I mentioned in my last post here that I may be a bit scarce in coming weeks to work on getting some projects done in preparation for an upcoming writer's conference. This love letter is to say thank you all for the supportive comments and insights on my writing you have been offering to me over the past year. I feel that such a deep sense of community has arisen for me out of this strange blogging exercise, completely unexpectedly. I have friends in faraway places who are also sharing and reflecting on life as they know it and the balances essential to living a wild, joyful, creative life. I have also experienced a creative "coming out" to my family and friends close by who may not have realized before reading along here just how all-consuming my dedication to my craft is. Each of you has tenderly supported me and I have become a reader of many beautiful, amazing, and INSPIRING blogs...a gift to me, a person who has loved to read published journals all her life. Before this medium was created, it was reading (mostly) of the published musings of the (often) dead white men who comprise the literary canon and their ideas about creating composed while they were on vacation or locked in their studies. From you, I have read about how (often) women find the room to create and live out loud with babies underfoot and jobs to manage, with a whole set of cultural expectations lodged firmly at your back. Jaw-dropping progress...your everyday acts of creativity, gratitude, and wonder.
This love letter is to thank you for existing out there, for writing your thoughts down about your life and keeping track of your history. It is also to tell you how grateful I am that you decided to share it in this "public" forum, even if at first it seemed silly or pointless. Then, for taking time out of all of that fullness to read along here and comment to me...I appreciate every word. It is also to say that over the weekend I unplugged myself from this computer. I took my (paper) notebooks and hit the road--refusing to check on any of my daily reads or to look at my Feedreader, though I really, really wanted to. I allowed one email check-in for my work email and my personal one, and set my nose to the grindstone on my work. I also have been reading this book (along with many of you). And one of the sections this week said:
"Most of us accomplish too little because we are expecting to accomplish too much. Daunted by the size of the task we wish to accomplish, we freeze up. We are defeated before we begin. And so, we do not begin...It is only when a creative career is broken down into daily increments that it becomes doable...Although we love them and even crave them, we do not really need vast savannahs of time to work at our art. What we need is a willingness to work at our art in the time we have actually got...What art form do you tell yourself you have no time for? Is it really true? When in your day can you find twenty minutes to spare? How do you kill time--TV? The phone--and can you stop doing that?" --Julia Cameron--
Though I don't like to think of it as "killing time", but spending it...I sat down and actually calculated the hours and minutes spent online versus the ones spent on my own writing work. I was shocked. I know what I said I wanted to be doing--if only I had more time, and then the reality didn't match up to my words. This weekend, Internet-free, I created more than twenty typed and edited pages, finished a notebook I'd been writing in since November (when my old quota, coming directly from this book--my first writing "bible", was to fill one per month), cleared through a section I'd been procrastinating on for I cannot even say how long, assembled my manuscript sections, typed up several poems, and sketched notes for another idea waiting in the wings for me down the line. My family and friends already have had to deal with my sometimes insular ways, my holy (kids all at school) hours never to be defiled, and my daydreaming--but then my Internet time has become expansive and filling. So now I'm asking you, if you are reading this--to support my writing (as you already have!) by understanding that March is going to be a quiet month from me. I won't be checking in on you as often, I won't be sharing my day-to-day here (though maybe some pictures). I won't be posting portraits or poems or scribblings either. It is just my way of finding the "other side" of these projects, especially "book one"--which I've been rambling about here for almost two years now.
Your kindness and comments will be missed while I'm winging my way across the page and I may be compelled to post or to "visit" with you here and there...I'm just trying to breathe life into my pages again. To not let procrastination and self-doubt steal my energies from where they're meant to go...thank you all for being "believing mirrors" for me, reflecting back with such a gentle glow. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is..." --Albert Einstein-- I am seeing these little miracles everywhere now. Such a wide, vibrant space to be in. I wish you lots of luck as you look for your own miracles wherever you are...I'll "see" you in the the Spring!