Posts Tagged ‘ writing ’

Returning a different person

Since my last post, 11 months ago, I grew and delivered a child. A healthy, hilarious boy, born 9/14/13. Three weeks into new motherhood and my first week home alone all day with baby. The grandparents have come and gone. The husband has exhausted his leave and work from home time. From here until January, it’s me and the baby and the cat, making a happy life.

Having this rare period of time away from work, I want to return to this blog to use the part of my brain that isn’t stimulated by regular diaper changes, feeding sessions, and googling questions like “how long can breast-fed baby go without pooping?”

Setting the goal for a weekly post. Given that it can take me 12 hours to complete a 3-line email these days, that seems a fair bar.

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And So…

It’s probably time to explain how I’ve managed to write six blog posts in as many days,  approximately doubling the amount I wrote in the entire year up to this point. As part of my post-Saturn Return plan to get my life back under my control, I’m writing again. The old hobby that I pretty much left behind the day I traded my college diploma for a real job is back. And I find it more difficult than I expected. Finding time to sit quietly and write amid the distractions of New York City is as challenging as, well, finding an appropriate simile for that. My brain is out of practice.

I signed up for the NaBloPoMo challenge to force myself to get into gear. So that when I have moments like the one I’m having now, where I’m perched on my couch and poised to turn on the TV and pick up the knitting needles because that is SO what I would rather be doing than writing, I write anyway. And I’m making it public, both to keep myself accountable and to overcome the paralyzing fear that sometimes stops me from writing in the first place: that I will suck. I hate to suck.

Writing is a skill I know I possess somewhere deep down that often gets lost in my fear of sucking. Why? Because good writing–good art–takes time, reflection, sketches, revisions… in other words, the antithesis of our instant tweet-it-now culture. To be so good at what you do as to make it look effortless is very very hard. For one month I’ve committed to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work–even if some of the work is ugly. My hope is that, at the end of this month, the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.

The Cliche Contest

Tonight’s challenge/prompt:

Take a phrase. I mean a really overused one. Make it the title of a new piece of writing. Try to make the writing not suck.

I’m working on a poem called “I Love New York.” It started forming in my head tonight while I was walking to get a taco. Here’s an excerpt:

————————–

All the superheroes come from here,

the same city where King Kong

found his playground.

It’s the rusty edges, the fringe

of Brooklyn just over the highway

where the sun turns from yellow to orange to purple

over the Statue of Liberty

night after night.

————————————

What’s your title?

The on-again, off-again and once again

Is the 3rd time actually the charm?

Yes, I have started this blog 3 times. First there was the website, given to me in summer 2008 as a gift. “Keep writing, keep active” I believe was the thought behind it. I loved the gesture, but found that writing on a site with my name as the URL scared me more than I anticipated.

That was the first time that a key distinction between blogging and publishing clicked for me. In publishing, you have someone’s approval, your words come with a certain validation. Signed, sealed, delivered, they’re yours, but more than likely reflect the input of your editor. In blogging, you risk more than an occasional split infinitive or an unfortunate comma splice. Your ideas are untested. You are responsible for their content and consequences.  I discovered I wasn’t ready to own up to all my thoughts.

So I took a step back, allowed a full year to go by, let the URL expire. Started a new blog with a title I was comfortable with. Drafted an introduction. Realized I didn’t know what to say. What does the world need to know about me? That was five months ago.

Scrolling through the web tonight, I stumbled upon NaBloPoMo and was inspired to re-start this thing. So here I am, with a design/URL/icon I’m comfortable with. And it’s the second day of the month. Which means I’m already late.

I’m going to use December as a basic training, nimble my fingers, sharpen my thoughts, tighten my language and prepare for January. Next month will begin in Puerto Rico and end with my birthday. I’ll want to preserve it.

*Edit* And then I discover it is the first of the month. Nevertheless, with holidays, etc. I am holding out for January. I’m not a girl to just jump into these things…