Wed. 12/2/15 11:50 am
Another attempt at daily writing, and publishing?
She had decided at some point in the last 24 hours that perhaps she might try on an attempt to make a habit of daily writing and making a bit of art, but that she would also post to her ‘blog’, as they were known these days. She had yet to decide what the daily parameters would be. Make the goal too big and it would be too easy to give it up. Make it too easy and one would miss out on the feeling of meeting a challenge on a daily basis. She was after on the one hand to establish a habit or a routine, but on the other hand to improve in these activities, and on another hand to get some feeling of accomplishment out of doing them. But also to meet such challenges were bound to improve one’s overall sense of well being and to add to the zest and excitement of life.
That morning it had hit her what a good reason for wanting to go headlong with gusto into becoming an ‘elder’ could be for her. She had always ruminated about how there just were not enough elders around who were good models of what life or existence as an elder could be. There seemed to be so little to go by to give one the feeling one would want to go on into that territory of being an elder. She saw around her too many examples of elders who seemed to be victims of ‘old age’. Many of her peers seemed to be opting out by getting sick and/or dying. She had thought it was because they perhaps could not bear the thought of becoming ‘old’, or because they did not know what they were doing in life anymore. Or, as their families grew up, it seemed there was not much ahead left for them. She herself had not had a partner, settled down, raised a family, or had grandchildren. She had never purchased a house. She still seemed to be living almost as she had after finishing college. She had never really understood what she wanted to be or do in life, that she knew of.
Life was flying by so quickly. The last 23 years now, and she’d been thinking this for at least 10 years already, had gone by as if they were only two years. That idea she could only translate as, "if I add another 23 years to my current age of almost 65, in two years I will be 88!". Her mother had died at 88, just two and a half years ago. And her mother was just a shell of herself by that time, (though inside she still seemed to be a powerhouse - that thought was a consolation at least).
What had come to her this morning was that a main purpose, or incentive, for going on to become an elder was that the young ones of all ages needed to have elders in their lives. It was that simple. No, one did not need to feel obligated to step up. Such a thing should be done out of joy and desire, not out of duty or obligation. It should be given freely - simply because one wanted to and was so inclined. She would have to consider that, to search inside whether that was something she would want.
She had yet to decide whether or not she needed to set a daily writing goal or word count target. That seemed to perhaps impose too much structure. Already the thought of having to do such a routine on a daily basis seemed too big a challenge....
She felt she wanted to carry it through to publish on her blog, because having the writing out in public would give it a chance to improve she believed. On the other hand, putting one’s personal writing out there meant a lot of extra work on top of just getting some writing done. She began to doubt whether she was willing to go through with that aspect of it. She certainly did not want to give up on her journal writing which she did by hand. There was such pleasure in that.
The writing she was doing now were of her own thoughts and musings, but written in the third person, where she was the subject, the observed. That also always gave her a slightly creepy feeling to write about herself in the third person. It always felt unnerving to do so.
The night before she had made a list, just to keep her hand in coming up with writing ideas. The list was of twelve possible problems a character whose story was about the adventures of going on a long book, performance, artist, lecture, etc tour.
If she wrote the ideas out again, since the list was not at hand, she would perhaps not remember them all, or might come up with more ideas. She would try to recreate the list.
1) Losing key to hotel room etc
2) Lost luggage
3) Date mix-up
4) Weather snafu’s
5) Equipment failure
6) Missed travel connections
7) Mechanical troubles w transportations
8) Natural disasters
10) Materials and supplies mix-up
11) Unruly audience overall
12) Unruly problem audience member
13) Unpleasant host
14) Conflict with host
15) Conflict with institution leader
16) Mixed communication
17) Not enough supplies/materials to go around
18) Getting bad or sad personal news
19) Bad news or tragedy in the community
20) Short staff or missing usual assistant.
She had written what she could remember of the list and added to it. The previous day’s list had been 12 ideas. This time she had come up with 20 ideas. And she had yet to assess whether she had even remembered all the ideas from the previous day.
She was hoping that if she were to do this daily writing and publishing, she would need to do it right after breakfast, or it would surely get postponed, and then fizzle out to nothing. Perhaps she needed a list of strategies for getting around that problem. There were other things in her life that she accomplished without having to set up rules for doing them. She did do much of what she really wanted to do. And she had to be careful. As soon as something was relegated to the ‘have to do’ side, it became onerous and something to be put off or procrastinated about. She needed to keep things so that they were fun and a matter of wanting to do them.
Some tasks somehow rarely were able to make that leap into ‘want to do’. They held too much association of obligation and duty around them. Yes, one needed to think up alot of ways to look at such things in a different light. There were circumstances in which suddenly such maintenance tasks did become loaded with that joy in doing them. She found it so the few times she had invited someone over for a quick dinner. In those circumstances it was a great pleasure to run around cleaning up and then preparing dinner. Of course she never got as much cleaned up as she had wanted to, but she always felt as if she’d made big inroads on her mess and would be able to continue with the work.
Alternately, it was only mildly so to prepare for students coming for lessons. Perhaps that was more because they were coming for lessons then if they were coming to visit. It always seemed as if they expected lessons to give them what they wanted in their painting and art. They never seemed to understand that all this they could learn on their own. They simply had to do it.
In school she had hated to go to most of her classes. She always felt as if she learned very little there. Neither were most of the subjects of any interest to her. Many subjects just put her to sleep. That she thought she might have anything to teach her students seemed almost a contradiction.
12:55 pm 1360 words
For a daily writing, was it to be simply daily musings, or, would she try a series of very short stories? Why did that need to be decided yet? One could jump around to the various idea threads. One day it could be a story. One day it could be musings. Another day a portion of a longer story. Another day just a collection or list of ideas. This writing could be a catch all. Did it matter if anything further was ever made of it or from it? She was seeing that no, perhaps it did not matter. In her personal longhand journals, she had loved simple seeing them grow into boxes of notebooks. And she had like being able to go back chronologically to see what she had gone through at certain times of year - how had such an event or time been for her then or then? Just seeing that had often been her motivation to go on with the journal writing. She simply loved having these logs, as she often called them, just for her own use. They were a personal library. Some things were very boring to read, but others quite interesting. It always surprised her to hear how others felt about their own journal writing. They always complained about how awful their own writing was, and that they seemed so full of complaints. But that was part of what journal writing was there for. It was a way to process one’s problems and work through them. It was the ear one could reliably turn to and often resolve one’s problems just by first recounting it. Once one had that out, one could try to look at it in different ways, from different points of view, and then perhaps even come up with a strategy to resolve or heal the problem.
She was writing a lot for this sitting, but she was sure she would have to make a much smaller writing goal if she expected to do this on a daily basis for even just 30 days. She wanted to go through with publishing it to her blog. That required some polishing.
She really wanted to include some art somehow with the daily writing and posting. She needed ideas for very simple ways of doing this too. The whole process needed to be completed in a fairly short time span.
1:11 pm 1759 words
Later that day she received a message informing her that she had sold a quantity of cards from one of the online vendors where she had some of her images. It was a watercolor of Marshall Point Lighthouse that someone had purchased.
She had been thinking that she would include with the daily writing posting an image. An image with a link to where it could be purchased online. Here was the answer for this day. She would post this image. There was more to tell of painting this watercolor. It was winter when she painted it. By the end of the painting session she had had to stop. Not because she was cold, but because the watercolor had started freezing on the brush. She had had to put the brush, paints, and watercolor into the car on the dashboard so that it could defrost a bit, in order for her to complete the painting.
That day there was also a Christmas wreath on the door of the lighthouse. She had not made her painting with the wreath but had made a separate drawing with the wreath showing. She had never painted it though. Perhaps that was a good thing. Now she could dig up the drawing and convert it to a coloring page for others to paint.