Friday, January 15, 2010

The Act of Showing Up

As I've hinted at here and there, I have been struggling to write. Creatively write. I've written plenty for syllabi and course outlines and introductions for students and defense of why I gave a student a "D" and in search of internship placements.

But writing for "me" and what I hope will be a growing audience was stalled.

I met with friends here and there and tried to continue the CLF saga (my 2009 NaNoNovel). I did manage to do a little editing on two pieces and did get one submitted.

But the new, the raw, the starting over - stalled. Or the completion of my 2009 NaNoNovel - stalled.

I tried prompts. I tried to "just go" -- lurch, ayup, nada.

But tonight I turned a corner. I met with my awesome writing friend, Jenny, this morning. Over coffee and egg panini at one of our favorite writing spots, we discussed her novel which I am excited to see coming to completion. I opened a document to work on it, made a couple notes, and we talked some more.

Great conversation. About self-publishing, about Amazon self-publishing and the ramifications of that. About e-books and Kindle and other electronic reading devices. About how to get more information about self-publishing something you are hoping to get published by a company. It was great and inspiring.

Then we had to separate and each go our ways to teach. The student I was in a rush to be there for didn't show up. So I had time to grade a little and do more preparation for next week. Then I taught my two classes.

And took my time to drive a major road - instead of the freeway - in the pouring rain and a little wind through rush hour to.... tada ... my ultra-favorite writing spot, which just happens to be open 24-hours a day. And there I met a new NaNo friend (I met Jenny and Christi - another writer friend from afar and an interpreter - during NaNo last year) and the newest member of my growing writerly support group, Deb.

And, tonight, at last, I wrote. I finished a short piece I will be submitting to The Sun once I get some feedback.

Tonight I feel like I finally broke through the wall of the stall and found my way back to the path. And I have one foot on it. There is a ways to go, but I'm finding my way.

Finding my way because, even though I was feeling like it was sometimes useless or I was failing, I still showed up.

I showed up and showed up and opened the documents and put down my very few words here and there and. I found my way back. Right now I'm waiting for my other writer friend, Alexander, to show up. And I'll see if I can put together a little bit more.

One step.
One bird.
One minute.
One thought.

With a little help from my friends, I wrote a piece tonight.