Like No One is Reading

Blogging is a bit like jumping rope. Once you hop in, it's fairly easy to stay in a rhythm, to churn out post after post with relative ease. My feet barely had to leave the pavement. Just a few minutes here and there, a picture or two, a little each day. But when you duck out to get a drink of water (or in my case, escape for a girls' weekend, followed by a week of taking care of my sweet elementary-aged nieces), it's harder to get started again. I feel like for the past few days I've been watching the rope whoosh past my face, hesitating, looking for the perfect place to jump back in and not finding it.

There are two things I rely on to stay clear headed and marginally sane. I run and I write. I have done very little of either this week, rendering me muddy brained, arguably crazy and (unarguably) five pounds heavier. The leftover Halloween candy has clearly played into the equation as well.

I did manage to read a bit--mostly in two minute snippets while waiting in the car pool line. I have a pile of library books I want to plow through, the weight of which led my car to conclude the stack of books in my front seat constituted a passenger in need of seat belt.

One of the books I'm reading is Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. No, I'm not one of those cool writer types reading this for the tenth time. Only round one for me. And do you know what I have learned so far? I have an obnoxiously loud and ridiculously overbearing internal censor. Which is probably why I have published only as a journalist. My first front page article in the daily news--published so long ago you can't even find it on microfiche-"Black Bear Spotted on Interstate-90"--is likely to be my crowning accomplishment. Unless I can figure out how to lop off the head of my internal censor. (See, I wanted to write make peace with my internal censor, but making peace would mean the censor won out over the raw and powerful writing. Lopping off a head is far more evocative, right?)

So to continue the metaphor, it seems I just tried to jump back in and got smacked in the face with the rope. Tripped up, so to speak. My internal censor feels as though I should apologize for the lameness of this post, and I'm inclined to agree.

Forgive me?

Caed came home from the book fair at school this week and said, "There's this famous book at my school that everyone is talking about, and it's called the Diarrhea of a Wimpy Kid. Can you believe that, Mom? And I think it has some mean words in it, too. Like...wimpy."

It was a lovely opportunity to teach him a new vocabulary word. "Diary," I said, "is like a journal. You write down your thoughts and feelings about your life."

What is that oft quoted Irish proverb?

Work like you don't need the money
dance like no one is watching
sing like no one is listening
love like you've never been hurt
and live life every day as if it were your last.
Can I take the liberty--for the tortured writerly types out there--of adding one more?

Write like no one is reading.

Or maybe, just write. Who cares if the rope smacks you in the forehead. Just write. Just jump. Just try.

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