I more or less stopped blogging about nine months ago. At that time, I was in negotiation with a potential client about doing a comprehensive public relations campaign. This potential client did not have the capital to pay for the work, so he was dependent on an investor who was interested in supporting his company. This investor was impressed by my work to date, and it seemed we were on the verge of closing the deal.
That’s when the investor read my Dancing with Pain blog – in particular, a post where I was sharing my experience dealing with an idiot in a parking lot, whose actions led to a pain spasm in my body. I called said individual a “fuckety fuck,” which apparently gave the investor delusions of my calling top media outlets and swearing like a sailor. The deal was immediately off.
I experienced the exchange as entertaining, despite the fact that at the time, I sorely needed the thousands of dollars. I figured that anyone who did not delight in the silliness in calling someone a “fuckety fuck” was most likely someone who would be a royal pain in the tuchus to work with anyhow. And I still think that’s the case. But something about being judged so harshly and completely, based on a difference of opinion over a four letter word, gave me pause.
While my experience of blogging had felt spiritually and emotionally liberating up to that time – the direct link between my soul, Gd, and the Universe – I suddenly had a hit of the chasm between what I’m about and how people may be judging me. I did not want to be judged. I did not want to open-heartedly share my soul if people were going to be projecting their own harsh opinions, presumptions, and stick-up-ass attitudes onto me.
I was already feeling vulnerable enough, struggling to overcome two back-to-back medical crises and, as an upshot, the greatest financial setback of my life. Plus I suddenly felt concern about losing potential clients because of a perceived personality difference, which otherwise need not come into play in my PR work.
Then the advice of an energy healer started to seem wise: She told me that, as someone actively engaged with the world, I expend a lot of energy externally directed, instead of absorbing that energy internally and using it for my healing. Put the two together, and I more or less stopped blogging.
Then the buildup and backup happened. Now I feel as if there is a pinhole opening through which a barrage of thoughts, feelings, and experiences are desperate to come flooding through. But there is such an overwhelming amount of stuff, that every time I think about writing, I shut down. Plus, admittedly, I still feel vulnerable. I don’t want people who don’t know me from a hole in the wall – people whom I might not even want to sit next to, were I to meet them in real life – judging the gifts that I share with the world.
On my way back from France to the US, I sat by a brilliant high school graduate whose soul felt so resonant with my own soul. We talked deep ideas all plane ride long, and it was quite possibly the most enjoyable flight of my life as a result. And as I shared with her why I love to write, how it’s that direct thread to Gd and the Universe, she asked me, “But don’t you feel exposed?” And I realized that no, I don’t really. Because I’m not “revealing” myself for other people. I’m simply BEING. Expressing, living, commenting. And as I said that, my core belief became more powerful than the fear I felt after that cyber encounter nine months ago.
Well it was still overwhelming to figure out how to get past the pinhole-passing-a-flood phenomenon. I kept not writing. Then last night, I went to pick up food for my mom. I went to two stores, mind you, because while I thought all local Safeway stores were open till 1 am, it turns out that only one in the area is. So I went to that one after going to the first one, and here was my reward:
There’s a cashier whom I met when I first moved into town two years ago. That store was my local supermarket. I always shopped super late, which was when he worked, and which also was when there weren’t lots of customers (which is why I shopped super late!) We got to talking and found out that we’re both writers.
Well last night, he asked how my writing is going, and I said that I haven’t been doing any writing for myself. I shared with him that I had not written for so long that I was feeling super stuck and couldn’t quite write anything anymore. He said he understood that feeling, that he’d experienced it himself. I asked how he overcame it, and he said that he just writes bullshit until the process loosens up. “I lower my standards,” he said. I thought that was an awesome quote!
Interestingly enough, that’s what I used to do when I was writing books. I would go to a café and just write. Every single fucking day. And it was always the beginning that was the hardest part. Once I got writing, things started flowing. And this guy’s advice was exactly what I used to tell people who had a hard time writing. Sometimes we need the very advice we dispense to others!
He also told me that his writing coach has advised him to write at least one line a day. And he further told me that he commits to putting in one hour a day of writing, no matter what kind of crap he writes. That is totally inspirational. It’s really a matter of making a decision and a commitment.
So dear Safeway cashier, thank you for your guidance and your brilliant quote. It is because of your advice that I am now sitting at a café and writing, even though it was hard to get over that hump. I will do my best to write at least 30 min a day, for myself only, with low standards. And who knows, maybe I’ll bump that up to an hour or more in the near future. Meanwhile, dear soul, dear Gd, and dear Universe, these thoughts are for you. Thank you for this extraordinary tool for processing life, being a witness, and otherwise having a platform to be seen and heard. You rule.