It dawned on me today, while sitting in a car for over four hours, driving from Denton back home to Austin, that if not now, then when? Inspired by Seth Godin, I’ve been wanting to blog every day, something I’ve been dying to do, yet so damn afraid. Afraid that people will think I’m too much, too narcissistic, or on the other end of the spectrum: not enough. Not enough knowledge, not enough education or connections, still feeling as if I still don’t know enough to write, despite the school loans I’m still paying down many years after a MFA in Creative Writing. (Funny how I felt much more confident to write BEFORE I formally enrolled in a program designed to teach me just how to write, to publish.)
I’ve decided to finally begin this self-imposed challenge to myself: write in this blog every day for an entire year and watch what happens! Will my writing improve? Will I gain more confidence to allow myself to be seen, to be visible? That someone like me, of this certain age, gender, race, class, ethnicity, whatever, could possibly put myself out there like this? Whatever the case, I decided to start now. Here on a Friday. The day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, in fact. Instead of wildly online shopping, I am here online, putting myself out there on the Wild Wild Internet, to put my words out there. To actually “trust my words,” something I encountered this past week when I dared to enroll in another writer who I respect’s online class, part of her beta writing circle.
I realize there may be no one reading this, but it’s healing to practice allowing myself to put my words out there. To trust that this process of writing, of exposing myself, will be fruitful. I want to get over my fear of being judged, being criticized. Of worrying about what others, especially friends and family, will think if they realize what I think about x, y or z. This is a practice of sharing my words, my truth, at this moment in time. Because who I am and what I believe will shift with the sands of time.
Part of the inspiration today is this guy I listened to named Derek Sivers. His quick podcast post on limitations and freedom really reminded me of all the self-experiments I’ve indulged in so far in my life. The time I did several months of carnivore-eating and how it made such a difference in my physical and mental health. Experiments are a way to spice up life and to challenge you to try a lens on life you may never had the balls to try before. Because you know it’s only temporary, and for only a set amount of time, you’re able to work within these constraints, finding an incredible amount of freedom. It’s like being confronted with a vast blank page of whiteness versus being presented with a focusing writing prompt.
I’m realizing that for me, I’m someone who finds freedom in limitations, in constraints. Especially ones of my own choosing.
So … here goes: Today, on November 29, Friday, 2019 (I’m not even gonna wait until the New Year to start), I am beginning my own N=1 experiment of a new writing practice. I will write in this blog every single day — even if it’s only a sentence — until November 29, 2020. With no fanfare, no telling of anyone even in my own family (I’m typing this as they sit around me playing video games), and not waiting until I’m in the perfect of writing conditions (again, I’m in the same room as my family, all three of them laughing and playing as I type, post-Thanksgiving). No excuses whatsoever. I’m finally realizing that waiting for everything to be perfect is the perfect recipe for failure… I don’t even know what I’m going to write about, but whatever it is, I’ll find something. I’m going to allow myself to fail, flail: wildly!
And the thing is, I can’t wait to find out what happens when I get to the other side!