I ran into a friend last night who I haven’t seen since before I left for Korea.  I think very highly of this woman, a miracle worker with kids who struggle with reading…brilliant intellectual and a biker babe, all wrapped into one. I was very happy to be at the Matchbox 20 concert – ohmyRobThomashotness – but I was happier, still, to have seen my friend.  (Hi Phyllis!  This one’s for you!)

So when she hugged me and told me that she often checks to see if I’ve updated my blog, I felt sheepish.  I haven’t written in this thing for months.  Months I tell you!

When I said that I’ve been very lazy busy, she understood.  Educators are busy people yaddayaddayadda.  I ventured to explain that though I love, love, love writing, that it makes me feel alive, it doesn’t seem real to me that anyone would really care about what I have to say.  She cracked me up when she said “it’s not about what you say. It’s just the writing I enjoy.”

Truth?  I could not be happier that no one is caring or paying attention to what I have to say.  I mean it sincerely.  It might help me get started again.  Read on.

Anne Lamott says that basically a writer should write as though there is no audience.  Actually, I think she said that you should write as though your parents are dead.  But what she meant was, that THAT way, the presumed offenses (because they’re probably all in my head) won’t matter at all and won’t make me so pinned with fear that I stop altogether.  Fear of what, you ask?

Do you know how many times I’ve written entire blogs and deleted them because I just didn’t sound … enough?  Tolerant enough?  Patient enough?  Liberal enough?  Conservative enough?  Smart enough?  Positive enough?  A good enough mother?  A good enough wife?  Friend?  Sister?  Daughter?  Auntie?  Teacher? Nice enough?

I didn’t sound nice enough.  It sounds so dumb out there in words.

Too many, that’s how many.

Ugh.  I get in my own damn way a terrible amount of the time.

The truth is, writing should be the baring of a soul.  If I write with a censor, let’s call her Balls-of-Goo, I’m simply not opening up enough to make the writing true.

I thought about these things on the (white-knuckled, harrowing) drive home from the concert. (Geez, weatherpeople, you didn’t see that snow and ice coming, did you?)  I thought about it a lot.  And I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of excitement about writing.

I updated the blog.  Chose a ‘theme’ for the appearance of it that I like a lot, one I created some time ago, and think fits the tone, and decided to make my writing a discipline.  This means two things: one, I will set a goal of writing 2 blogs per week and two, I will write without my stupid over-cautious inner censor, the aforementioned Balls-of-Goo.

That said:  for the record, and I’m just wading in here:  I don’t like whining and I never have.  I make a shit ton of mistakes in all areas of my life, and believe me when I say I am harder on myself than anyone reading this blog could ever be.  If I’m going to write, I better develop that thick skin I put into practice every day in my classroom with my teenagers.  Also, I better get my ass in gear.  I’m 40.  That’s past mid-life for a whole lot of us.

Thanks for the kick in the ass, Phyllis.  I’m on it.