Taking 12 years off from blogging has given me over a decade’s worth of subject matter from which I can develop fresh stories: a decade’s worth of digital pictures with quirky captions, of change and milestones and silliness and tears, of personal growth (I hope) and seasoned insight (maybe) and, perhaps, a few laugh-out-loud blunders along the way.
You’d think I’d be excited to jump right in.
But as I stared at my computer screen this morning trying to figure out where to begin,
unexpected feelings surfaced: a tightening in my chest, a knot in my stomach, a flush in my face as my heart rate rose.
I felt anxious. Maybe even a little agitated (that’s probably too strong a word, but I can’t come up with another for now). In any case, I felt decidely uncomfortable.
And I *like* to write!
I don’t know what happened during my hiatus, but this one-time-professional, seasoned freelancer, multi-published writer with a bunch of books and countless articles to her credit, was nervous.
About a blog entry.
A blog entry that would likely be read by, at max, maybe ten people.
Good heavens! What was I anxious about?
Well here ya go, the big intimidating barrier to my progress was this: I didn’t know where to begin.
The sheer volume of possible topics overwhelmed me. Even paralyzed me. For a moment, that is.
Until I remembered a trick I learned in my early days of writing: When faced with a blank page and drawing blanks (pun intended) on how to fill it, just write.
Just write. Begin. Start somewhere. Anywhere. But start!
That’s a lesson about which I’m being reminded in several areas of my life right now.
Take decluttering, for example (that process itself, btw, is another topic for another day).
I look at our house and our accumulation of stuff (ugh!). For years we’ve cycled through cleaning and sorting and purging and organizing, but after 25 years in this same house, a generation raised and another generation dying (yes, we’ve moved into that season now), our home is filled to the max. The kids no longer live here, but some of their stuff (of necessity) remains. Grandparents and parents have passed on, but their possessions fill my rooms and cupboards My DTS sold her home and recently moved in with us, so the square footage of the house we consider ours (as opposed to that set aside for her) is actually smaller than it’s ever been.
When I look at our mountain of stuff in our molehill house, it overwhelms me.
But, lo and behold, modern gurus of decluttering offer the same strategy for facing what overwhelms us that writing wisdom has offered for generations: just start.
Start somewhere, anywhere. Begin with anything no matter how small. But do something.
It’s the proverbial “journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” — you have to start somewhere.
So here I am, starting; performing a writer’s “just write” excercise to get myself going.
And you know what? It worked. Here it is: my first *real* blog entry in 12 years.
And my anxiety is gone.
I’ll consider that a “win” for now. And maybe I’ll even tackle a closet. 😛
Look out world, I’m on a roll!