Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Musings

Okay, due to lack of interest on my part, I'm putting off Music Monday until next Monday.  Today, I'm hoping you will indulge me slightly.  In a roundabout way, I'm going to tell you a story. 

Late last year I started reading a book called "The Courage to Write."  I wrote a few stories down in my other online journal pertaining to this book.  Ralph Keyes, the author, believed that you had to write about those stories in your life that matter most to you.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  He believed that you had to write about the hard things in your life.  I almost laughed at that.  Seriously?  Hard stories?  Look around, Mr. Keyes, I thought.  While some of my life's troubles were due to my own making, I believed that a lot of my life and how I view things all hinged on a decision I made when I was seven years old. 

But, that is a story for a different day. 

I took Mr. Keyes lesson to heart and dug in and wrote about what I believed to be my defining moment as a person or what had shaped and molded everything in my life up until this day.  He believes/believed that in order to be a good writer, a fundamental success, you had to tell your story first in order to be in touch with any other character. You had to let go of the 'story' you 'knew'.

I wrote everything down about how I felt during that time...or the aftermath anyway. 

And then promptly forgot all about those lessons in lieu of real life, etc. 

So, again, if you will, please indulge me. 

This past weekend, with the help of some really great friends of mine, I realized why I'm feeling the way I've been feeling lately.  Aside from the crazy that is handed down from generation to generation in my family, I've been having feelings of definite sadness and can't pinpoint it for any logical reason.  My life is fine.  My family is healthy.  I've got a good job.  Just got a pretty, pretty car not too long ago.  I got to go flying for the first time ever.  I drove to Tennessee and back. 

So, why am I lying in bed unable to move save for clicking the track pad on my laptop?


Yup, plain old-fashioned simple fear. 

A long time ago, I promised myself that when I reached this point in my life, I would write a book.  Here I am, in that 'good' place for the first time in my life and I don't have a clue what to do with myself let alone a blank page that needs to be filled with words that people would want to read and buy and tell all their friends about. 

My life, our life, has not been the best the past few years.  In addition to working temporary jobs where life is always in a constant state of flux, I worked in places that made me feel about an inch tall at all times.  My go-to mantra during those days was that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel and that I would find a place that accepted me for all of my ridiculousness and that it would be better than anything I had ever imagined.

Yeah, I found that place.

Now what the hell am I supposed to do with myself? 

I know how to struggle and survive. I know how to rob Peter to pay Paul.  I'm a champ at packing my kids up and taking them to the beach because it's free or to the library because again?  Free.  I'm a thrift store shopper by choice AND necessity.  I'm so used to living in that state.  Again, we're still figuring out life on a daily basis, budget-wise, but also, again, it's still much better than it was before. 

So why am I subconsciously looking for things to be upset or angry about?

I'll tell you why:  Because I don't think for once in my life that I've learned how to thrive.  I don't know how not to be in the scrapper mode 24/7 and always hoping for the best.  Do not get me wrong, there are things in my life that need to be improved greatly.  It's just that mental checklist I've had running in my head for the past eight or so years is full of check marks in all the appropriate columns except one:  Write a Book. 

So, I manufacture shit to be unhappy about.  I don't do laundry until the absolute last minute because then I'll have something to be pissed about.  I don't make the bed for two weeks because then I can be pissed that it looks like crap.  Or don't do any of the DIY home improvements that I've been longing to do because, again, I still get to be upset. 

What sane person does this?

The one who is scared to death to take that step towards her dream.  I am scared beyond belief about writing something down and having no one read it.  I mean, who in their right mind would want to hear about my life?  Who really gives a crap at how I look at life?

Because when I think about writing about my life, I don't see the difference.  I don't see the attraction.  I don't see the selling point. 

I'm just me.

Just crazy Heather who loves to put words on a blank page and to twist them around to suit my needs and/or moods.  But evidently, I have to sit down and type out, listening to the click clack of my fingers on the keyboard, about what matters to me. 

I have to tell my story first. 

It's not gonna be some tell-all about who has wronged me in my life, I know that.  But, it might include the moments that made me who I am today.  And include those folks who have shaped my world, for better or worse. 

In closing, I'll ask you to bear with me, and maybe be a little kind.  It's my first day on the job of living my dream. 


  1. Aww. Hez. There are a million and one reasons for not writing, just like there are a million and one reasons FOR writing. Since all of life is a leap of faith, sometimes we just have to go out there blindly and put things down. I hear a lot of advice about writing, everything from "write what you know" to "write what you don't know."

    There's a book I'd like to recommend to you that's helped me a lot. It's Art and Fear,: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland (Amazon). It's geared toward graphic artists but every single word in it relates just as well to the written word, seeing as how that's just another form of visual art. When I'm feeling stuck I like to reread it and get a little pumped up from it. It might not help you come up with the perfect topic for a book, but it probably will help you get past the fear of the blank page (canvas).

    Besides that, I know you can do whatever you set your mind to. <3

    1. :nods nods: For me, the self-sabotage thing is a long-time running thing that got planted in my head as a kid and I don't think it ever freaking left. And being surrounded by supportive, encouraging and kind people is something that is just so foreign to me, I think. Work-wise, I mean. You guys? You guys have been an effing fortress of love for eight years.

      I will definitely check that book out!!!! It sounds very interesting and art is always art, no matter written, drawn, painted, or mimed. ;)

      And you're the best. <3


    When I was applying to seminary, one of the things the bishop's office wanted was an autobiography. Like, not three paragraphs, but pages and pages. I couldn't sleep. I was hyperventilating. I went to work with huge dark circles under my eyes and people were asking me if I was OK in this way that implied, "Because we can totally tell that you aren't." It was the scariest thing ever.

    I ended up finding an awesome therapist to help me sort through what I had done with my memories to make them so tough to look at later. In my case, it was blaming myself for a lot of stuff that wasn't my fault, because that seemed easier than blaming anyone else, and sticking everything that didn't fit under the rug. It was one of the best things I ever did.

    I'm not in any way saying that what made it hard for me to write is anything like what makes it hard for you to write, but at least I can tell you that I survived it and came out with 1,000,000 house points and a way better life afterward. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!!!!


    1. HA! Love your story, too, Kit! I've been through plenty of therapy to be self-aware enough to know what I'm doing but every once in awhile I need a kick in the butt. And writing about myself and my experiences is difficult. Actually, let me rephrase that: Writing honestly is difficult. Because it's easy to gloss over the truth of the situation or who we are but it's really difficult to bring honesty to the page, ya know?

      And bless your heart and thank you....just sincerely, thanks so much!


  3. Perfect.....honestly you had me at there. I am no affluent writer of beautiful literature, but this is the stuff that makes people tick. This is what matters, and YOU matter, just sayin.

    1. You might be slightly biased, but as you are someone I respect and admire, I will definitely take it. <3!!! Thanks, pal!