Where would you rewind, pause, and edit?
That’s what a lot of my writing feels like. Reviewing my past, my present, my surroundings, pausings, noticing, filtering, adjusting, distorting, clipping, adding background and context, and inserting Jon Hamm wherever possible.
This process of uncovering, discovering, recovering — writing — can be exhausting and debilitating and exhilarating and exasperating and orgasmic. Often in the same day. Sometimes in the same paragraph.
I’ve been tilling the soil! There’s been lots of fertilizer! More gardening analogies! My posts here have been mostly about writing lately, rather than the writing itself.
I’ve been keeping a journal for years. It’s not daily, but it’s pretty close. And it’s full of really unfunny stuff. Humor is a filter. It’s not dishonest, it’s just, as the equation goes, a little time added to the sorrow.
I feel blocked again. I have topics, sure, but I don’t feel inspired. I don’t feel funny. I feel angry about a lot of things…things universal (misogyny, shootings, stupid fat-free Greek yogurt) and things personal. Meanwhile, the noggin voice and the internalized Others’ voice says, “No one wants to read that. Your talent is to be funny. The angry stuff is self-indulgent and whiny. Work through that shit on your own time.”
To be honest, there is merit in that thinking. Usually, the angry stuff, when given time, mellows into something more meaningful when I can deliver it wrapped in a delicately funny-ish package.
And I love the funny. There are those wonderful moments when something strikes me and I can’t get to this blog fast enough. Nothing pulls me from the page until I hit “publish.” The words flow and all the random, jumbled thought that have been scattered like marbles are suddenly arranged, bouncing off each other in really delightful ways. I use “delightful” in the non-twee sense here.
That’s when the writing is fast and satisfying.
I’ve not avoided the serious stuff. I’m writing it and not sharing.
It’s pretty terrible upon rereading. I sound like Rush Limbaugh on a slutty-loofah rant. It’s unnuanced. It’s rough.
It’s bad writing. Some of it is bad thinking.
But it’s writing. And it’s thinking. And it’s part of the journey, I suppose. The rubber meets the road here, and I know it would be easy to stop this, easy to say, “Well, after 23 days, I really have little left to say on a consistent basis, so I’ll just be here every so often.”
Not the point of 100 Days of Writing.
This soil needs to be tilled and turned over and maybe out of the shit something pretty or stately or nourishing will bud.
Even this post feels whiny and self-serving, rather than reflective. It feels as though I’m avoiding sharing the beginnings of something of substance and meaning. In reality, so much of this 100 Days is about confronting my fears and my self-image and my drive and my talent.
I continue to write daily, things funny and otherwise. The next question is what shall I return to, edit, and share
Where would you rewind, pause, and edit? I’m pretty sure if I could do this in real life, I’d end up right here, on my couch, surrounded by sticky, loud, hilarious children, belly full of quinoa. Happy and angry and worried and content.