Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Critic Does Not Count: Small Bursts

I never intended to stay away that long. I could offer a plethora of excuses. Emaline is the most obvious. She keeps me busy and is very distracting. She redirects my creativity and refocuses my attention, making it difficult to sit and write. But she is not the only reason. My computer stopped working around the same time that I finally got an iphone. I always thought that having a smartphone would make blogging easier. The tiny portal to the rest of the world is convenient for many things but I don't like it for writing.

Yesterday, Nick offered me his computer and so here I am.

Emaline just woke up from a nap and is cooing away in her swing.

And quickly her coos turned into fusses. So now it is a few hours later. She is taking her second nap and I am back to writing. I guess this speaks to not really owning my time. It has taken me awhile to realize that I can still accomplish the things that I want, but not always when I want.

I am on week three of the Artist's Way. The changes are small but noticeable. Cracks are forming and inspiration is starting to seep through. I have been having vivid and fantastic dreams. I am writing everyday. I have realized that writing does not have to be all or nothing. I can write in small bursts. I can write because I love it. I can create something new, not for critique but, as an expression of who I am. It is liberating to believe that my job is to put words on a page and what happens after that, is not for me to decide.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” 
-Theodore Roosevelt 

Elizabeth Gilbert spoke about this in her Ted talk. Oprah has talked about this many times, most recently with the author of The War of Art. And this morning, the most eloquent blogger that I read daily, said this.

I have always been protective of my art. It was a big deal when I was younger to share my stories. It was a big deal in 2009 when I decided to start a blog. Putting yourself out there is scary. But I am also learning that vulnerability can be a good thing. And so I will try. I will try to be honest. I will try to be brave. I will try to share my voice.

She is starting to wiggle and coo. Her eyes are still closed but I know what comes next.

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