Muted validation

Muted validation

A few weeks ago, the weather warmed up past pleasant and yoga fell off my morning alarm list. Well, in any event, I grunted, flicked the switch, threw off the covers, and rolled my face back into the pillow. This also reflects my writing process, but not in the way you might be thinking.

The internal workings of my creative process have started chugging an ancient engine, somewhere deep down in the back of my belly. It’s such an old and forgotten room in the house of me, that the accumulated muck of ages is still dampening the sound of its voice. But, I am aware of a muted whisper.

So, I have been withdrawn. I closed my studio door. I even missed posting an article here last week. I want my own approval for the work. The validation I desire is mine, and this is an alarming shift in my psyche. What the hell am I supposed to measure my worth by now?

I ended the day, yesterday, with exclamations of my awesome creativity, and a fist pump over finally freeing up and openly writing magic into the draft manuscript of my current novel-in-progress. Here is a note I pinned to one of the scenes:

Stop being so fucking mysterious, Sondra. Just write the damn magic.

I freaked out this morning over my toast: I’m too loud, too much, too weird. What about that person who responded to a comment I posted on a YouTube video, “Are you high?” And, I was devastated. No, I’m not high, this is me. I am exuberant. I use six adverbs and four adjectives in one sentence to try to share my boundless love and raw excitement. I really do see the good in the world, all the time. So, maybe that does relegate me to your realm of what is crazy.

It’s taken forty years, but I’m hearing voices now, and I plan to pay attention. To me, that is cause for celebration and a few more descriptive phrases.

The alarm was back on this morning. My lymph system celebrated our return to the yoga mat with a nauseous hooray once I was again vertical and heading for the shower. Like I said, the accumulated muck of ages is shifting. Body, mind, and spirit.

The reality of love

The reality of love

I don’t want to write a blog post today. The world makes less and less sense. This especially comes up when I happen to see a news headline, or a post shared on Facebook or some other social media site that slams the “real” world into my world. Does that mean I don’t live in the real world? I’m okay with that.

I’m happy to live in a world of my own creation where people love themselves and that flows out to everyone they communicate with and think about. If my purpose is constantly to drop pebbles into the wellspring of my own love, sending ripples of it out into the world, mine is a worthy existence. This is the why of my writing and storytelling.

What if you woke up tomorrow and didn’t read any news headlines telling you how many horrible events had occurred all over this tiny globe of ours while you were sleeping. What if everyone did that?

Millions of people are constantly walking through their lives, imagining the worst things that could happen. I am not immune to the dis-ease. I give the movies in my mind a terrifying soundtrack and feel the reverberation of unnamed fears shudder through my being. Would the horrors still be real to me if I had not read the instigating headline, or seen the graphic video? I don’t see how they could.

I don’t seem to be strong enough to allow the real world to flow over and around me, without grabbing onto it and making sure I am pounded senseless by its attack. That is changing, though. The last time a bomb killed many people, one of my Facebook friends was kind enough to share the news. My sadness cracked open and that was a new thing. I was not numb. I cried, mourning for a world where this is real.

This morning over my breakfast coffee, I was shown the latest reporting of reality from France. And, I am not numb.

So, I send out this tiny ripple of questioning and my gift of love. As it moves through the web and weaves its own way, I wonder … If everyone dropped just one pebble every morning, would the splashes wash reality clean.

Criticism and compliments

Criticism and compliments

Even though the feedback was excellent and the delivery of the feedback was supportive and kind, I am feeling the hit of “not good enough” today. I must do more study before I can continue with my work. I knew it! See! I have to know everything about the thing before I begin doing it. That is what the little voice in my head is saying to me while nodding “I told you so”. If you go back to my first blog post, I wrote about the flip side of this thing I’m experiencing today.

This particular “I told you so” stuff is especially effective at finding the cracks in my creator self. This gift of comment gathers up things I know are weak points in my writing. Each mention lands a seed of doubt in already softened and watered soil.

Everything is a journey. That is the main theme of my writing. The healing aspect of each journey is the supporting thread that adds colour to the cloth. Today, I’m swinging on the thread playing Tarzan. I’ve swung out of my word processor jungle and into the wide moor of instructional information. The blooming plants that stretch out over the landscape have flowers that look a lot like YouTube, teaching website, and podcast logos.

There are so many perfect flowers everywhere I look today! Each one of them better than the blooms in my home garden that appear lopsided and straggly.

It is interesting that I have made the part of my work that would benefit with tweaking the focus of this article. There were some wonderful compliments given and appreciation for other aspects of my writing expressed. Why didn’t I write about that?

Because it’s easy to shrug off success as an undeserved accident and familiar to wrap up in self-doubt. If I had written this article last night, immediately after receiving the critique, I would have made the title “The Gift of Comment” instead of “Criticism and Compliments”.

Life is a process.

“Anticipation of the journey suggests you have yet to realise that it began ages ago. You will. Healing magic is like that.” Sondra Ann 2016

Stepping into possibility

Stepping into possibility

About an hour ago, I was struck by a realisation that packed my head in cotton batting. I am feeling emotional, but since the batting has been stitched closed over my head, the tears are still on the inside. That huge thing I embarked upon; the adventure of beautiful words and far-flung hor— you know the next word in this sentence, don’t you?

Well that horizon, about an hour ago, flew straight at me with a roaring rush. It screamed to a halt right in front of my feet. If I step, it will be over the edge of the world. I don’t know what my world looks like from the other side of the horizon, and my chest feels tight. Right now, as I write this to you — the prickle on the inside of my forehead and the pressure against my cheekbones is real.

What if I could publish a book, right now? What if an editor who cares, unexpectedly fits me into their schedule next week and I publish a book? Huge achievements are a series of little moments flowing this way or that way according to my choices. By keeping the horizon waaaaay over there *points*, I was able to be perfectly comfortable and safe.

I know I tend to start a project with an enthusiasm that is rarely surpassed, even by the most enthusiastic toddler aiming for a proffered sweet and sticky something. However, I also know what happens next. I smear the sweet stickiness over my cheeks. Then when I finally leap off my current adventure of choice, my good intentions are left to careen into the nearest barren place. By the time I remember to wash my face, it is a painful and ugly process. Ah self-criticism, there you are again.

I have a completed novella. It exists.

I thought this huge thing I am doing HAD to be a full-length novel. But, what if it is a collection of five novellas? And what if the next four novels I have planned are each a collection of novellas?

What if I actually finish something wonderful, and keep right on doing more of the same? Is that what the world looks like from the other side of my horizon?

My mind is blown wide open at the possibility and I am going to have a little lie down now.