Potentially Nonsense

No one expects the duckie inquisition.

Category: Writers block (page 1 of 2)

Virtual high-fives for everyone

This month I have written through my own excuses. I’ve looked at them, listened to them, recognized them, and then walked right through them like they were cobwebs disguised as cages.

I found out I can do what I didn’t think I could. I’ve learned I can write even when I absolutely don’t think I can. Even when I have a really good reason for not writing. I checked in with something every single day this month. Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are.

Reader, you’re awesome, you know that? From your toes to your crown, you are awesome. You’ve survived everything in your life – all the trials and challenges, all the bullshit, all the times you wanted to give up, and here you are. This is it. The last day of Write 31 Days, 2018 and 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writing Prompts.

Image with a purple background, quoting the podcast Welcome to Night Vale: You too have survived. Survived everything up to this moment.

Because it’s not October without an appearance by Welcome to Night Vale.

Virtual high-fives for everyone, and especially these people:

* Ruth, who runs The Nerd Factory, where readers think, and thinkers read. Also, she’s wicked interesting.
* Jen, who is holding space and befriending dragons.
* Neta, who is enjoying The View From Here.
* Wendy, who makes a darn good waffle.
* Maxine, who finds happiness in the chaos.
* Cheryl, over in her online corner, storying away.
* Miccah, who thinks all the thoughts.
* Gattina, who has a beautiful case of writer’s cramps.
* Lee Ann, at the Unfocused Life.
* Margaret, who has set out in quest of truth.
* Albarclay: Have I mentioned how very much I love reading hiking memoirs? Cos I do.
* Julie, who is planting a garden.
* Andrew, at Blessed are the Pure of Heart is frickin’ awesome, and you should go check out his blog right now. I’ll wait.
* Penny, who is stumbling along in the most interesting way possible.
* Mary, whose blog is where creativity and love meet.
* Roanna, because she’s been my friend since Jesus lost his sandals, and she writes like an angel possessed. Visit her at Squirrels and Tequila.
* Ron, at Scrambled, not Fried.
* Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes.
* Country Dew, at Blue Country Magic.

Big love to everyone who dropped by and left a word or two. You’re the best.

Thank you so much for visiting.


The End

Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Insane courage, lodgepole pine, and having a voice

Today’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: VOICE

I’m not writing today because my voice is not important. My voice got me in trouble when I used it as a kid, and as a wife. My body and heart are quick to remind me why it’s a bad idea.

My voice is not important, and when I’ve used it, it’s brought me pain. So I’m going to stay stuck in my past and keep doing as I’ve always done, living a silent life, because who would want to listen to me? And if they do listen, the consequences are going to be painful.

^^ These have been hard thoughts to get past. That bit of bad coding is in there deep, and two years of good therapy has only begun to help me get it figured out. It might be a life-long habit, this breaking of old habit.

So I’m not writing today.

But if I were writing today, and did have a voice, I would want it to be made of earth and air. I would want it to feel like wind in a dry pine woods, with at least one thin Lodgepole creaking as it leans in the wind. I would want my voice and my higher self grounded in earth, and flexing around obstacles. It should be a necessary nothing that nonetheless moves, shifting things before and after it.

If I had a voice, I would want to talk about deeply important trivial things, because in the words of The Crow, nothing is trivial. I would want to use it to laugh too loud, and to laugh with other people.

Part of this Write 31 Days project, for me, is just getting past the initial block in my brain that stops my voice. If I can do that, I can say anything.

Listening to The Minimalists podcast, led me to look up Jeff Sanders talking about 20 seconds of courage. (Apparently this is from “We Bought a Zoo,” but I’ve not seen it.) Who can’t be brave for 20 seconds? This concept has done more to help me over my blocks than almost anything else. Often it brings some dissociation with it, but I’m getting better at accepting that disorientation, and quicker at bringing my self back. That’s where all the grueling work of healing and therapy has come in.

This is a Post of Nope, and a double serving of overcoming my own nope (writing and speaking).

Do you struggle with feeling your words, your voice, is unimportant? How do you speak up for yourself, for others? Any advice for someone trying to find theirs, and to heal in this area?

Your voice is important, y’all. And so is mine.

Now get out there and use it! I can’t wait to read blogs and hear your textual voices, this morning.

In case you’re having a bad day, here is a photo of my Jaynie, being so very helpful.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

This post was filmed before a live imaginary audience.

Today’s Write 31 Days prompt is: Audience.

I’m constantly trying to sneak things past my own internal censor. She’s a fiend with a massive sharpie. (Sometimes a sharpie is just a sharpie.)

I have what my biopsist described as a “nice crop of nodules” on my thyroid. It’s uncomfortable to swallow, talk, and/or breath. Makes hiking a real treat. I don’t think it’s a coincident that I’m having issues with my throat. Verbal wording is hard.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble talking in a way that’s transparent. I’ve had trouble living in a way that’s transparent. I’ve talked about being a chameleon before. It’s not so awesome. Especially the having to lick my own eyes part.

My internal censor is oh so very concerned with not offending the imaginary audience.

The thing is, I don’t need to connect with everyone, and not everyone needs to connect with me. That’s chameleon talk. That’s my child-self, scared of being abandoned or threatened or physically hurt. I feel for that kiddo. She needs more fuzzy blankets and hot cocoa than I remember to give her. I’ll do that, tonight.

But while I feel for her, I can’t be her. I can’t let her steer me around. She’s a terrible driver, and can’t see over the steering wheel. She can’t see the horizon. She can only imagine it.

With this writing challenge, I catch myself up with, “but what will people think?” Can I really say that? What if someone doesn’t like it? What if I offend someone?

Dude. If this blog causes pearl-clutching, I’m doing something horriby, horribly right.

I just have to trust that a few people may find resonance with what I write, just like I find with a few of the other participants. Not all of them are writing for me, and nor should they, nor should I expect them to.

I need to quit editing out all the juiciness in my writing, worrying over guessing what an imaginary person would like. I need to write for myself, and my own needs. It’s OK for art to serve the artist. The rest is gravy. Tasty, tasty gravy.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the wild and crazy index of all my posts of nope.

Thursday 13: You live where?

I’m trying something different, today, and doing a Thursday 13.

BEHOLD1. Here is my list of 13.

13 of the wildest place names I’ve seen this week.

1. Rosebud, AR
2. Humble, TX
3. Dawson Bottom Rd
4. Suds Run Rd
5. Peabody Ave
6. Hidden Forest Ln
7. Whistling Duck Way
8. Goose Creek, SC
9. Scenic Dr
10. Marsh Rabbit Way
11. Jupiter, FL
12. Flowery Branch, GA
13. Frozen Dog Rd

And one that defies numbering, and I swear is a real thing: Sloppy Deadening Rd. Honestly I thought someone was having a lark. Nope. Real road name.

If you’d like to share any funny or odd place names, I’d love to hear them. Who can’t use a smile?

**

In case you could use a smile, too. This Grumpy Cat cracked me up so much the first time I read it.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

But I’ve just done my nails, darlings.

I couldn’t possibly type a single word, today. I’ve just done my nails, darlings.

I mean, look at them. Utter perfection, non? There are perks to keeping my nail license, and all of them involve professional discounts, and access to professional products.

Look at those magnificent googly eyes. And with that color, I now nearly match my car. (My car is brighter. You can see it from space.) My nails also match my debit card, because I’m stylish like that. Très chic.

Yes, it was gel polish, so yes, it’s perfectly dry. But come on, who can type with that kind of beautiful distraction? Not me, that’s for sure. I mean. Just look at them.

So that’s why I’m not writing a post, today. I’ve just done my nails. I couldn’t possibly.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

I don’t wanna. You can’t make me.

I’m not writing today because I don’t feel like it.

I’m just not in the mood. I’m not inspired. The motivation fairy hasn’t rapped me over the head with his wand, today1.

And we all know I don’t go work or feed the dog or clean up after myself or go to the doctor unless I feel like it. I never do what needs to be done if I’m not inspired to.

What happens if I only do what I feel like doing? My life unwinds. Been there, done that, bought the major depressive disorder t-shirt, which was too expensive and the neck was too tight.

Depression makes living feel like absolutely everything is uphill. Anxiety makes it feel like everything is uphill, and it’s an ant hill. These two things take a lot of energy to compensate for and work around, and it doesn’t always leave much to spare for improving my life.

This writing project, though? It’s interesting. It’s an exercise in both discipline and self-care. It costs me about an hour of sleep a day, because I’m getting up an hour earlier.

I love feeling connected with you writers, and visiting what you’ve written is something I look forward to each day. I love the glimpse into other lives and places. Living alone, going to work at a job that discourages personal connection, losing my therapist because my new insurance doesn’t cover him… my days feel so isolating. Doing a group project like Write 31 Days and Five Minute Freewrites has helped with this.

So no, I don’t feel like writing this entry, today. I’m not in the mood to get up an hour earlier than usual to knock out 300-600 words, today. I don’t feel like it. And I’m not listening to that little voice that tells me I don’t have to do anything I don’t feel like doing. That’s the voice that tells me to eat what’s bad for me, and watch “Lost Girl” all day without leaving the house. It’s my inner brat2 teaming up with my good buddy, Depression3, and even though it’s tempting to listen, I’m not going to.

How are you handling your “don’t feel like it” impulses? Also, what kind of milk and cookies do you put out for the motivation fairy?

No, seriously. I think maybe he doesn’t like 2% and gingersnaps. Help?

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Halfway! Time to slack off.

Is it the 15th? Oh man, FINALLY. It’s the Halfway Point of Doom, folks. DOOM. We made it through the entire first half of this wacky challenge! You know what that means, right?

Time to slack off.

Don’t I deserve a break, today? Just an itty bitty kitty breather? I sure do.

via GIPHY

That’s why I’m not writing today – it’s the halfway mark, and I can take a little break, now. Isn’t that what the best marathoners do? Have a little siesta partway through, to rest, recharge, and reorient?

They don’t? Sucks for them, then, doesn’t it, because that’s what I’m doing.

Hellloooooo slack day.

What should I do? Take a walk? Eat a pie? Surf the ‘net for six hours? Sit on the couch thumbing through Twitter? The possibilities are endless. Anything, ANYTHING that doesn’t involve writing this post. That’s what I’ll do.

I mean, there’s no need to keep pushing so hard. This is in the bag. I’ve already done fifteen posts. I’ve outlined a few of the upcoming posts. I’m ahead! I should take a day or two or three to pre-celebrate my inevitable 1upcoming success.

It’s definitely not like when I try an online class and I go all bats to the wall2 for the first half, decide I’m a wee bit ahead and can back off, then take months to finish or never finish at all. This is completely different.

With 15 posts down and 16 to go, I can definitely afford to skip today. No one actually writes all 31 days, right? It’s not like the challenge is called “Write 31 Days” or anything.

Oh, wait. It is. My bad. Well, I’m not writing today, anyway, because I’ve earned this little break, right in the middle of the road. It’s like my hometown, where two cars often just stop in the middle of the road so the drivers can chat. True story. People wait for them to finish, and then everyone drives on.

I’m so damn homesick, right now.

That’s why I’m not writing, today. It’s the halfway point, y’all! Whoo!

via GIPHY

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

I know I’m not writing today, that’s for sure.

Today’s Write 31 Days Prompt: Five things I know for sure.

There isn’t much that I know for sure. There just isn’t. I don’t have immutable truths in my life. I don’t trust immutable truths.

So what do I know for sure? I know I’m not writing today, that’s for sure. Nope. Not going to write today. Nuh-uh.

Things that are a sure bet:

1. I know for sure I’m not going to write today, because the last time I stuck to a writing schedule was the Write 31 Days challenge… in 2012. SIX YEARS AGO. I’ve proven plenty of times that I don’t have the discipline to have enough stick-to-it-ness to stick to it.

2. I know for sure that it doesn’t matter whether or not I write today, because I’m just screaming into the void. I should save my breath for better things, like sighing with longing when I think about how it would have felt to complete this challenge.

3. I know for sure I shouldn’t be doing this glorious writing challenge, because that’s time I could spend looking for a second job, because the first job is only covering half my bills, and time is ticking. I have serious financial stress, y’all. Who can write under that kind of stress? Not me, that’s for sure.

4. I know for sure I’m not going to write today because all the other posts I’ve done so far this month were flukes. I’ll fail soon enough, just watch.

5. I know for sure I’m not going to write today because I am an utter space-kabob. There are so many other things I could be reading/writing/cleaning/watching/doing. Oooh, look! Shiny!

Those are the truths in my life, this morning. The five things I know for sure.

A mans feet sticking up out of a sunflower field.

Here is an example of how not to bury a body. You never know when this kind of information will be useful. Photo credit goes to Derek Thomson.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

It’s my birthday, and I’m sad.

In 2012, I made a list of 37 birthday wishes, and the first one was this: I wish for a second lifetime with my Travis.

This is my first birthday post-divorce. I can’t say it’s the first one without him, or the first one I’ve spent alone, because if I didn’t plan something for my own birthday, then we wouldn’t do anything. I always made his day nice, with a surprise party with friends the year he went through cancer treatments.

My day tended to go by like any other day, without notice. This was a bitter thing, last year, because I’d looked forward to my 42nd birthday since I was 9 years old, and read The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the first time. And we did nothing, even though I asked. Honestly, a happy birthday hug would have gone a long way.

This imbalance of care was one of the many things that finally destabilized our marriage. I didn’t feel loved. He went out of his way to take care of any woman who wasn’t me. Turns out he took special care of one particular 23 year old. In fact, he made sure she had a couple of nice birthdays, while he was at it. Because of course he did.

But I digress. It’s my day, and I’m not going to spend it talking about them.

I’m not writing today because it’s my birthday, and I’m sad. I can’t possibly write while sad. I definitely can’t use writing to help me process it, right?

Writing is the best way for me to process anything. This is something I seem to have to relearn, over and over. Is it a safe bet to assume, since you’re also participating in this writing challenge, that your mind works the same way? The act of writing indexes my memories and makes them richer. I get to enjoy the experiences again when I think about them in detail while writing. Often I don’t know what I think or how I feel until I write my way through it. I think more deeply, and feel more easily with a pen in my hand. When I don’t write, I don’t process anything. It just kind of pings off me, instead.

This day is so hard. I’ve decided to let myself grieve the situation, but also look for a way to enjoy the day.

Here’s what I’m doing:
* Candles for warmth and comfort. (Saint Poe)
* Calling family and friends for connection.
* Pie and coffee, because pie. And coffee.
* Load ink into each fountain pen, and put it next to a new journal.
* Sponsoring a child in need. I want to make a difference in my one wild and precious life.
* A fuzzy blanket from a friend, wrapped around me. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Literally. (I texted her to tell her how special it is.)

I’m doing things to mark the day, instead of pretending it’s not happening. I’ve never minded aging. I don’t really think about it, honestly, the same way I’m not shocked when I get up and the world is still turning. I felt older and more tired in my 20s than I did in my 30s. I’m going to make my 40s into a good life.

Today I will try to soften into feeling what comes to me, instead of shutting it down.

And I’ll write, even though I’m sad.

In case you’re having a hard time today, too, here is a sad-funny. I think this snake and I would be buds. Such a sweet little danger noodle.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Can’t write. I’m too busy healing.

I had a Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) meeting to go to, so I couldn’t possibly write for the 31 Day Challenge, today. Nope. Can’t write. I’m too busy healing and learning. Big job, healing.

I shared for the first time. A few others had shared on the topic of trying to be helpful, easing the path of others, and how it’s problematic. Earlier this week, I had my “but I’m just being helpful!” flipped back at me by an utter stranger.

I like second-hand puzzles. I like getting them from thrift stores and yard sales for $0.50. I like the risk of it. Will all the pieces be there? What will I find when I open the box? Sometimes the puzzle inside will be completely new, with the pieces still in a sealed bag. Once there was a dart game in the box, instead of a puzzle.

So I opened this particular box’o’puzzle, and… someone had left it neatly sorted into baggies. In fact, the border had been left assembled, to spare me the work. The previous puzzler was helpfully trying to do a kindness for the next person, and it robbed me of some of the fun of solving the puzzle. It wasn’t helpful. I wanted to solve my own puzzle. The act of solving it is the whole point.

And all week I’ve been puzzling over this puzzling puzzle predicament.

Picture of Crowley from Supernatural captioned, "No one in the history of torture's been tortured with torture like the torture you'll be tortured with."

Obligatory Crowley.

How many times have I tried to be “helpful” and make life easier for someone else, and actually robbed them of the joy and challenge of solving their own puzzle? My compulsive need to help, to be useful, kept them from finding out how capable they are of guiding their own needs, wants, and life. One of my biggest struggles has been stepping back and not meddling. Not trying to fix things. Even if someone else wants those things fixed, it might be something they really, really need the experience of solving themselves. Maybe they need someone to tell them they can, instead of doing it for them.

My mind keeps coming back to it, rolling it over like a stone in a river. The point of solving a problem is to solve it, not necessarily the solution itself. I need to stop trying to jump in to help, unasked.

And that was my CoDA share this week, and the first time I’ve shared. So I can’t write this post. I’m too busy being gobsmacked by my realizations.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

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