RSKdetroit

am writing

Tag: advice

#waswritinguntil…

We’ve all seen (and used if you’re a writer) #amwriting.

Feels good, doesn’t it? Feels forward moving and the perfect affirmation even if, at the moment, you’re staring at the screen waiting for said writing to burst forth with the same fervor as that little hashtag implies.

The night was set up so perfect. You had time, you had energy, you were feeling emotional – you did not have coffee, but the wine was near by and the music was… helping? … Ok, you got a little distracted with the music selecting. But no matter.

You began editing an old piece. There’s a new piece that you’re really proud of, but you sent it to a friend and they mentioned removing the semi colons that you’ve been judiciously dumping on your writing like they belong there. All of them. You knew it was a bad idea, but somewhere in the back of your mind you were like, “semi colons are so undervalued”.

  1. Since you have a soft spot for underdogs, you ran with it. Next time though, you’ll have learned your lesson.
  2. Now the piece needs to be edited – again. Which means, for good measure, maybe you’ll let it sit in a folder and ferment for another month.

So you’re editing the old piece, you sip the wine and sip it again. A few words fall out of your head, but something feels off. You’re not emotionally invested in the piece anymore so you put a new spin on it, a darker one. You’re good at being dark, but dark is easy and you told yourself to stop being so easy.

Not sure you’re on board with your own shift in direction, you stop #amwriting to thumb the phone for a little, take a selfie or two because you need to affirm that it’s not just your disembodied ego sitting here stewing, but the whole body, vanity and all.

You head to social media to embellish the truth around any real progress and productivity, or maybe the photo is now considered progress so that’s cool, and with the social aspect you hope it will incite actual #amwriting because now you’ve called yourself out, now you’ve a responsibility to method act your way back to the #amwriting you’re supposed to be doing.

Photo posted, you tap away at a few more words, delete a few more paragraphs because #icebergtheory – the less you say on the surface, the more meaning lies underneath. Or as Ernest put it,

If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. –Ernest Hemingway

You bow your inner writer soul to the god that is Hemingway because now you’re giddy over how cutting out half of what you wrote makes for a more weighty piece of writing.

So, OK, but I don’t know, is it done? You re-read over and over again. Seems a bit short. You sip that wine over and over again. Does it say enough? Is it even any good? You check the status of your photo. Only two likes so far. You’ve not convinced anyone, even yourself, that you are indeed #amwriting. Should have been more truthful you think, should have posted #waswritinguntil…

You whip out the tarot deck. Close the computer. The night decays into divination and doubts. You tell yourself you’ll revisit the writing in the morning when you’re feeling less cataclysmic.

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Any of this sound familiar?

More often than not I wish I wasn’t a writer in the digital era where social media is paramount to career survival. That said, my output HAS somewhere to output because of the digital era, but that output has suffered since I was gifted a smart phone.

Blog posts seem doable. Short prose, poems, and stories seem doable. Photos – very doable. Still, it’s hard to focus on the horrible tedium that is, editing when it comes to that expansive book I #waswritinguntil…

Point being, there are ways to keep #amwriting even if you don’t feel that what you are doing can be considered such. Even if what you’re doing isn’t the thing you think you should have been doing. Like, do I really need another blog post when I have a book to edit? The answer is yes, yes I do. Because the point is #practice and #persistence and the only really bad thing a writer can do for themselves is to stop writing.

We’re hard on ourselves, us writers and creatives. I know I am. But I’m getting braver about my writer skin – more confident about what I can and cannot consider real work. You know what I’ve been learning?

  • IF YOU SHOWED UP #amwriting.
  • If you ATTEMPT to work on your craft for hours, even if a few or all of those hours were spent torturing yourself over not working efficiently or brilliantly or whatever #amwriting
  • If all you did was delete 5 sentences and reread the same first paragraph 500 times #amwriting
  • If all you managed to do was open your computer and write, “I can’t think of anything to write” – you know what? #amwriting

What I’m learning is that being a writer is a state of mind. If you never publish a damn word but consider yourself a writer, you’re a writer. So #amwriting your little heart out. Maybe #waswritinguntil… just to keep yourself in check, but above all #dontstopwriting even if the words only live in your mind. They’ll come pouring out eventually. They will because they have to because us writers, we didn’t choose the writing life, the writing life chose us.

Music selection is this gem I found – an artist out of Toronto named verzache. The above track is called “hiccup”, this one here is “juvenescence”. Was listening to his whole soundcloud last night and well… I was blown away.

Thanks for coming to my space and sharing this time with me. I’ll be posting the piece that I was working on last night… the old piece “And So We Did” on Scriggler so you can judge for yourself if it was enough of the iceberg or even any good.

As always, be well, love often, and enjoy.

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Routine Maintenance

I’ve been doing this routine where I bike an hour to yoga, practice yoga for an hour, then bike back an hour from yoga. It’s a routine that takes me out of my head, forces me to pay attention as I’m dodging cars and pot holes; forces me to focus on something other than my immediate emotions as I’m stretching this way and that, challenging muscle groups to open and strengthen. Every drop of sweat padding on my rubber mat is a reward – a reminder of the solid foundation that is built upon routines.

I’ve been thinking a lot about routines.

I’ve other routines:

  • Make the bed every morning
  • Wash the sheets on Sunday
  • Clean and organize room before bed and/or before leaving the house
  • Clean dishes immediately after use
  • Get up at 6am every day and write an hour before work…..

Ok, I lied about that last one. However, in front of me is a list. Number 3 on that list is, “come up with a writing routine.” I suppose “up at 6am sharp” might be a good start.

Seems I need routines to normalize parts of my life as we all do, I’m sure. And normally those routines work to get gears turning, forcing us out of stupid habits like NOT performing those routines. We set those routines up for a reason. They need to be there because they work like oil to keep the machine turning.

But today was different. As I biked back from yoga I became frustrated that not once, not in the slightest had I exited my head during the whole 3 hours of the work out. This became most apparent mid yoga session. As my frustration grew to intolerable levels, I found myself holding my breath, resenting my instructor, doubting, cursing, just thinking negatively in all ways possible – totally contradictory to my usual heart-opening, clear-minded post yoga attitude.

Furrowed brow, I road home recklessly, wondering why today the routine had not worked.

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photography by @rustyvaughanyoung follow him on instagram

The head is a complicated place.

Maybe, I thought, to expect to scale the mountain of tumultuous ideas the mind creates with one method, even two or three – is madness.

The thought occurred to me that there is never one way, one solution, one answer to any problem. That a life filled with yoga, tai chi, tap dance, or tarot; boxing, boating, hockey, or horse riding; no amount of praying, painting, volunteering, nor activism can really solve a thing. They are tricks, methods like a magician’s handbook. Their work is an illusion.

The real work it seems, begins and ends in the mind, the heart, the human.

 

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Fitting. I drew the High Priestess and the Queen of Pentacles. Going to do a real simple summation here. The Queen, the one who has it all, the solid earth sign (represented by the pentacle) – sure and content, yet paired with the High Priestess – it’s like she’s wondering why the hell she feels like the usual just isn’t working as usual, why things seem so unsure at the moment. It’s like she’s consulting the High Priestess, like going to confessional, like provoking the deepest parts of herself. It’s like she’s sitting in her castle with all her wealth and being like, yeah but, I’m unhappy. Maybe something needs to budge, something needs to change, but what? Is it me? Is it this castle? Is it my heart? Is there something I’m not admitting to myself? Is there something I’m holding to so tightly that’s keeping me from seeing the truth, or from becoming my true self?

Maybe that’s the conversation we’re all having right now.

But don’t stop, let the frustration be fuel. Mine provoked me to do this post, and I feel great about it. Hadn’t done one in quite some time.

I’m not killing the idea of routines. Routines do help the mind cope, the gears turn, the foundation settle, and the body rest. They do, they most certainly do. But don’t be afraid to change those routines because if they’re no longer working, than the work there is done.

Do a routine maintenance check of your current routines. Change perspectives, alter angles and outlooks. Keep pushing. Fill your bag with tricks.

Choice is what guides us to becoming the best or worst versions of ourselves. We always have the power to choose.

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I don’t have any answers, not at the moment. But I do have thoughts and I hope you appreciated me sharing them.

 

Musical selection is a from a producer I’ve been obsessed with lately – Mark Barrott and his album Sketches From An Island. Love the whole album, but “Go Berri Be Happy” is currently playing while I’m closing this out so – there you have it.

Be well, love often, and enjoy!

Up and Out

Musical selection this week is Sinead Hartnett and her brand new video “Rather Be With You” because I think the message is right in line with what we’re supposed to be learning this month, what I get into below. Don’t let your ego go on thinking you can do this alone or that you’re better than everyone. Karma will come crashing down to show you, you were better off in that place of humility, that space of love and unity. That’s when the real work gets done.

“I was halfway up on a the wings of a fantasy. Looking out for love, didn’t know what was good for me…”

 

While you’re listening, keep reading! Here is the spread for this week. 

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Whatever that looks like to you, I’ll tell you what it means to me. We’ll call it an “up and out” energy. That’s what I’m feeling. It’s this constant loop of breakdowns and rebuilds. Shit blows up, we come out. Shit breaks down, we stand back up and step on out.

The Tower is a shocking change, usually unpleasant. It’s a karmic debt number, 16. Taken from the numerological stand point,

The 16 is different from other karmic debt numbers, as it is not easily overcome. It involves a continuous cycle of rebirth. After collapse, you will learn the way of humility. You must recognize that power is meant to be shared and you are superior only to your former self. – gaia.com

Wherever 16 shows up in a numerology chart, in the cards, it means “destruction of the old and birth of the new.” It’s life challenging your grand plans, it’s a lost battle, a strike to the ego. But wherever this exists, so does the humility that follows. It is the key to later success, bringing us closer to union, spiritual or otherwise.

Being that we’re heading into a Mercury retrograde this is just what it is- that shit we’re supposed to fix and if we haven’t learned how or learned what it’s stemming from it’s just going to keep throwing us in those same cycles and we’ll have to keep learning those same painful lessons. So stop it. Stop the cycle. Get to the root of why the problem keeps occurring. It’s in you, not outside of you. No one can change you but you. It’s no one else’s fault if things aren’t working. Know this and let the shock of that revelation propel you forward, a new and better you. Do this and you will have achieved a sort of victory, as represented by the Six of Wands. 

The Six of Wands is the lower echo of The Chariot and The Tower. Both of these cards signal change, The Chariot being a card of dominating victory and The Tower being a card illustrating the intrusion of unexpected chaos. When the Six of Wands appears with one of these cards, a life-changing accomplishment occurs. This is the difference between being interviewed about an event for the evening news and others being interviewed about you for the evening news. –keen.com

That place of recognition in the six is then followed by The Chariot. Represented by the sign of Cancer (which happens to be where the moon is right now) The Chariot is the spiritual transformation of man, the strength of will. It promotes immediate action, change, problems overcome, learning lessons from previous mistakes, a rushing forward in balance, success assured.

So yeah, that’s the spread I drew when I asked what I should focus on for this blog post. Big energies going on here and big energies have been surrounding all of us. I know it. I know you’ve felt these cards in your own life.

I’d be ignorant to say I knew what was on the other end of this change, where it’s all heading, but what I do know is that division has been a quite theme over the past 5 months- these powerful coming togethers followed by earth-shattering divisions; division in our hearts in regards to so many issues. It’s been perpetual and it needs to stop. If I’m so bold as to think I’ve come into some clarity about this, I’d say this is what I’ve learned:

9b464d5ce729086252cb7a5b0ee1c782This splitting with old cycles is not a full out abandonment, not this time. I believe what we have in your lives right now is worth working with. The things that are there are worth keeping. It’s about committing. That’s been the challenge. Committing. Not tricking ourselves into thinking there’s something better or that shit’s gonna get better if we keep abandoning what’s been super hard and shitty, throwing away all that progress and starting over. Starting over is cool, but it’s duration and endurance that builds lasting character, strong bonds- things that build security.

What we do need is to split with these ideas that shit isn’t working because of this, that, them, they, him, her – NO. Stop looking outside and pointing fingers. It’s not working because something isn’t working in you, your perspective, your actions. Stop doing the same shit and wondering why you get the same results. Stop that. Stop the unhealthy cycles, in any area of your life. That’s the challenge. This is a time for healing, repairing what’s broke- repairing you, reassessing what isn’t working and moving on from there. Through that we can heal the whole collective. You’ll enter it a stronger person, knowing what you want, knowing what’s good for you, what you will and won’t tolerate. Recognize that the strongest version of you is the one that works for the good of the whole, with love, and with others working in the same direction- a shared vision, achieved because you’ve found your independence. You’ve found, you – all that you can offer, all that you can do, beautiful you.

I’m talking to myself here as much as you, you and you. This is just what I’ve learned, like I said. Maintaining the love in your own heart, despite the destructive changes, that’s the key. That’s what I’ve been learning. It’s not easy. It’s something I have to work at – loving me, loving them, trusting love, love, love, love. But you know what? I do recognize that good things ONLY happen when I’m in this space of love and when other people are in it with me and when we’re working together. That’s the only time. So I want to stay there, no matter what. Pain ain’t got nothing on me. Hardships? We’ll call them character builders, thank them, and move on. Stay in love. Stay here with me. Love often and you’ll be well. Enjoy!

Sometimes you just have to stop and eat the roses (aka thoughts from a cubicle)

because

because

I feel like I’m eating the world’s feelings today. My stomach hurts and I wish everyone would stop fighting.

I’m thinking about staying in airbnbs and crashing at other people’s places, interchangeably, every few months, eternally. I think that model works well with my life.

I only do good work in cafés. What I mean is, the only time I actually do work is when I’m in a café.

Hair. Like so many things in life, I do not understand it and I wish it would stop plaguing me with its bullshit.

Everyday I am a new person. Some days I don’t recognize the person I am, but I do seem to have a clear sense of what I’m becoming – until I get there, that is.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your thoughts to yourself. At the very least, don’t go blogging about them. Just write a book and then maybe one day you will win the hateful, bitter audience you were looking for, at which point, you will either have grown up or died. Either way, the rest of the world will be better off. Wait… was that a mean thing to say? Ah shit.

Every generation will have their new noise that will become a strong voice. Wisdom finds value in change, foolishness finds bitter words.

Trying to condense thoughts into twitter posts makes thoughts sound more profound.

There are 7 days left in November which means, I will not be winning NaNo this year.

What is failure if not the shadow of bravery?

If you don’t think it makes sense, post it on Facebook and let the world be your guide. Sarcasm? Even I’m not so sure.

Last night I had a dream about a room with many beds. Other people had taken all the other beds. I was worried about the position of the last bed because if I placed it against the wrong wall, an evil spirit would posses my body by entering the top of my head.

I’m probably not the girl you think I am, but like you, I wish I could be.

 

I think sign language should be the universal language. I believe this would make us less judgmental as humans, also we could make some pretty cool dance moves as seen in this super fun video by Wishes called “Settle”.

Thanks for hanging out with me and my thoughts.
Be well, love often, and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

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