A Welcome Note From Sam
Welcome friends & kindred spirits! We’re finally here!
To celebrate the official launch of the Samantha Ray Writing Website, I wanted to write a little note from me to you to say welcome, and I am so glad that you’re here!
I have long been a lover of magazines - you know, the paper kind that you purchase at the grocery store or Barnes & Noble, or if you’re a lover like me, the kind that get delivered to you via snail mail. One of my favorite things to read in each magazine is the Editor’s Note, where the curator of the whole thing gives you a little glimpse into the vision and background of that particular issue in a personal way that makes you, the reader, feel like a part of it all. I love to pour over each page from there, soaking up the words and the beautiful images, circling in black Sharpie the things that stick out to me, or taking a pair of scissors to it, so I can paste it in my journal for a daily injection of that sparkly, inspiring feeling that I love.
I hope you feel similarly as you flip through the posts and articles here at SRW & the Kindreds Series - that you can get comfy, flip quickly through or bask a while, and get injected with an inspiration-for-life IV.
And here’s a little note from me, the editor-of-sorts, to give you a glimpse into the story!
This web-home is one part personal journal, one part portfolio of my more polished writings and poetry, one part offering of writing services for those who need some words on their projects, and one part gathering space for women who want to read and share their honest thoughts on life. The story behind this site has been growing for the last few years, and I am so excited that it is finally time to share it with you!
Like with any new venture, I’m feeling a little like a wobbly fawn, learning how to walk a path I’ve never gone down before. I’m feeling excited and nervous all wrapped up into one, trying to tame that what-if-it’s-not-good-enough noise that keeps buzzing past my ear. Every single scary thing that I’ve ever done was, in the end, always worth its weight in gold to me, and the question of it being good enough was actually irrelevant. The reward is that I did it, and gathered up so much goodness in the process! I saw it through! I took a fuzzy dream, and with some elbow grease, determination, coffee, help from the pros, and a lot of grace and ice-waters brought to me by my husband, made it into a tangible reality.
Every single scary thing that I’ve ever done was, in the end, always worth its weight in gold to me, and the question of it being good enough was actually irrelevant. The reward is that I did it.
Many of you know that I have spent the last six years zipping around my home state of NC (and beyond!) providing on-site beauty services for photo and video shoots, special events, and personal consultations. That season has been amazing, and I have loved meeting so many people and blessing their day with a little fun, encouragement, and extra confidence. I loved the process of learning how to own a business, maintain a website, serve my community, create newsletters, and take good care of myself, even though the process wasn’t without it’s bumps in the road! That venture has prepared me for this venture, and I’m excited to have and hold both creative expressions (and a few more!) in this new season of my life.
Writing has always been the way I process my own thoughts and feelings, the way I process the world and the people around me. It’s how I make sense of things, or at least put something tangible on things that can seem so intangible, which has brought me a sense of peace and allowed me to see God along the way. I grew up writing in my journal most days, I still do, and eventually I began posting poetry and writing up on sites like Xanga (so much teen angst), then blogger, then blogspot, and so on. I went on to study Creative Non-Fiction in college (along with Cultural Anthropology and Music), and when I created my beauty business, I never expected it to take off quite like it did. It was wonderful, but I definitely missed that part of me that had time to craft with words and share it with others. I tried to infuse LULA with writing as much as I could on my website blog and my social media posts, as well as the Lulette Gazette newsletter (now the Kindreds Gazette), but I knew a separate space was needed to have the freedom to share a bit more deeply and candidly about all the different parts of my life.
Writing has always been the way I process my own thoughts and feelings, the way I process the world and the people around me. It’s how I make sense of things, or at least put something tangible on things that can seem so intangible, which has brought me a sense of peace and allowed me to see God along the way.
So at the end of the summer last year (2018), I put action to my thoughts and contacted my talented friend Sarah Faucette of Native State Design, who helped me hone in on the vision, feel, and message of this space. It took some time (we remodeled a home and moved, I scaled down my beauty business, I hosted a conference for all my beauty friends, and I’ve also been recording some music!) but as my friend Lara says, good things grow slow!