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Dec 14

Where I’m At

Blue hills

I liked how writing on my blog every day made me confront my feelings with words. How doing this every single day made for easier days. How hard it is to face the storm inside. How easy it is to say I shouldn’t feel like this or that, just tell myself to get on with my day.

But if I honor what’s going on inside my mind and body by spilling out some word energy to figure it out, ahhh, I’m better. As my co-author for my holistic health care books explained to me, once you feel a feeling, you either have to deal with it or you stuff it. And I know stuffing it just means I’m simultaneously stuffing it down and stirring it up. So my angst comes out in my short fuse while doing homework with my Liz Ann, or in a retort to my husband at dinner. An unneeded retort, of course, that just mirrors all the ugly crap happening in my body and mind.

It’s hard to have ugly feelings that are both true and not true. The ones that say you’re unworthy to call yourself a writer. Or that if you’ve spent 20 years writing professionally, you should be better at it by now. Or that you’ve wasted your time as a writer because you are not making bank.

I mean these thoughts aren’t true, but they are true feelings. I feel them all the way down to my bone marrow sometimes. And they need space to just be, to be heard and grieved and cried over. Ugh, the writing life is hard. Ugh, I love writing. Even on the days when an editor asks me to do it differently than I think it should be done. I mean, I don’t love it then, but writing is one of my one true things. It’s like oxygen: without writing I stumble and fall more.

That’s why I liked writing on the blog every day in November. Even if I question the worthiness of bearing my true self to however many readers read my words, it’s helpful to have a daily practice of writing through the yuck so I can come out the other side. Or even if I don’t come out into a bright, shiny sunny day, at least I’ve honored what’s going on with my mind and body, given it space on the page to breathe and be OK with itself. With myself.

Here’s where I am at. Where are you at?

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. daniel

    Been considering dropping my blog. I’ve been at it for so long I don’t feel I have anything to say. My time is at a premium these days. I know it is a temporary situation but I feel overwhelmed most of the time. I thought I wanted to be a writer. For a long time my dream was to write for Rolling Stone. That’s what got me where I am “professionally” now. I was looking for writing gigs. One long and circuitous route later and I’m a dad blogger with 12 readers. And no time.

    Regarding the feelings you mention. Putting them out there, making them “real” or naming them, or whatever does help to make it easier to deal with them, to conquer them, to move forward. The courage to be honest about yourself is hard, and when you can get past that, you can get past just about anything else.

    1. Nancy Schatz Alton

      Part of me wants to blog to get to fame, to have a million followers and to have a cold call about a possible book contract. All I ever wanted to be was a writer. And it’s weird to be one and have small name recognition for it, because that tiny fame part is elusive and such a momentary pleasure. Last year I was writing so much for work that I was working weekends, and it was hard. Writing full time takes everything you have and asks for more.
      I’m not sure what I am trying to say. Just that being a writer in our world is hard? And that blogging every day made me fall in love with blogging again. Partly because it made me write for myself when I wasn’t going to write for myself. Partly because of my tiny readership and how blogging starts a conversation. Partly because hardly anyone blogs now so the pressure is off. I probably won’t find fame through blogging. But I’ll find momentary satisfaction through both the writing process and through the communication from comments and people talking to me in person about the blog. Writing: you do it because it feeds you. I bet you aren’t done with blogging, because it feeds you. You of the busy life!

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