For those of you who are counting, week eight is forever lost in the week of non-writing. I will try my best to make up for it. Actually, this past week has been a struggle to keep up my writing momentum, as life seems to be rolling along and picking up large debris in its path. One major event slowed me down a little... the passing of my nearly 90-year-old grandma. She was another creative spirit in my family and, as the rest of my relatives will tell you, they are few and far between. My grandma encouraged me artistically since I was very young - she would even send me cut-out ads for youth writing contest entries when I was in elementary school. One year I did have my entry published in a local magazine on the theme of 'my best Christmas' or 'what Christmas means to me' or something to that effect. So, I have been carrying my grandma around with me for a few weeks now, or so it seems. There seems to be an additional energy and weight to me, happening simultaneously, and one tends to defeat the other from time to time. I still talk to her and let her know how everything is moving along.
... what I have been dwelling on recently is the split that sometimes occurs with regard to the writer's passion and the self. I am writing in my head constantly, but the writing doesn't always make it to the tablet (ok, it does eventually, it has to, but not when I necessarily want it to). I've been giving into fatigue and sacrificing myself to the long hours of writing for work. Once my working day ends, part of me can't wait to retreat to my notebook/computer and unleash my own creative writing, and the other part of me deflates and says "the words will come -- first let's watch an old episode or two of Friends and then fall asleep". Still, a poem will trickle out, an article is written, a journal entry is made, and now I am returning to my responsibility as a blog writer. So, why do I feel as though I'm not giving everything I have to my writing? I believe it is because I have three novels in my head that aren't finished and numerous books of poetry yet to be published or written. Still, a poem trickles out, a book review is published, a character unexpectedly speaks, and the journal entries continue...
... funny about the journal entries... when I talk about the act of journaling to people who are non-writers, I feel as though I'm talking like a 12-year-old and I'm not always sure why. I have always had a nagging obsession to write down my thoughts, record actions, describe my days and how I felt in them, as though I can imagine creating and recording my own legacy. It is not egotistical; it is a must. For me, and perhaps others. I start to feel threadbare if I don't, and I often try to stretch out at least three pages. If not, I feel lazy, as though I'm only skimming the surface of things.
I've talked to a few people who are keenly interested in journaling, but don't know where to start or what to write. Or even what they should or shouldn't put down on paper. It is like starting at the beginning of a spiral labrynth... you have to either go deep inwards to get out, or start at the outermost point to get in. I say, write... start with the weather and you'll be surprised where you end up. One analogy comes to me, from my grandma (I will be in this place with her for awhile)... no matter how a conversation was started with her, somehow you ALWAYS ended up in World War II. You could start telling her about your cat, your neighbour, your neighbour's new car, a movie you went to see, school, work... anything at all... I could guarantee that by the end of it she would be telling you about something that happened during the war, or the great depression, take your pick. Sorry, I got side-tracked. Enough said!
So, my suggestion is to flick off the critic or ghost or whatever block you have lurking over your shoulder, and write. Talk it out.
Already I am feeling better - I think I've had a tinge of guilt this weekend, too, because I missed Planet Earth Poetry (and I may have had a few prospective sales of my book, which I hope will still be possible next week at the last PEP until September 14) and my writing group today. Brian and I are exploring the housing market, hoping to step into that new realm of having a single family dwelling with no cranky neighbours beneath us to complain about morning showers and our cats playing. We are working full-time, stick-handling steep learning curves and strata noise complaints, and simply trying to find some time in the day when we can both breathe and not think of the next thing to plan, fire to put out, or place to rush to. I've needed to slow down this runaway train. The question is the split between the passion and the self - one needs refueling to help the other exist. I am reconciling with this, with life in the way, knowing it will come back around to me in words that need to be written.
So, these are my belated ramblings. The words have been in storage, forming themselves and handling a few road obstacles - death, living, new opportunities, and self.