Time Is Not on Your Side
I've been quiet here on my blog this week. I've needed some time to sort through thoughts and feelings without having to be coherent or cohesive. There is something wonderful and raw in just putting pen to paper, morning after morning, following one sinewy thought to another without the specter of the public chomping at your heels. Not everything needs to be publicly consumable.
The promise to myself, to write every day no matter the circumstances, has remained strong and true. This has been both difficult and rewarding. Wondering if it is worth it has been asked more than a few times. Again, it's the habit. Day in, day out. I have found inspiration and kinship in blogs like Jen's Life or Milly Schmidt's site. The WordPress community has been a bit of a lovely surprise to me.
What has become clear to me is that I must have more purpose with the blog. When I am floundering and unsure, chaotic and cacophonous, this is the time to put pen to paper. This is the time to explore and put boots to new ground. This is the time to write character sketches and try out bits of dialogue or just rewrite the same inane sentence over and over again. It does me well to reconnect with my wild mind.
Milly gave some good advice about keeping to a topic on your blog and one I have heard from other bloggers. Readers want to go to a blog for one topic, not everything. My life isn't interesting enough for anyone to keep coming back to read about (frankly, my life consists of a pug and a job). I'm also not sure I want to be that open. I'm happy keeping some secrets to myself. But, learning to become a writer again? Now that is something I want to share. That is a community I want to be part of.
I've been speaking with a few older people over these past few weeks. The common theme that I have heard from them is that they wished they hadn't waited so long to pursue their dreams. Whether that was traveling or sailing or dancing or singing or just not working the crazy hours we put ourselves through for our job, they all expressed the desire to live more for what they wanted. I also had a friend tell me tonight that my dreams might be a bit too big but that I shouldn't stop pursuing them (to be honest, being told that my dreams are too big gives me even more drive to pursue them).
Writing. It has been a dream since I was in sixth grade when I was eleven years old. Twenty-nine years has passed since then (doesn't it surprise the hell out of you when you realize that you are an adult?). I may not have the talent or skill to become a published author but that's yet to be seen. For too much of my life, I have done things with only the end in mind (as my medical doctor said to me today during my annual physical, “You are a driven woman.”). Anything worth doing is worth doing deliberately. I've got to learn to enjoy the process and not put the end in front of it.
Characters float inside my head, plot lines dart between them, angry arguments and lilting love letters shared amongst my darlings. Before I can kill them, I have to give them breath and voice. I also need to learn to be vulnerable in my writing. Without tapping raw emotion in myself, opening up to pain and hurt, love and friendship, my characters will lack depth. They'll be pop-up characters in an empty coloring book. I will write stories I would want to read, even when that mans that it's not popular or trendy or politically correct.
My goals for this blog have shifted a bit. No longer mindless writing but a focused exploration into the writing life. Not taming my wild mind but letting loose. Time to start going to the local writer's group here in town. Time to push myself. Time to stop sharing the silly bits of life like dating and work and the mice chewing the insulation in my walls (they have been making a rollicking noise during the writing of this post; changes in weather always seem to spur the little ones into action).
And Pugger, I'm sure, will still be my writing muse and end up in these posts as a confidant and encouraging snore.