I’m in a bit of a mess at the moment. I have moving boxes piled up around me and the house is in total disarray, but here I am at the keyboard, getting words down.
I’ve been struggling to prioritise writing and feeling guilt, fear and shame in ripples as I move through my day, packing and cleaning.
Guilt, because I should be writing. I’m not working, I don’t have small children to care for, I have no stress about money or safety. I owe it to my husband, my family, hell, the whole world, to write, simply because I can.
The fear creeps in because I worry that if I don’t keep up the work I’ll die of regret at not giving it everything. I don’t want to slow down before I have the ‘runs on the board’.
And last but not least, the shame, pretty much for the same reasons as all of the above and because I already have the regret at not having been more diligent and serious at 23 when I first started writing, at 34 when I wrote the worst memoir of all time, at 40 when I promised myself I would make a break from the day job and sell my own work again.
At least these nasty little buggers are ripples these days. The unholy trinity of guilt, fear and shame used to wash over me in tsunami-like waves.
I got a few cartons packed, cleaned a few walls, sorted through some stuff and when I really couldn’t put it off any longer, I sat down to write. I did a very disciplined ten minute Facebook fly-by, spent a minute checking my stats on Amazon (very little to report here!) and opened the document I am working on. aaaaannnndddd…my mouse wouldn’t work! Gah! I didn’t muck around; I jumped straight in the car and in 25 minutes I had a new mouse, an $8 cat bed and a chocolate bar. I love you, K-mart.
Back at the computer, I am desperate for a cup of tea and I heard the washing-machine stop. I really want to go and hang out the cat blankets and make a cup of tea, but I also want to get this writing on the page.
So far, so good…I’m still here.
I don’t have any angst attached to writing the way I always did with making visual art. For me, writing, like reading, is relaxing, peaceful, invigorating in a way that few other things are. I’ve always felt I was here to do something and I know that we all have a reason to be here, otherwise we simply wouldn’t…be.
I came across this poem today. I read it out loud and it made me cry.
Quote of the Day…
“How can we be the major contributors to healing the world if we have not gone through our own healing in a way that is doing more than just numbing our pain and distracting ourselves.” ~ Marianne Williamson on The Beautiful Writers Podcast
I feel like I am onto something with the writing because since I started taking it all more seriously, giving it the attention it deserves, writing and learning daily, I have been so much…better. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way but as a writer, I am a better person than I ever have been before. It might have something to do with the meditation, the gratitude practice, the Course in Miracles, all the podcasts that I listen to, but I’m proud of the fact that I am a better person than I was this time last year.
Alain de Botton said once that ‘Anyone who isn’t embarrassed by who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough’. I have to agree with him but I think he could have been a little kinder about it. I’m not embarrassed, but I am grateful that I found this path. I prefer this quote from him
So the regret that creeps in every now and then as I recall the typewriter I bought in 1994 that didn’t see much use or the half-assed attempts at journalling over the years can either wear me down or fuel my commitment to writing now.
Right now, it feels like it can only be the latter.