I am working on a very short novel. I am working on my business. I am working on myself. I wonder if any of these things will work out.
I believe that I already have everything I need. I try to know, deep down, that all I want will come to pass. Yesterday I announced that I’m going to lead workshops for the International Women’s Writing Guild summer conference and in May I’ll be performing on Mother’s Day with the Listen To Your Mother Show. These are dreams that have come true for me.
Still, sometimes I think it’d be a heckova lot easier to just get a job and show up every day. And do what’s asked of you and then go home.
Sometimes believing in myself is a lot of work.
Speaking of work, I have a freelance assignment due tomorrow. A small part of me does not want to do it. Okay, a big part.
I like doing what I like doing, promoting my own workshops. (Come to the Adirondacks for a writing and collage art getaway! May 16-19) and my new biz (Am getting my new website up and running.)
I like my own stuff. But once I throw myself into something, even someone else’s something, I get into it. The problem is the throwing myself in. It’s like when you’re standing on the edge of the pool, hesitant to swim. You just have to jump.
About freelancing, here’s my truth — I love accepting a job; I love interviewing people; I like collecting the check. All the middle part, after the interview and before the job’s complete, all the writing and rewriting and fact checking, that’s a pain.
Remembering to take time to imagine. (I was in Central Park on Sunday. So restorative!)
2012 is drawing to a close (3 weeks left!). What would you put in this year’s time capsule?
collage for UMCOR
I would put:
2012 was a very good year.
- Time Capsule… (tedstrutz.com)
- My 2012 Time Capsule (arayofsun.wordpress.com)
- 2012 Time Capsule (hayleylyons.wordpress.com)
When you teach, you have to think. You have to look at things in new ways. I like thinking new things, but I don’t always like acting in new ways.
I have been teaching more than usual lately. Last week I led a seminar on Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography at New York Theological Seminary.
In the fall, I taught a weekly creative writing class for middle school kids.
When you teach, you can’t multitask. You know, there’s no schmoozing by the water cooler or reading the paper with your feet on the desk as a teacher. You have to be on — prepared and smart.
I like that. And I like being in the zone of teaching. It’s a change. And today, I don’t necessarily think I can make any big life changes. While my marriage is hard, due to Chris’s Parkinson’s, we all still love each other. And besides that, the kids (and Chris? and I?) need stability.
And so to get out of my rut, I teach. I am grateful for the opportunities to indulge in this happy and meaningful pursuit (distraction from my real life).
The head of school sent forth the 8th graders with this good advice:
1. Embrace change. Learn to love it.
2. Do good. Keep on doing good. When you see something good that needs doing, do it. Don’t wait for others. Especially do good for strangers.
3. Find your own punctuation. That means: Take moments to stop. Think. Be intentional. Eat. Laugh. Share meals.
4. Don’t be tourists. “Walking is a virtue, tourism is a deadly sin,” Bruce Chatwin said. Yes, walk in the hidden places. Dig in.
5. Be a duck-rabbit. This is from Ludwig Wittgenstein. In other words, be paradoxical; be a mystery. When people try to box you in, resist.
While Dominic A.A. Randolph addressed these remarks to soon-to-be high school students, the advice seems pertinent to creative writers, like me. As a writer, I want to 1. love new ways of writing 2. write to make the world better, kinder 3. find new ways to punctuate sentences (or not punctuate — look no period) 4. engage fully, even subjectively 5. be a writer who is paradoxical, counter-intuitive and funny
Randolph also inspired an earlier post which described 3 aspects of community: 1. Hard work 2. Passion 3. Diversity.
I love learning and learning about learning. Having kids and learning alongside of them (and with them) is like being in grad school and grade school at the same time. A mystery wrapped in a conundrum. A duck-rabbit. Both and.