There are days when you sit in front of the computer for hours writing, editing, reading, submitting. Your butt starts to hurt so you break for tea. It grows cold, though, because your fingers are simply flying over the keyboard. No time for sips of tea. Your eyes strain, but you press on. Today you have a lot to say. You have no idea where it comes from or why, but you don't question the flow. You embrace it.
Other days you'll sit in front of that same computer and nothing comes. You screw around on Facebook. You read the dumbest news stores. On-line shop. Text your friends. These are the days you'll get mad and hate yourself and wish you decided on a different life and feel defeated.
But those days are also part of the flow. Like it or not, it is best to embrace that part of life as well.
Today my fingers fly and so does my heart. Tomorrow...who knows? But no matter what I plan to simply go with the flow.
Monday, January 5, 2015
I stand in the craft store looking for wire and the little clamps that you use at the end of a beaded project to hold the whole thing together. But I don’t have my instruction book with me. I don’t know what I’m looking for, not really. My daughter stands beside me exasperated and eager to just get out of here so we can go to the mall. But I’m determined. I want to make prayer beads for meditation. So far I’ve collected a pink skull bead, a rose quartz bead, a cowrie shell, an evil eye, and a small pomander ball filled with osha root. I’m keeping my eye out for a small cross and a bumble bee.
I stare at the wall of supplies and realize that I’m totally at a loss. Do I need those fancy jewelry pliers? What about the cowrie? How do I wrap it? Or do I drill a hole in it? I’m clearly confused, but I try to maintain my cool. I’m not sure if I want to be like the other moms in there buying scrapbook supplies and puff paints or if I want to be like the cool Bohemian twenty-somethings buying steam punk beads and modge podge. Maybe I don’t want to be like either.
I distract myself with candles. There is an audible sigh from the teen.
“Why do you always buy so many candles? It’s weird.”
I ignore this comment and ask her if I should get scented or unscented white votives.
“Unscented, of course.”
She knows I’ll cover each in perfumed oil anyway. She knows that the synthetic fragrances in the scented candles won’t mix with the smell of incense and sage that permeates my house. Two of my best friends say my house smells like a hippie, but they like it. I just secretly thank god it doesn’t smell like a dog.
I’m back at the beads. I pick up various bags of wire. I simply have no idea what the hell I think I’m doing. Prayer beads? What kind of new agey jerk have I become? I feel silly and like I’m grasping for something totally out of my reach and beyond my age and absolutely trendy.
Screw it. I’m going to do it anyway. I grab a bag of generic “Craft Wire” in various colors and toss it in the cart with my unscented white votives, three empty bottles that I’ll later fill with Four Thieves vinegar, and a tiny purple stuffed octopus that my daughter urges me to get.
I buy my random assortment of treasures and head for the car. My daughter puts the new octopus toy on the dash board and we name him Periwinkle. At home, I stash the wire with the beads I’ve collected. I set my candles on my table and put the vinegar jars in the cupboard.
I haven’t begun my prayer bead project yet. Sometimes I’ll take all the beads out and look at them, study their shape and size. But I don’t do anything with them besides keep them in a pretty box my mother gave to me that I keep right next to the sage and scented oils.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
I am not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions. I usually make my big yearly changes back in October when the nights are getting longer and endings are in the air. But this year I think I’ll make one.
I resolve to further embrace the life of a writer.
I realize that it sounds pretentious to don this label and pronounce it to the world, but it is real, from the heart, and a resolution that I intend to keep. But what, exactly, does that even mean? What is “the life of a writer” exactly?
To me, being a writer means. . .
. . . being at peace with the fact that I will never make the kind of money others around me do.
It means turning down jobs and opportunities that don’t feed my soul.
It means letting snide comments about liberal arts degrees and people’s jokes about maids and housekeepers slide right off my back.
It means writing every day.
It means coloring mandalas at two in the afternoon on a Tuesday.
It means having a house that is always slightly messy and is perfumed with incense.
It means that I probably won’t travel as much as my wealthier peers.
It means that it is ok to grieve over that but not to let that grief stop me from writing and push me towards work I don’t love just so that I have more cash in my hands and plane tickets in my pocket.
It means creating a safe, special, and loving place to live right here in my own small town.
It means filling my space with objects that may seem like clutter but are really inspiration—candles, and glitter, and children’s crafts, and postcards, and magazine clippings, and feathers, and herbs, and crystals, and photos, and plants, and art. . .
It means surrounding myself with people who support my craft and actually read my work and show up when it counts.
It means letting go of people who have belittled me or been unkind.
It means failing. A lot. Some of what I write will be crap. That will have to be ok.
It means accepting that some of what I write will also be absolutely amazing. It means knowing that without apology.
It means that I will sometimes get rejected when I submit my work.
It means that sometimes I will get accepted.
It means seeing the world with my heart and crying too much and dreaming quite a bit and never feeling bad about any of it.
It means being free.