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am writing

Tag: detroit writers

Detroit Cycling

 

Music selection this week is Basenji “Don’t Let Go” because I reviewed it at Indie Shuffle recently and it’s still stuck in my head. Also, in reference to the song title, I’ve been thinking about how stubbornly we hold to things that are no good for us. Holding on can be a pretty romantic idea, or a masochistic one. There’s a duality to everything.

Doing things a little different for this post because I don’t feel like rambling. My head never stops rambling and lately it hasn’t gotten to the point. Instead, here is a simple anecdote that hopefully can say more in the spaces between than I can with my words. It’s called:

Detroit Cycling

be well. love often. enjoy.

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With my visor down, I am invincible. Cars can’t touch me, prying eyes can’t touch me. Not the wind nor the rain, neither the light or the darkness can touch me when the visor on my Basecamp cycling helmet is down. Don’t I look like I can’t be fucked with? That’s because I can’t.

Two beers deep. Always two. That’s the magic number. Two sits with me right. Two of coins. Two of cups. Two of swords. Two of wands. Just the two of us. I like twos. Life is easier in twos. Threes fuck everything up. With three, doubts arise. Confucius says, “When three people journey together, their number decreases by one. When on man journeys alone, he finds a companion.”

What Confucius doesn’t say is that sometimes that happens all backwards – one man journeys alone, finds a companion, and that companion adds a third into the equation – then there was three and life became fucked.

I’m only swearing because I have the visor down. It makes me mean, a good kind of mean. The kind that can go super fast even if the relative speed isn’t all that fast according to a stop watch. My burning thighs say I am fast. Also, the ticking of my heart.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. It’s pumping strong and hard and I’m flying around curves. Adrenaline quiets the madness. His touch also quiets the madness. His touch is like words upon my pen, dripping from a tip that presses upon a page that receives their touch, wears their meaning, becomes the word – touch. Touch me.

His touch is therapy. His love is maddening and his touch is therapy.

There’s a kink in my back. No matter which way I squirm, it’s still there. I’m riding harder and faster because adrenaline will make that go away, too. All forms of pain washed away with stimulation. Speed is so addicting. Sometimes I wish I were the wind. My Mayan chart says once I hit 40 I’ll turn into wind, incarnate. People will know my words far and wide.

For now, the wind has stopped whistling past my ears tucked neatly under my helmet, which means I have stopped. With stopping, feeling returns.

There’s a duality to everything- stopping and going, staying or leaving – a two-fold choice to most things. Tonight I will choose between succumbing to my fears or rising above them, as is the choice every night.

I will choose between doing the writing or thinking of writing, as is also the choice every night.

Love is also a choice, a brave and complex choice that comes with its own string of dualities. Much like cycling, Detroit cycling, joy and pain come with the package. The choice lies in whether or not we keep going, keep pushing towards a positive goal. Progress isn’t always so obvious, you know?

Some days are triumphant, some days it’s enough to just show up, and some days you get rained on.

 

 

 

#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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