As Olds said, I need to confide in a reader who is myself. When I fail to do this, I have nothing to share with the world. And I’m not talking only about poems.
I can relate to the standstill/stare-down Natasha describes in the opening of her post. When I go visit my manuscript, it doesn’t even welcome me. There’s no room for me in it anywhere. Not even space for me to park my car out front.
The old version of myself would’ve called the experiment a big failure. But now, I’m happy to thank that prior self for her service and back away from her slowly… LOL. What I’ve come to is a place solidly situated in self-care.
Part of the agitation I’ve been feeling comes from failure to be disciplined, inability to see a path or progress and a tendency to go to extremes. It’s not that I want to reign anything in, but I do want to be more aware and purposeful. So finding that poster gave me an idea: look at the three experiences (eat, pray, love) as a useful organizing principle for that effort.
It’s not always easy to toot your own horn, but you must. You must. You must. You must. “These days,” said the old lady poet, “it’s one of the only ways to get your work out there.” You’re on social media scrolling and scrolling anyway, and you’re probably using it to praise other writers at least some of the time. Throw yourself a bone.
“Fuel” is my word for 2018. I want to fuel my mind and my body. I want to create energy instead of allowing it to drain out. So that’s my focus for 2018: behaviors and decisions that fuel me, that move me forward.
It is a victory to dedicate yourself to a creative pursuit that, even though it’s pretty clumsy, makes you feel like the kind of human who can access the deep love in the universe… no matter what conditions are like above ground. It’s like finding — and using — a superpower.