Remember when I said I want to give you a “humane reading experience?” I’m learning how difficult it can be to provide that level of service. I’m learning many things from this writing experiment.
I think it was a mistake to start planning a new ebook early in the month. After “I am not Othos,” I thought, this is good stuff! And it can only get better. I should make a book from all the LoBloPoMo posts — a collection to document this historic project! That raised my expectations and put a lot of unhelpful pressure on the rest of the month’s posts. It caused significant mental cramping. (Still, there will be a book, and you will buy it, and you will like it. The formatting and the presentation will be professional and tastefully done.)
I’ve been doing a lot of things wrong, and not just with the writing. My diet has been atrocious most of the month. My obsession with monitoring readership has been particularly soul-blighting.
But the writing itself, the putting down of the words…
It has been good practice, and good experience. I’ve gotten to the place I always get to. The place where I’m despairing of the whole enterprise. Where my intellectual understanding of what this is about and “what it takes” has ground uncomfortably and painfully into the emotional reality. And this is usually where I step back. It’s the rational thing to do.
“This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.”
But I’m not quite at that point yet. I want to keep trying. See if I can push past the three mile barrier.
I’m aware of some of the ways I’m “doing it wrong.” I want to learn the lessons that Brenda Ueland and others have been trying to teach me for years. Brenda, Anne Lamott, and Natalie Goldberg. Those are my three favorite teachers. Every now and then I’ll have a moment of recognition — some bit of wisdom from their books — something I read that made sense, but suddenly I understand it based on my own experience.
For example, here’s Natalie in Writing Down the Bones:
Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist master, said, “We must continue to open in the face of tremendous opposition. No one is encouraging us to open and still we must peel away the layers of the heart.” It is the same with this way of practice writing: “We must continue to open and trust in our own voice and process. Ultimately, if the process is good, the end will be good. You will get good writing.
I can feel that opposition. (That tremendous indifference?) Will I learn to open and trust? Will I make the necessary “process improvements?” In any case, I appreciate this support and encouragement.
I want to push further this time, despite the fear.
So much fear. No one cares. You’re not that good. Not that interesting. How can you possibly expect to take care of your family? But these are distractions from the more basic fears.
Fear of death. Of rejection. Fear of change. Of what I might become. Of what I might have to become. Of what I might have to sacrifice and what that sacrifice really means.
I’ll keep running. One more mile.
Oh, that frightening light will come againJust like the moment you came out of your momAnd you cried and you longed for that familiar darkness
You know what?
I feel good.
I’m going to post this.