It’s been a long time since I posted. I’ve been having a bad time with sugar and I’ve been feeling uninspired and fraudulent.
Several months ago I saw a program in the Kripalu catalogue, Deep Writing Workshop. It sounded great. A focus on writing with no one reading and critiquing. I have no issue with people reading my work, or critiquing it, but I loved the idea of five whole days to focus on my writing, possibly with some insight into the process thrown in.
So I signed up and waited.
I waited to write.
Whenever things are hard my dad asks if I’m writing. He’s been asking a lot the last several months and the answer has been no every time. There has been so much going on there was no room in my head, or my schedule, for writing.
And I was waiting.
Plus, that whole fraud thing gets in my way.
Mostly I have been so overwhelmed with sugar and my inability to stay away from it. Within that there has been nothing to write, my embarrassment was greater than my need to write and share. How often can you say I went home and ate . . . whatever, without sounding whiney, possibly pathetic? I wasn’t up to it. I didn’t have the courage.
So there’s my confession, I was whiney and wimpy and pathetic. And I ate sugar. Lots of it.
The writing course ended yesterday. We wrote every day for hours. Except the first night, but that session was only an hour and a half. And even then I think we wrote for almost an hour. It’s amazing how easy it is when you are sitting in a room with 20ish people, writers, and the guy in the middle (we were sitting in a horseshoe) says, write.
I don’t know if you know, but I started this blog because I was deeply, deeply frustrated in my attempts to write a book about my struggle with sugar. The working title of the book has been Just Say No To The Ho. Four or five years ago I was having a discussion with my colleagues about my then recent obsession with HoHos. One of my friends said, just say no to the ho! We were hysterical. And I chose that as the title for my book. I love it as a book title, but I think it requires too much explanation to work.
Anyway, I would sit down and try to write a chapter. My early years, when I realized I was addicted to sugar, how I gave up sugar in 09, tools to help you get off sugar and stay off sugar. It was, possibly, the most frustrating thing I have ever tried to accomplish. I would start on one subject, but it’s connected to six others, but those six others should be their own chapters and how do I keep them separate yet connect them and not make it all one damn run-on sentence?
I hyperventilated a lot.
So I started the blog.
Which has not taken off quite the way I would like, seriously people - share it with everyone you know! Sorry, I had a moment.
Cause I was hoping this would be the book.
Because that would save me from the frustration of writing the damn thing.
I sat in that workshop and rewrote everything I had attempted to write years ago. Everything. In five days I wrote 50 some manuscript pages. I sat with the discomfort. When one subject horned in on another subjects pages, I let it. I wrote every day, for hours. When a thought popped up of something I needed to include, squirrel! I didn’t run after it. See what I did there? Fun, right? Anyway, I didn’t follow the squirrel. I just noted the squirrel in a subcategory or new folder and ran after it when I was done with the current thought.
Oh, and I created a new project. I’ve been keeping all my blog posts in the old project for Just Say No To The Ho, so I created a new project. Lo and behold, the new project is shiny (not really, it just feels that way) and organized (it really is and that feels fantastic). I look at the categories and subcategories and I think they make sense. And I think they are in pretty good order. And I think the words are pretty good, though I haven’t read any of them over. I’m going to print them out for my dad to take a look at when we head to Maine tomorrow.
It was an amazing, long, relaxing, tiring and productive week. If you are a writer in search of a great workshop, check out Eric Maisel. If I had any money at all I’d be heading to Esalen next month for another workshop with him as my employer is shutting down for four weeks and there is no work to be had.
I got home from work last night and was catching up on FB when I saw this
This woman, and her handsome husband and two beautiful daughters gave up sugar for a year and she wrote a book about it.
I learned this week that this falls into a genre called stunt nonfiction. One woman wrote about the year her family ate locally, we talked about others I can’t remember.
Anyway . . .
I clicked the link, saw the beautiful family pictured, scanned the article and thought . . . crap. I’m just a fat schlub who can’t stop eating sugar, why would anyone want to read about that? (In case you didn’t get it, the subtitle here is: why read my stuff when you can read about the beautiful family and their lovely experiment). I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know for sure, but there was no angst in the article. And we all know there will be plenty of angst in any book I write.
Buuuuuuut, as Eric would say, this is not a thought that serves me. I will not let those thoughts put out the fire that I stoked so carefully this week. I will not let those thoughts be a speed bump to my momentum.
I will finish The Book (that’s the working title, it doesn’t take as much explanation as Just Say No To The Ho).
Unfortunately, while it won’t lessen my momentum, it sure did lessen my sleep. Bobby (my cat) went out at 4AM. I went back to sleep. Bobby wanted back in at 5:15. Instead of going back to sleep I thought about that woman and her lovely family.
I got my computer out and wrote.