Today was an unexpectedly quiet day filled with eucalyptus mint scent, comfortable clothes, my art, and just a enough hassle to remind me who I am – our AC decided it wanted to break in the midst of my quiet day.
But beyond that I drank tea and wrote. A new post for EJ is completed and submitted, a new content writing article is done and submitted. I did some research on some other places to submit to – I have a 1700+ word piece that needs a home currently. I want that one in a physical magazine though, so it may sit there for a while.
I had a new piece published to EJ yesterday evening, so I have two going at once. That’s kind of cool. I’m anxious to see if I can get both of them in the winner’s circle this week. I’ll post the links below – if you wouldn’t mind liking and sharing them, I would appreciate it. Every action on the post helps up my score.
I’m going to cut to the chase on this quote post, because I am tired and want some extra sleep this evening.
“Artistic discipline and athletic discipline are kissing cousins, they require the same thing, an unspecial practice: tedious and pitch-black invisible, private as guts, but always sacred.”Leanne Shapton
As a teenager, I always had a writing implement in my hand. I was always carrying around notebooks. I would first write the drafts in regular spiral notebooks, and then I would go through and edit them and then I would copy the final draft into a composition book that would be passed amongst my friends. I didn’t have the luxury of a computer or smart phone back then – everything was handwritten. I was always working on my art in some way, shape or form. I had poetry notebooks and journals and notebooks of short stories and short novels. . . always writing. And when I wasn’t, I was reading. I couldn’t get enough of the written word.
I tried to write after Matthew was born. I didn’t have the same hunger for it as I did when I was a teenager. Truth be told, I didn’t have much of a hunger for anything back then. I had lost who I was, and so I spent the next decade figuring out life and who I was and what I was going to do with my new knowledge and circumstances.
I picked up the figurative pen again after dad died. I honest to God didn’t know what to do with myself. I had so much spare time on my hands it seemed, and so many pent-up emotions. Every evening at 830pm was my scheduled call with dad, unless it was a special occasion, or I was going out. In those instances, I would call him earlier in the day and have a quick word with him. Even when he was ill, we would talk briefly. This tradition went on for ten years. My last conversation with him was the night before he passed. He told me he wasn’t feeling well and asked if we could talk the next evening. “Same time, same bat channel.” He said to me, like he always did. I heard the strain in his voice. I asked him if he needed me to take him to the hospital and he promised if he got worse, he would call me to take him.
Instead, I got the call from Aaron at 630 the next morning. I never talked to dad again.
I haven’t thought much about dad’s and my last conversation . . . well, ever, to be perfectly honest. Just something that I pushed to the back of my mind to process later, I suppose. I processed it just now, as I was writing. This is part of why I do what I do. I never know what memory is going to come floating to the surface. Be it good, bad, or ugly. I thought about deleting it, since it doesn’t have much to do with this particular piece. But it came out of my mind and through my fingers to the page, so it’s staying.
Anyway, though. Tangent aside, after dad passed away I had extra time in my evenings that I used to spend talking to him. He was my outlet for all of my frustrations, and I didn’t have that anymore. So, I think that the blog kind of formed from that. My lack of an outlet. The need for something to occupy my time and my mind when shit was hard.
My writing has been spotty until recently. I’d go months of posting several times a week, and then fall off the blog train for a month or more, and then jump on for some beautiful insight that had occurred to me. . .
This summer has been the most consistent I’ve written since I was a teenager, though. Before, I was using the blog to let out all of the things that I think I normally would have been able to talk to dad about. I used it to heal from both of my parent’s passing’s, and the harder events that have shaped both my childhood and my young adult years. And I always put the twist on it that dad would have – I always looked for the silver lining in every anecdote and in every story. Because when I would call him with some trial or tribulation, he would find the silver lining even when I struggled to. Now that I’m through so much of the hard stuff, I can concentrate more on the art. I can concentrate more on the purpose of words – and that’s to reach other people.
I have written fairly steadily though for the last four years, even despite the little breaks here and there, and found my voice and my audience. Matthew asked me the other day what I was going to write my book about. I don’t know that I’m going to write a book. I have filled enough blog space to make a book, I have no doubt. But to write beyond what I’ve already written? To go back into the fiction world? I just don’t know.
Regardless, to put the pen down and not write for a period is like not going to football practice before a big game. I can’t ‘forget’ the English language. But stringing sentences together isn’t all just natural born talent. I spend hours at this a week. Whether I’m writing the content articles or blog writing or figuring out just how to word an email so that I don’t offend the receiver, it’s all an art and it all takes practice. I have a natural love of words. Otherwise? The fact that I’m good at word weaving comes down to the fact that I’m constantly studying them and I’m constantly working with them. Not a bit different from an athlete. I don’t physically exert myself. But I promise you, after a good session in front of Rosalyn I think that I am sometimes just as tired, if not more so. And sometimes it’s taxing. It’s hard dredging up old memories and feelings so I can rid myself of them. It’s hard being so open, knowing that I am leaving myself open for ridicule and judgement. I can’t describe to you the feelings I have as I write sometimes. Some of the shit comes out of nowhere and takes me by surprise and suddenly I’m overcome with feelings that I haven’t felt in years. It’s as Leanne says. . . pitch-black invisible, private as guts, but always sacred.
I have some hecticness in front of me, and I also only have eighteen more quotes to write about. So I’m curious to see how and when this series is going to end. I’m seriously debating picking up another quote book. This has been very eye opening, and a lot of fun.
For now, I have strung together over 2500 words today, and I need to read some to my Chaser. Happy Monday. Do what you love. Fight to do what you love. Don’t give up on your dreams. Because I promise you, if you love what you do, it won’t feel a bit like work. You’ll have complete and utter satisfaction at the end of your workday instead of stress and anxiety and dread at the idea that you have to come back to it the next day.
EJ posts that needs some love are linked below – both are listed as possibilities to win but their scores are too low to actually win:
I Made the Impossible, Possible (& You Can Too).
Surviving Alcoholism When You’re Not an Alcoholic.
Thank you in advance for your support!
Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash