It Took Two Slaps To Awaken Me

The first slap came from a young lady social media coach and the other from the mouth of a therapist, so hmmm, maybe I should listen to them. They seem knowledgeable resources. Applicable, no doubt.

I had been feeling stifled with my writing, exhausted from learning social media’s modern protocol, and overwhelmed with satisfying my core needs and dreams amidst a busy family schedule.

Ugh, schedule. It’s an ugly word to me. Better read than said, but I still dislike it.

My premise is to journal the adventure of a (wanna be) writer.

If I have learned anything about myself in the first few attempts to put my words out there and have them praised and scorched equally, I have learned that I recover a little easier after each time it happens. So I nestle in this juxtaposition of writing with more freedom and setting myself up to spar with criticism. Although if your words are not helpful or constructive or supportive, please leave them in your head. Mine does not have room for negativity, especially that of a stranger. Thank you in advance.

This scares me, committing to writing with little revision, exposing myself to strangers and almost worse, loved ones. But I’m almost finished with Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly book, so I guess you could say I’m officially on the vulnerability bandwagon, so let’s go for a ride, see where it takes us.

If I haven’t made it clear by now, I am writing this blog for me not you. Not that I don’t hope you can snag some take-away’s, but in my head, in order to conquer my current weakness with writing and being vulnerable, I have to think in my head each post is about me. My journey. My thoughts and feelings. My reactions. My reflections. My answers and questions and stories. I just need it to be about me. And I need that to be okay. So again, any ball-busters can kindly leave. And know-it-all’s who can barely wait their turn to speak… move along now. This is my space to do as I please.

I hope you can stick around but if not, I bid you your best.

The premise is to chronicle my writing journey, but who the hell knows if or when I might serpentine. I get to design the rules as I go, and to me, that defines fun. So I want to have fun with this blog, while watering the seed of writing planted in me from my great grandma Gladys, passed through the veins of my mother. And I want to be vulnerable, in that I want to do it my way.

We all write differently, every single person a snowflake in a literary storm. Verbal precipitation in the forecast.

I feel like an imposter a lot. Like I don’t belong in any one place, like I’ve never established true, deep roots in any location or also subject matter. And sometimes when I go back and read something I’ve written, I do not recall the person who wrote it. Like an imposter in heat.

And when I go back and read something I wrote that even kind of blows me away, and I almost forgot I wrote it… when I have that moment I think, “I’m done!” Hands up, I accept defeat. That was my best. All I got. Not sure where to go from here. Not because it’s that amazing, but that’s about the level where I pique, so far anyway. It’s daunting and nerve-wracking but I trudge forward. Try to, while other times I feel like I’m flying.

Writing.

It’s a finicky process. One I have chosen to dissect and explore. Sometimes I get it right, but mostly I’m just trying to have more fun with my writing while trying to improve it and myself, and I guess I’m deciding to share this journey with you. My own crash course in writing. Back to school designed by myself, just call me Frau Chas.

Because my writing process is so sporadic, so will be my blog. I go through phases with my writing. And when I begin to feel like I’m struggling more each day, then I move on to the next phase. I have learned I benefit when I listen to the signs guiding me. Usually, it’s the characters. When they speak, I listen. I give them space to come alive. I don’t think I’m their best choice for a medium, but I am working hard for them. But sometimes I’m tired. And sometimes, I feel or hear nothing and then I wonder, “Why am I even alive then? Now where do I go?”

But these characters have been patiently developing and revealing themselves to me off and on for several years.

I have been listening and dutifully playing along, but now is the time for me to take the reins. Why did I just write that? I hate clichés.

It is time for me to take charge . . . no!

Time for me to pave my own path . . . grrr!

Time to trust my instincts . . . gawd!

What hasn’t already been said? That is a hellish thought for a writer. So you choose a topic or character or reason, but the trick is to twist that little nugget into something worth reading interspersed with your own flavor. You are the ice cream developer.

Now is the time for me to transfer the world in my head onto screen and maybe paper. Most efforts are quite difficult for me, but occasionally it flows. I just have to. Otherwise, I don’t sleep. Before I share the raw journal entry from one sleepless night a month ago, I must first announce that I slept eight straight hours last night! That never happens. But it did, and it can. I can.

My sleep ebbs and flows like my writing, like my life. As lukewarm as my blood runs, the rest of me operates in extremes. All in, all out. Emotions mostly. Ideas and dreams for sure. Reactions on the inside.


I really need to sleep . . .

I lie in bed, on my back, turn my head, from side to side. My heart beats more swiftly than it should at 1am. I take deep breaths to trick its pace but I fail. My heart pumps even harder. I can feel it inside my chest. Thu-thump. Thu-thump. The heavy beat vibrates to my eyelids, luring them open. They waver, unsure whether to succumb to the vibration or the night like I wish they would. Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Thoughts spin and twirl from one scene to the next. Racing against the minutes of the night ticking with no reverence to the dawn that will arrive no matter what they decide, wanting to open against my will. I fight the night. Again. I want to win, give my brain a rest so my body can navigate the next day. Why can’t I win? Night after night, the battle ensues, and I feel my power slip away into the threshold of insomnia. No, please, no. Thu-thump. Thu-thump. Why am I thinking about that one night so long ago, a world where I lived as a young adult doing immature young adult things? Only thing is, I see myself making similar irresponsible choices today, 20 years later. Not as dumb, but abusive the same. Beating myself up all the same. No, sleep beats me. Because here I am at 2am, eyes not even a yawn away from sleep. Heart still beats as if anticipating something exciting. Maybe it’s the jostling of ideas stuck in the matters of my mind? I question what does it all matter? This existence of mine, that is. How is it that I can care so much when I feel like I don’t care at all?

I mean, I do, of course.

And on I go thinking about my next tattoo. Last one only a couple months ago. One before that, at least 20 years. Why can’t I sleep? Why won’t my mind allow my body the rest it so desperately needs? Or rather, why won’t my heart, beating the seconds of time, allow my mind some peace? It’s a race, it seems. And while they both belong to me, I do not win. The night does. Again. Thu-thump. And so instead of resisting the race, I decide to join it. Move with it. See if my hand can keep up the pace. It wants to. It’s trying. What are the thoughts that need to escape from pen to paper that will finally allow me some peace? Who are the characters rattling the chains in my brain to awaken? Because as I write, my eyelids fall dreary before I’ve barely begun, but ‘tis maybe enough this night, anyway. What about tomorrow night? Last night? The next night? Next week? Please, dear God, I really need to sleep . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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