Yesterday, I tried to tell V. what I wanted out of life, what my big work was, the purpose I was pursuing. The words came out, spilling and swirling all over the place, and there were a lot of projects and plans and questions, but I wasn’t able to articulate the Big, World-Changing Work I Need to Accomplish Before I Die.
I’m skilled at lots of things, and every list I’ve ever made of my goals has on it some form of I want to work with words. For many years I have (once I passed through the food-service / movie concessionaire portion of my life). I’ve worked as a writing teacher, writer, editor, proofreader, copywriter, writing coach, grant-writer, playwright, and tutor. As an actor, I work with words on the page and turn them into characters, emotions, and experiences. When I work with writing clients, I work to turn their experiences, emotions, and character into words.
Yet, as V. pointed out, for someone who urges others to share their voice with the world, I don’t write much for myself. Over the past two months, I’ve published two blog entries. While I wouldn’t say I keep a journal, I write lots of notes about ideas, ambitions, plans, letters that need composing, creative projects that brew inside me.
On February 6, 2015, I wrote the following:
I’m working on my own declaration to the universe, my stake in the ground, my battle cry, my coming out as me, my manifesto. I’m going to keep writing about the process as I strive to create it. I don’t know how long it will take or what I’ll be able to share as I go along, I just know I have a plan and a commitment.
Well, a plan. Or if not a plan, a declaration. And an idea. Really, more of a wish.
Writing a manifesto has been on my list of things to do — a spreadsheet entitled “Rest of My Life” — for over a month. I designated it a 1, highest priority. There were a bunch of other 1s on my list, though, and those were the ones I tackled first. Now this is the only 1 left, and I still haven’t started.
Until today. Last night, I fidgeted and stammered, and then I told V. I was going to write and publish a blog post every day for 90 days. I’m tired of bullshitting, and not writing my real, raw, imperfect thoughts down every day is supreme bullshit.
I have a couple rules for myself, and more will probably evolve:
- Each day, I must write and post within 30 minutes. No day-old or scheduled stuff, just new words on a daily basis.
- 30 minutes of writing every day, rain or shine. I’ve been sick a couple times since the new year, and I’ve been a touch down, blue, laggy, fogged in. Today I have a headache.
- Even the imperfect will be published. I will not flinch in shame at typos, though I will make corrections if you point out the need.
- I can use images if I can find them within the 30 minutes, but I won’t let lack of images delay publication.
- I’m cutting out caffeine, booze, and pot for the duration, so I have no external excuses. Exception: unsweetened cocoa water. I’m not looking forward to losing these mood modulators.
Time is running out. Gotta wrap it up.
One last thing: “or $90”? Is this a contest? Will I have to give money to a charity I despise if I fail? Or am I just writing more clever copy? I’ll have to get back to you on that.
Please ask questions. Answering them helps me know what the hell I’m talking about.