Sunday, December 9, 2012

Showing Up

Hoo boy...dealing today with perhaps the most common limitation of all in trying to write: sickness! 

And I am pretty sure this is not the result of too many Christmas cookies, lack of sleep or stress.  It's that law of the universe I cited last week: "Something seems to signal the universe when you're about to do something great...limitations fly in from every corner of the galaxy, conspiring to thwart your project." 

What great thing am I about to do?

I met with a friend/writer earlier this week and we were asking each other about our individual writing practices, grimacing at our lack of productivity.  What could we do to challenge ourselves?

We decided to hold ourselves accountable by writing a blog post once a week, due by 9 pm each Sunday. If one of us failed to post, that would trigger rewards and consequences, which we're still toying with.  Possibilities are swirling around the principle of 'loser provides an artistic or creative reward to the one who meets the deadline.'  We hope to not only keep accountable with one another, but actually nurture one another's creativity.  (Any ideas for this consequence/reward system welcome!)

We also talked about a financial limit of $5 or $10, because we are on austerity, non-existent writer budgets.  And we probably need a second limit of time, because creating is expansive and absorbs gobs of time.  

One day from deadline, the Universe interfered.  Instead of leaping off cliffs of motivation, enthusiasm and creative flow, I am trying to stay semi-vertical, drinking massive quantities of fluids, a pile of tissues growing at my elbow. A post is due, and I haven't given it a thought all week.  And at the moment, thought feels like plowing through steel wool.  But writers need to write.   Everyday. 

This might not seem like such a great thing, but following through on a commitment is, especially when it's a commitment to vocation.  Especially when it involves others.   

A blog is not such a great thing, but it represents discipline, the finger exercises of writing; by writing today, that superlative poem lurking in my subconscious may emerge tomorrow. 

And it's an artificial deadline, sort of, but I'm going to meet it.  Last Sunday I was at a book signing for a story I wrote during one bout of the flu.  Who knows where this post might end up?   I don't always need to be eloquent, but I need to show up. 

And a funny thing happens then in the Universe.  When I do show up, the Universe tends to reverse gears, capitulate, and toss me an idea.  Threshold Guardian becomes ally.  Another reason to show up, even when the evidence suggests retreat.

Not that I believe that the Universe is impersonal...but that's a post for another day.  In the meantime, here is my post.  Limitations and all.    

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