Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where to go and layers of the onion

A few weeks ago I got an email from a writer offering a coaching program in how to write, setting up one's space, etc for the tune of $600. While in theory having a coach, someone to be accountable to in my big hairy goal of writing seems like a good idea. To me a coach is only a way of keeping your promises. Why not instead, build the muscle of writing myself and keeping those promises to myself and spend the currently non-existent $600 on something else?
I find myself moved by the trend of doing something for a time. Julie and Julia- taking on a task like MAFC , Animal Vegetable Miracle (changed my life in thinking about food and our un-sustainable distribution system,) Such a Pretty Fat and Jen Lancaster's journey in losing weight. I am not going to try to be Martha for a year or write about taking yoga class down the street. I don't have much to share about my garden- the only thing that survived the big hail storm this year was my lettuce, still going strong. Non dog people I'm sure get tired of seeing all my posts about the dogs and their antics digging up buried cable or eating razor blades and I am no John Grogan.

I was too fascinated with literature in my english major to take many "creative" writing classes in college. I much preferred reading Mrs. Dalloway for the 20th time, looking for clues I missed than building adverb laden sentences about the mating of the ducks on campus (it was like gang rape, very odd to watch).

Here I am, envying writers that can take their lives, write a blog and suddenly be optioned for a movie, wondering what I could take on for a time. Then when I see another blog about someone altering their life to be someone else I roll my eyes. These blogs don't spend much time on my igoogle. I read Joyce Carol Oates and while I love and envy her writing ability never seem to finish her books, they're too depressing. I do love food porn but don't think I have the patience to describe everything that happens in my kitchen.

I have been noticing lately just how deep the desire for approval goes. I've joked in the past that I got an extra dose being in my family and from the midwest but now I wonder. I've been asking friends and the answers seem to vary by age. The older we are the less need for approval or turning oneself into a chameleon for our view of someone else's expectations. Then again, I've come across women whose response is along the lines of "I have never worried about that". Really, or is that the unconscious response we make when we haven't really looked? I remember when I was around landmark we talked a lot about lying and integrity files. The powerful leaders had the biggest integrity files, meaning the most items where they saw a need to clear the air or communicate something. The newer and least effective leaders had the smallest, as if saying by not really looking that "it was handled". Is this conversation the same?

While driving, in the right lane, mind you, I will go faster than am comfortable with or is true for me because someone I have never seen or spoken to in a hummer comes up behind me and tailgates for a few miles. I'm willing to drive faster than I feel safe driving to gain the approval of some chick in a hummer who is going to pass me the first chance she gets, talking on the phone while changing the in dash dvd for the kids at 80 mph?

I wonder what else there is. I say that now, being who I am and doing what I do I am the most comfortable than I have ever been. I don't feel that I need to hide much but how far down does that go? What else needs to be examined?

Maybe my project for at least the next 90 days is not being Martha, or Julia Child, or a Skinny Bitch but examining me? The time leading up to my birthday is every year feels very pregnant, and with 30 days to go until my 36th year I am curious where I will go and end up.

1 comment:

  1. "Why not build the muscle of writing myself and keep those promises to myself and spend the currently non-existent $600 on something else?"

    I completely agree... in fact, when you mentioned "writing coaches," it initially made me cringe. I am of the (maybe completely wrong) mindset that there are certain vocations (like yours, I am sure) that are more callings than anything else. Ones where... if you don't truly feel it in your heart, that it enhances you and challenges you and there is nothing else you could ever do -- then any amount of coaching is essentially worthless.

    I don't mean to argue that, for example, creative writing schools/majors are useless... just that they fine-tune, not create, writers (and the same with other artists, helpers etc.). They provide more tools to do a craft that we already feel compelled to do.

    Woah, stepping off my soapbox now. :)

    Keep up with the writing -- anyone who can make me rant like this is doing something right.