So many takeaways from A Year of Writing Dangerously. Something I have to remember and practice is that no matter what is going on around me, I shouldn't let it stop me from writing it all out. Instead of internalizing, which I still have a habit of doing, get it all out on the page. Just write.
"Did you dive into the past and write the things you were told never to air in public?"
Actually I did when I was leading the Flash Nonfiction course on WVU. I bled on the page, experiences with parents, siblings, friends, life, all out there for everyone in the class to see. Not only was it cathartic for me, but it opened the way for the other writers in the class to release their inner editor, their inhibitions and write.
"Did you find some humor in the chaos in your life?" Most certainly. Stupidly getting a sunburn the day before I donned a cookie monster outfit to entertain kids for a PBS event. Was it worth getting sick? I guess, especially when kids took me for the real thing and parents thanked me for not bursting their innocent bubbles. Writing about our trip to New York, homeschooling, all of it. We'd all be lost without humor in our life.
"Did you write during the days and months when you felt empty and you had doubts?" This is a tricky one." I hate writing about the same thing over and over again, reliving the past, when I should have gotten over it. I learned I held onto grudges for a long time and didn't love as unconditionally as I thought I did. While I discovered my foibles and mistakes and worked through them, I also found my strengths. Although there are days I don't want to face myself on the page and dive into the internet and books until I gather the courage once again, only to discover I'm still worrying at torn fabric that is loose and either needs to be pulled apart completely or sewn back together.
"Did you get something on the page?" I have almost every day this year so far. Patting myself on the back. Story writing leaves a bit to be desired but I'm persevering.
"Because that's all we can ask for and expect everyday - something on the page." One of these days I'll make some progress with my current WIP. For some reason, I've built a brick wall between myself and the characters and really, really need to just blow the damn thing apart." And coincidentally a writing exercise from Kicking in the Wall yesterday. I'm mulling that one over.
"Remember that you have a story to tell that no one else on earth can tell the same way you can. Remember that your story is important; someone needs to read it. Remember what a connected community you're part of when you write. Remember that you can find the most inspiring teachers in every book you love. Remember that you can be awash in doubt and fear and still write. Remember that the way out of doubt and fear is through them, one word after another."
Amen to that, sister!
Step by step, word by word, I'm getting something on the page.