Gertrude's Writing Room · Writing Life

Why This Week It Was Twice

Twice this week I cried because I wanted to give up.

Give up Gertrude’s.

Give up writing poetry.

Give up on believing ‘I got this’ – where this is everything from domestic house chores to parenting to friendship.

We had a very scary emergency with our dogs on Friday. We’re still taking them to the vet for blood work. They’re 90% in the clear, but it’s been very difficult for all of us. Not just emotionally but physically as well. Moving two 75+lbs dogs around is a lot of work. And the medication schedule is pretty crazy.

I think when the heart takes a hit like that…it kinda scares the shi* into the rest of your life.

And…these days are packed with things that feel VERY IMPORTANT, so when meetings get cancelled, dates and events have to get cancelled and/or rescheduled, the guilt and sadness rolls in like this heat wave we’re having.

The other ‘thing’ that happened this week has to do with my writing. The truth is things are always happening with my writing that bring me down, but since I started Gertrude’s Writing Room, I’ll be honest, I’ve been floating somewhere between clouds nine and ten, and the rejections and such can’t really reach me up there. But this thing reached me and pulled me down.

Let’s just say I’ve been doing a lot of DEEP BREATHING.

Let’s just say I’ve been doing a lot of WRITING IN MY JOURNAL.

But let’s also say that even these practices weren’t stopping the horrible nightmares of extreme failure and chaos that are repeat each night when I sleep. Falling asleep has been a challenge.

Upon reflection, I can clearly see what the giving up is rooted in.

Fear. Worry. Low self-esteem. Guilt.

And there was a full moon this week.

And it’s the last week of summer.

These things are all related, I just know it.

I wanted to share this with you all because I believe it’s very important for us to be transparent about the overwhelming experience that is I WANT TO GIVE UP.

It’s like a person made of steel standing in front of you and smiling. The person is blocking your way forward, and if you try to go backward or sideways, it grows. Then it puts its arms around you and squeezes you to the size of pea. A pea. Yesterday, I was the size of a pea for most of the day.

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Today…I’d say I’m about a watermelon and that steel person is no longer squeezing me. It’s in my peripheral, but it’s no longer in arm’s reach.

I went to Gertrude’s today. Put in a good three hours of work. Gathered energy from the space and re-claimed my commitments to the classes and workshops and events I’ll be a part of or leading from September through to January. I was nervous, but also excited. I felt the fluffy edges of cloud nine tickling the top of my head.

I’m working really hard every day for the people and things that I love and believe in. But I’m always working hard on not always working really hard. Like, the evening comes and I hear a voice in my head saying: STOP WORKING RIGHT NOW.

The challenge is that my BRAIN IS ALWAYS THINKING about everything. And the energy trickles or explodes into my body and I let it affect my choices. Not in a good way.

I did GIVE UP.

I gave up on the poetry.

I gave up on Gertrude’s.



Because things got too hard. And I couldn’t work through them.


Things got better. Test results came in ‘clear’ for the dogs. The kids made me laugh. The hubby made me…ahem…feel an important release.

And I had a long, hard, intense conversation with my heart and my head and my poetry. And I decided to love what I’ve created. And be grateful for feedback. And be grateful for shrinking and then growing again.

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Maybe I should read Alice in Wonderland…it seems to be calling out to me! No, full disclosure, I have not read it. I’ve tried a few times but have never finished. Huh.

So there you have it, friends.

We all give up.

We all shrink. And grow.

Sometimes, we need to be peas.

Ain’t it so: the word ‘PEA’ is in Peace.



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