Friday blog time

Well, here is one more (of, gosh, who knows how many?!) attempts to start blogging regularly. I’m setting myself a post-a-week goal all over again; more specifically, I’m setting myself “Friday blog time.” I tell you that only because it leads to something I’ve been discovering and rediscovering about myself lately — I really love planning. I really love the goal of being disciplined. I love spending hours making this complex color coded schedules. It’s ultimately fairly counterproductive since I am not very good at following said schedules, but I feel totally at sea if I don’t have them. I know. It’s weird. Paul once told me that I reminded him of his eight year old who lives a little in the future. He gets so excited thinking about events to come that he enjoys them in the moment, but once the event actually comes around, he’s bored — he’s already experienced it. That’s one of the most insightful observations anyone’s ever made about me. I’m not saying I wish I didn’t enjoy the future so much — I love it! — but maybe I could benefit from enjoying the planning a little less than the doing. No?

To be fair, though, this is one of my responses to the challenges of a freelancer life. As much as I love the freedom to do what I want to, when I want to, there is something to be said for the discipline of a 9 to 5 job with clearly demarcated goals and a system of accountability. I’m trying to create one for myself that takes into account things like my love of mornings for quiet work and my brain’s absolute inability to function for the half hour or so following lunch. At the time of this writing, I have succeeded in following this new discipline for exactly 2 1/2 days; I’m curious to see how long I can make it last!

But back to the point, Friday blog time. And 4-mornings-a-week-other-writing-time. Enough has been said and written about how much writing happens when one sits down to write even when one has nothing to say, so I won’t spend too much time talking about it (and if you’re in one of my workshops, you’ll hear enough about it!). But here’s what’s interesting to me — I still don’t know this! I experience it at least once a week, usually more, and I still don’t know this. I still put off writing because I have nothing to say. And then, when I force myself to sit down and write anyway, I often end up saying things I didn’t know I wanted to say. A few days ago, for instance, I started out with nothing to say, wrote briefly about my frustration at having nothing to say, then somehow started writing about fireplaces, then about my grandfather, then about his garden, then about my herb spiral, then lightbulbs, then goats, then candy in a jar, then about how I hoard memories. At least two poems came out of that yesterday. And the weird thing is, I still don’t know where they came from, and when I read them, I still wonder who wrote them. Do you know that feeling? Looking at your work, especially your work that you admire, and wondering who the heck wrote it? It makes writing the next piece harder, but also so much more fun. That sense of discovery and play is such a huge part of what I love about writing… and yet, and yet. There’s something ironic, isn’t there, about discipline being the road to discovery and play? There is in my mind, but I don’t really know another way to get there, so I’m going to keep working at Friday blog time and Tuesday poetry time and so on.

Oh, and then, of course, there’s Monday “read-towards-writing” time (have I mentioned that I seldom read poetry to relax? Fiction yes — poetry, I read for stimulation and enjoyment, but never relaxation, which means it’s easy to get far too little poetry reading done unless I treat it like work). But reading time is another blog post — who knows, perhaps next Friday is I’m still this inspired! :)