tea, and often thought about joining the Bee Team.

There was only one place where I felt like I could contribute my knowledge and time in a way that felt meaningful; that was on the Blog Team. There, once a week, I could share my ideas with Bethany and Marie in a space that welcomed collaboration and fostered growth. It was always a little difficult for me to find kin in Bailey because of my English major; due to the constraints of my reading assignments, I constantly found myself shut in a quiet room. The Blog Team members all grew closer through our mutual interest in writing, and I finally felt like I was part of the community.

Now that I am finishing my second year at MSU and as an editor of the RISE Blog, I am struggling to get myself writing like I used to. All my time spent in a quiet room can grow tedious, so it’s difficult to find the motivation to write things for pleasure as I used to. Every week, I would sit down with Cameron, Kieran, Claire, and Marie, read their work, and wish that I could have written something as insightful and interesting as they had. Despite my desire to do this, I still couldn’t bring myself to, whether because of time constraints or an outright lack of inspiration.

This is my first post I’ve published in ten weeks. After a long spell of low motivation, I was able to bring myself to reflect – in writing – on how little I’ve been writing. Working through these thoughts on the page has been almost tedious, as I feared, simply because it’s been so long since I’ve been in a writing groove.

This post is also my commitment to writing more for the blog this summer and next year. I’ve been telling my fellow bloggers that I would write something every week for the past ten, but that hasn’t been enough. Maybe coming out with it publicly will be more effective as a motivation!

I felt it was important to write this because I know I should keep writing to get better and to share my ideas with others. If I want to call myself a writer, I need to actively keep doing just that. Being a member of this Blog Team is also important to me. It brought me so much closer to the members of RISE, and I think participating in my favorite community of writers is a great way to keep giving back to the community that’s given me endless support and love. As this is the start of my new commitment to writing, I hope you all can hold me accountable!

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