As I was doing the dishes (not writing), I was thinking:
It’s not: ‘do it all now’ but ‘do what you do, and do it well’ then ‘respond and reflect’.
I think about running my own publishing company. Each time I do, I can see myself nurturing 2 authors and their books a year. Two. One in the spring, and one in the fall. I see myself as a book doula. A literary mid-wife. Honouring the work of the author. The author her/him/they – from draft to draft to layout and design to marketing and touring to resting and celebrating. I don’t see major awards or loads of money. I see joy and pain – equal strength in each. I see respect for the craft at every juncture. I see the kind of success that can’t be measured, but felt deeply in the heart of the writer and all who read his/her/they words.
It’s not about quantity. Rushing. Competing.
It’s about quality. Respect. Community.
I’m not saying this doesn’t happen in the literary world. What I’m saying is this is how I’d do it. What I’m saying is this is my dream.
Perhaps it’s a part of Gertrude’s Literary Cafe – an extension of this, my biggest dream to date.
Both are far off. Held in the crook of my heart…often hiding and shy. Often sad and lonely. Always patient. Thank goodness dreams are patient.
Since April, I’ve been busy. Busy working hard as a writer. I celebrated National Poetry Month with a passion and stamina rooted in my love of poetry. I left little to no time for reflection. At one reading, only two people showed up. It was a big loss for me. I felt embarrassed and guilty as the organizer and host. Still at another reading, I sold 8 books and had an incredible experience. This writing life is throws me about…and I must get better at giving myself time to respond and reflect.
I’m nearly finished all the major commitments on my plate.
My plate is cracking. Important vitamins are slipping away. I’m tired.
I’ve been so terrified to speak that I cried and almost quit. But I didn’t. I summoned the courage of all the writers…of all the dreamers…and I put on my polka dot dress and got up on that stage…and then…a new part of ‘me’ emerged. Kind of poked her head out and looked around. She’s still peeking out.
I feel older. I just turned 39. And I feel older. I can’t put my finger on why exactly…outside of some physical pain that speaks to me – be gentle! Take your time! Don’t push. Don’t rush.
What do I do with the backlog of photos and stories from these past two months? Do I still share them? If yes – why? If no – why? What is the purpose of sharing? Is it part of the response and reflect?
I feel as though I’m needing to ask my self the biggie: who am I? what am I doing?
Do I respond and reflect on these questions?
Indeed. Very much – yes, indeed!
So…that’s what I’m doing.
I’m here. Listening. Paying attention. Being prepared for the answers…or the unknowing…until the unknowing shifts. I’m doing all the things I tell other writers to do. I’m taking my own medicine.
I feel the very strong need – from the centre of my chest – to finish. Bring stories, projects, dreams, fears, responses – to completion. So I can move on. I feel heavy. And that is making me tired as well.
Mostly…I want the noise of the silence to speak to me. Because…there’s always so much going on in my head. I want the voices to cease so I can really hear the bird’s songs, the wind’s whistles, the rain’s thwacks, the lightening’s cracks, the squirrel’s screams…the bees’ perfect droning…I want to listen to the honeycomb drip!
I want a break from the breaking plate.
I want a picnic with no plates at all.
So, know that my silence is but a gentle rest and awakening. I have no intention of burning out. Oh but I’m doing some serious burning inward.
May you make time to respond and reflect as well. Peace.