I made a promise to myself in July. As I waited to learn whether a publisher was going to take me on – work with me to move my manuscript/mommy memoir into (gulp) a book – I leaned into advice received from my most trusted writing Yodas 😊.
The Yodas included my beloved beta-reader and the sage and patient readers from my academic world who provided endless guidance. I don’t make it easy. My dissertation gurus logged hours of ‘time served’ as they guided me through the nuances of academic prose and the how-to’s of co-authoring a textbook, but this was writing of another sort. Personal and intense.
My beta-reader knew most of the backstory that undergirds the manuscript. Academic peeps? No – not their lane at all, and yet their insights were welcome. All input must be good input, I reasoned. A variety of ‘notes’ came forward and while I embraced everything, one nugget stood out, most of all. A common denominator of wisdom – across all Yodas:
If you want to write, write. Oh yeah – and read everything.
So, I’m trying. While juggling other business, home and family duties, WordPress has become a welcoming place. Much more so than I expected.
I remember my first-ever “like” and a comment to a blog post – from dear, sweet Wynne. As a more seasoned blogger, her encouragement in my first week was a gift. I might’ve quit early on…it felt like I was writing (ehh…more like blathering) into an abyss. Worthiness issues intertwined with the underlying compulsion to do it anyway.
WordPress is encouraging on a systems-level. I’m on a ‘streak’ with 60 daily posts and I’m still amused by the WordPress “high five” message when it pops into my inbox. I wasn’t looking to be a streaker 😉 LOL. I was just heeding another bit of advice from the Yodas:
Write. Do it even when you think the tank is empty. Do it.
So, every morning, I plop myself down and you know what? Despite my misgivings about quality, words flow and stories come.
The internal critic is a tyrant, though. She riles me up with her sideways chatter. THAT topic again? You’ve covered this, you fool. Or my academic, professorial-like nemesis arrives. She surfaces – ready to chide me for writing in a too colloquial way. Too friendly, familiar and GAWD what’s with all the hyphens and ellipses…and bad punctuation, generally?
I try to shoo them away and listen to the other voices. Bits of praise that still stick with me if I ferret them out:
Vicki – you write the way you speak. What makes you compelling on the conference circuit as a presenter, keynoter – and in the classroom – makes you fun to follow when the written words flow.
Hmm…maybe. But what do I repel, on a genetically based DNA level? Praise. What a conundrum. The thing I most need to keep moving is often the input I dismiss.
And so…back to the promise in July. I’m staring down October and it’s the month where I need to buckle down and tend to the manuscript-in-motion in order to meet my publisher’s deadline.
My writing, for fun, on WordPress might need to take a back seat for a bit. Rather than daily posts, I’ll shoot for 3-4 a week. Blogging was never about broad viewership or followers. It was and IS about connecting and I’m grateful to those of you who’ve been reading and chiming in with fun, life affirming scenes and stories. I’m grateful you haven’t booted me off the WordPress Island. 😉
If you’re a newer follower, don’t worry. I’m just paring down a bit and the trust you’ve placed in me – allowing me to pop into your space (whether you read/don’t read, like/don’t like, comment/don’t comment)? It’s a privilege I don’t take lightly.
And hey – some among you might be cheering! Hurray! She’s finally taking her foot off the gas, and I won’t see “Victoria Ponders” Every.Single.Day. Either way, all good.
So – whatever’s in front of you that you think you can’t do – do it anyway. The Yodas know what they’re talking about.