Saturday, November 6, 2010

Changing Course

Is it just me, or does NaBloPoMo suck? I have to say, here at Day 6, I’m not bowled over. The writing is not doing it for me. Rather than arising from some spontaneous and true wellspring inside, it feels forced, unnatural, coerced. When I sit, I wonder what I’m going to write about, instead of going effortlessly with whatever’s on my plate; what’s on my mind. Everyday it feels like efforting; like a big pressure, a cloud over the day, and not the joyful thing that I had hoped for.


Sitting here this morning, listening to that one dang bird—when I feel like I could really use the cacophony—I am wondering… I am wondering if just like in photography, there isn’t a particular style, a specific, distinct way (which includes timing), that I alone am supposed to write. It’s a rhetorical question, of course. I know that over the year and a half I’ve been writing this blog, I have found that; over the course I have discovered and tapped into my own unique mode and rhythm of expression. And finding it, exploring it, practicing it, putting myself out there in it, has been as satisfying as it has been exhilarating.


With the blessings (urgings, actually) of my writing coach and mentor (my wise-beyond-her-years-writer daughter who has so had my back year after year on this writing path), I am officially giving up NaBloPoMo. Already, on Day 6, there has been great seeing and learning. If I were involved in a big writing project, that would be one thing. If I were writing a piece of fiction, or a memoir (which I would still love to do someday… I’ll just put that out there…), a singular entity that requires continuous nurturing, that would be different. And in that case, in my opinion, as much as possible, it simply must be done every day. But for this particular kind of writing, for the purpose that this blog serves, knowing my style and cadence, doing it every day does not work.

I do know what drew me to it. In my depression, I was not writing as much or as often as I wanted, and I wanted to light the fire under myself so to speak. So, as is also in my “style,” I went straight for the hatchet. Not writing enough?? Then you’ll write every single day, by golly. Well intentioned, but a bit ludicrous when seen from some perspective. In my life, baby steps have never really been my MO, though I am learning. A really nice baby step—in fact a very sane approach—would have been to pick two days a week and commit to posting on those days.


That is my new pledge. To post a minimum of two days a week. More, if the urge authentically hits, if there’s more that is bubbling to the surface. But not less. And because I am taking baby steps trying to get more discipline in my life, I will pick two days, say Wednesday and Saturday, that I will post. Ah, today is Saturday. Perfect.

This feels so good. In fact, the breath that I didn't know I'd been holding all week, just let itself out. It feels gentle and nurturing. And at the same time, there is still the intention and the commitment around that intention that I will hold myself to. It is good to meet myself with tenderness, to be able to be graciously open to changing my mind, to letting myself off the hook that I see already isn't serving. It is liberating, to hoist the sail mid journey and to change course, with the wind solidly at my back now, rather than struggling daily against it.

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