I had this spectacular plan. I was going to blog on the first day of the New Year and lay out a plan for writing every single day of the year after that. They were going to be short pieces with single word titles—and the writing would in some way elaborate on that single word. It was a means to write everyday as an act of discipline and to shake free from the excuse of not having enough time to write.
It was a good plan. Right?
So, what happened, you might be wondering. Who knows, really? I could extend every excuse imaginable, except none of them would really speak to the truth. When it came down to it, as enthusiastic as I was about my own idea and my own writer’s goals, I fell prey to the intimidation of it all. I like to take my time when I write. I like to think things through, to rearrange words, to play with sound and with balance. This assignment of publishing daily might cut that short…I might not enjoy the process as much this way.
And then there was my ear. While the surgery for the most part healed my inner ear struggles, “the plague” has left its mark and sometimes that situation clouds my thinking and makes words harder to come by. I don’t like to write when I feel less than myself, when I feel like what is on the page isn’t really representative of who I am…except on that day, that is exactly who I am and maybe it is time to start owning that a bit more…to start accepting myself everyday and not just when I am comfortable.
(This avoidance by the way was so familiar to me. I see it in my students all the time. Those young people who have convinced themselves they aren’t writers, can’t write, won’t write, who are so intimidated by each and every assignment that they just avoid them. Just as I had, they tell themselves half truths about being too busy or about just not really caring that much or about how it won’t be perfect so best to just not begin…when in fact they are simply scared of putting themselves boldly onto that blank page…when in fact they simply recognize that being a writer means being vulnerable and vulnerability isn’t so easy.)
That’s the thing about discipline though. It requires diligence and hard work, but the results are often so very much worth the effort. So, this process might be uncomfortable at first (okay, it is definitely going to feel uncomfortable at first), but as I move through it, my hope is that I will come to understand myself better as a writer and as a thinker and as a person in this world.
With this realization, my resolve strengthened, but how to begin so far past the start of the year? Does it even make sense anymore?
Well, today in the Christian world, it is the Feast of the Epiphany…and in my part of the world this day is also the mark of something else very special…King Cake seasonJMy new and improved plan is to write everyday of King Cake season from today, January 6, through Mardi Gras day, March 5. Same idea—short pieces, single word titles, but for a finite period of time (with the absolute hope that at the end of this season, the habit, the discipline, the writing continues). My treat to myself should I succeed? Well, of course, a giant slice of gluten free king cake! (I mean, I could tell you that the writing alone would be motivation enough, but come on! A girl deprived of king cake for weeks on end, in the singular brief flicker of time she is granted the privilege of enjoying this delectable delight, will absolutely write everyday if it means king cake at the end!)
Join me or not (though I would love to have you!), these blogs are more of a personal endeavor…a chance to see what I can really accomplish…a chance to build a habit as well as a body of work…a chance to own what it really means to call myself a writer.
And with that commitment to myself, I’ve begun! Here’s to making time tomorrow in the midst of the mayhem of the first day back after the winter break to write. There’s something sort of lovely about the thought of that though, after I get past the seeming impossibility, because in fact what I will be doing is making time for myself…to think, to be, to explore, to grow, to write.