Writerly Notions: traits, doubt, & a Catch-22

Writing is a bit of a Catch-22. If I don’t write (and revise and rewrite), I won’t ever finish any story. BUT—am I using my writing (and revising) to avoid progressing in other important matters? So, I stop and stall and things take much longer.

Furthermore, I’m full of doubts about everything. Doubt and fear and anxiety. Is this the right thing I should do? Is this the right thing I should write? How do I know if this story is worth taking time on? How do I know if this story is “alive”? How can I be sure? Everything in life is like this: How do I know for sure about anything I think or feel? How can I be sure? So, I shuffle and stifle and don’t much get anywhere.

I’ve always been a bit like this. How can I do anything, let alone progress at anything, be it a job or a goal or a skill or a relationship, if I’m not completely sure it’s the right decision? And how can I be sure? What can make me be sure?

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In-congruent Premise, or How I Often Feel What I Think & Feel is at Odds with “General” Advice

Well, getting here, to type these words, was a challenge unto itself. Sorting through emails and passwords.

There’s an incongruity between a self-help card that says “forgive others” & “what you judge in others is a shadow-self of yourself” when the judgement is what you perceive others to think of your skills. 

If I feel bad about myself because of how I feel from what others say, it’s not because I think badly of others. It’s that I perceive myself as not-belonging. So, to follow the premise set up by the card:

  1.  forgive others for making me feeling bad (because I don’t write well or make sense / try to make my writing pleasing to others or what others would expect)
  2. recognize that what I judge in others (that they are competent and correct in their assessments & belong in a writing environment) is a reflection of myself
  3. let go of my unfair judgement of others and…???

The problem is that the entire premise is centered around the idea that one’s judgment is misconstrued. But if someone has bad feelings or judgments, not at others, but at themselves, for what they see as others being right about them in a way that impacts someone negatively or in an emotionally broken/I don’t belong way, then… How does the premise of: forgive/recognize/let go & see the unity make sense??

(I’m not sure this makes any sense. I’m kind of rambling my feelings.)

#5: Pacifism v. Passivity / Copying

Pacifism doesn’t mean being passive; it doesn’t mean you submit. It’s still about resistance. Violence isn’t always resistance, but resistance should have an active element.

Since the year started, I’ve been trying to figure out how to act.

I tried to follow what others were doing.

I tried to copy others. Because what else is the world but copying? There’s the you at school, where you follow rules (sometimes leading to frustrated or unhappy results), do what’s expected, and there’s you at home, where you do what you want, act how you want. Additionally for me, there’s the impulse to be liked. And being liked means (and meant in college) being in-sync and agreeable to those around me. This stems from fear of being other and outcast

I tried to do what I could money-wise without having lots of money to spend. Then I stopped and thought: what would I do if I was me? And this is that.

Disclaimer: these are my uneducated opinions. I am not an expert. I only have strong, persistent opinions, acquired from listening to others, living life, and reading. If anyone notices any errors or misuse of words and meaning, let me know and I will correct any post or information.

Written 8/16/17 + 8/31/17

Threads of life

Day 208

PULLING THE PATTERNS out from inside the drawer, she peers into the shifting, glowing reflections:

She is a scientific researcher. Hours in the outdoors studying the flora and fauna. The pursuit of science and the taste of crisp, hypothesis-proven results. The scrap and scent of animals, and the calm and technical methods of space and stars. Details. Watching. Writing. Speaking out. It is strung with conservation and evolution, preservation and revolution…

She is a scholar. She roots around in old archives, digging up words and stories and historical accounts to spin into research and wonder. These she shares with colleagues, piles of details and comparisons and finely combed sources. Giving. Teaching. Hardworking. Preserving. A life of studious, exciting exploration and academic conferences. It thrives on the thrill of ancient tales and pristine books and languages no longer spoken. She walks along colonnaded halls, plows through ancient archives, and descends into the tomb of libraries… She wallows in the creak of old leather bindings and the crinkle of old curling script and the musky scent of the past… 

She is a witch. Gently caring for others, she lives in a small cottage. There are flowers, roses for certainty, growing along the cozy walls. A small garden, perhaps badly tended, flourishes with bees and butterflies and an occasional hummingbird. A yard of wild growth for rabbits and a bird feeder for sparrows and wrens and robins. The scent of peppermint tea or hot chocolate wafts through a window screen, while threads hums to life, sewn into dresses for fairies (or other small things), and paint and paper and ink enchant empty space, stories and scenes brought to life (sometimes meticulous, sometimes childish). Shells from the sea crinkle in a watercolor sketchbook, stitched with details and notes on nature. She is free, peaceful, quiet, and concocts wishes for the welfare of herself and others.

Written: 2 May 2016

Words: 311 words

Inspired: wanting to imagine (and write out) as many of the lives I’ve imagined for myself. The results are…interesting. 


Day 201

FLOWERS SWAYED IN the sunshine. Focus on those, she told herself, not the festering frustration in the center of her chest. It boiled gently, a fast-spinning wheel weaving an even faster thread. Move quicker, it hissed, go, go, go. Up so early. Move, move, move to make up for lost time. Be quicker!

But the flowers only bobbed. The grass gleamed. And the cherry greeting of robins sang of peace and pleasure. Of basking in nature’s beauty. Happiness and joy and healthy living. 

Its message was at odds with her internal machine. Which path should she follow this morning?

Written: 22 April 2016

Words: 99

Inspired: my morning + Earth Day!

Melting Sorrow [Day 128]

MISTS OF SORROW swirl inside the cavity of her soul. Gray, feathery, and insubstantial, it clings to every thought, every action, like a web that serves no purpose. There is no nutritious food to catch from sadness.

Leaning against her pillows, she gazes out into the rainy sky. Silver tears plummet onto the cold wet ground. Snow mixes with mud. A cloudy haze blots out the sun. Residue of frost wilts uselessly over green charcoal grass. 

The world is melting apart, as if it does not quite know what it wants. How she knows that feeling.

Written: 12 Jan 2016

Words: 96

Inspired: feelings

Incandescent Goals [Day 175]

TIME WHISTLED BY. Important deeds and projects floated along, dim colorful shades against the gray tunnel of her mind. They bounced off the dull walls. Some were less colorful than others, while some had a faint shimmer as if an incandescent fire burned inside, waiting to erupt. 

What made her frown was how their brightness did not seem to match the value she felt for them. A project she had been wanting to work on since the beginning of the year still lay in its early stages, but the quick everyday updating and menial actions (though even those could go out entirely if she didn’t schedule her time sternly) blinked like beacons. 

Frown deepening, she was glad some of the important ones flickered brightly… The bigger trouble was that she felt there were too many: constant actions and deeds and projects she wanted to spend most days progressing forward on and often she was lucky to hit the most basic.

What to do, what to do?

Written: 14 March 2016

Words: 166

Inspired: life