I look at the number of blog posts I've done in this last year and it is pretty abysmal. I've been struggling with my writing for awhile. I think it is more than writing I've been struggling with and I've just finally waken up and discovered...
Last year was hard: lost my grandpa, lost my uncle, had a likely career ending injury in running and racing with the tear of my ACL, followed by rehab that was challenged and required another surgery, and of course the fun (not) of additional body weight to my 5' 3" frame via emotional eating. No this isn't a pity party it just hit me the other day when out to breakfast with a friend that I came to the realization that I've lost bits of my self, accept for the weight gained, that has thrown me out of sorts.
I've felt lost. I've tried to replace the love for training, and running/racing with trying to make writing a goal to focus on. I took a class and learned a ton, which I'm grateful for, but I also learned that the story I thought I wanted to write just couldn't come out of me. I felt like a fake trying to write about "an everyday woman accomplishing her BIG" (70.3 triathlon). How was I suppose to write about accomplishing my BIG while not even able to have confidence or enjoying the writing/drafts I tried writing? That self doubt and lack of confidence has also made me question who really reads my blog/posts and the importance of my writing. Does anyone really care? Am I self centered and writing about things that really don't matter. My one caveat is I never feel bad about writing about what I read, because I feel like if my monthly blog posts about that month's "reads" gets someone else to pick up a book and read the writing has totally been worth it.
So in the last few weeks I've picked up a book myself and started to read about " You're Loved No Matter What- Freeing Your Heart from the Need to be Perfect" by Holley Gerth. It was on the new nonfiction shelf at the library and the back of the cover really spoke to me...
As women, we tend to think that if we could only get our act together, life would be perfect. but you're not supposed to be perfect. you're supposed to be human. And humans are messy, flawed, glorious, and deeply loved.
It's time to lay down those unrealistic expectations that exhaust you.
It's time to embrace who you are- even the messy parts.
It's time to start living fully instead of just trying not to fail.
Let's do this. Together.
Sounded too good to pass up. So I read the first two chapters and was wanting to write notes in the margins and underline words that spoke to me- and you know defacing library books aren't my style- so I went out and bought the book. Now, warning, for those of you who aren't religious or don't believe in God, she talks about God quite a bit, but she's one of those people who writes about God and talks about God and her words/sentences/quoting of the Bible don't turn me off. Some books, people, and blog posts turn me off with the God or Jesus word. I'm religious, I'm a Lutheran, but yet I'm not one of those who loves being told how the Bible is to be interpreted or how to parent, work, be a woman based on this author's beliefs about God/Jesus, etc- kind of like nails on a chalk board for me when I'm reading these pieces.
Holley however, is not like that for me. I feel her way in which she incorporates her faith and getting over the guilt and desire to be doing everything perfect is music to my ears, not nails on the chalk board.
So through reading this book I've made some decisions. I will write when I want to and what I want to. I need to move onward away from the writing which was so focused on my love of running, training, etc. At the same time I don't want it to be forced writing. I want it to be enjoyable.
I was feeling very boxed in with my writing the last few months. I just want to write for writing sake, not to get published, or to create a full/finished draft of a book or short story. I've gone so far as to tell my lovely writing group that I'm taking a hiatus. I was going to writing group and felt like I wasn't contributing to anything and leaving feel again disappointed in myself for not doing more with my writing- hence not being perfect.
After making the decision to not be forced into a writing time line or writing project I've discovered I'm writing more now than I have in the past months. So I'm not starting a new, I'm just continuing on with this blog in somewhat atypical form- unplanned, unstructured writing and just writing for the fun and enjoyment of it.