Thursday, June 23, 2011

Victory is Mine Sayeth the Puddin

Puddin is Sunshine and Happiness' nickname for me.   I'm sure you can see the similarities....the jiggliness, the wonderful sweetness, the lack of firm boundaries and the mushy center.  Success, sweet success.  This past weekend was my the second writing workshop facilitated by my friend, Diane.  If you recall,  I bailed from her first one in February .  The funny thing is that what I learned had little or nothing to do with writing.

Last workshop I discovered  I don't have to react to situations. I can choose how I behave.  This was a revelation.  I am known for passively reacting to  any and all life situations as they arise.  Ooh, light bulb moment.  I am responsible for myself.  It is not what happens to me but how I react to it.  Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing (h/t Helen Keller) No one can or will do it for me.  Mmmmmm, scary, although I can't decide if it's the lesson itself or that it has taken me so long to learn it that is frightening.

This time around participants contributed famous quotes on writing and put them on butcher's paper that was hung over the fireplace mantel.  This was one of them:
the quote factory
I had to look at that fucking quote all day.  I felt like I'd been kicked in the gut. 

During the workshop each of the writer's drew from their travels, careers, personal experiences, family joys and trials  to create interesting characters, anecdotes and stories.  One woman designed a beautiful series of poems deserving of a chapbook.  Another described her exciting cross country adventures on a motorcycle.  A woman about my age reminisced about her hard scrabble upbringing, memoir style.  Me?  I blanched.  Looking at the blank page and faced with a simple writing exercise I could find nothing to say.  My lifelong avoidance of risk and isolation from everyone made writing impossible.  I had only my small, insular, inner world from which to draw.  Second lightbulb moment.  In order to create, I first must exercise the courage to "stand up and live." Ouchy.

So I am determined today.  I know I can do this.  I really can.  I'm just going to take deep breaths and step forward.  That's it.  Baby steps to living life.  Baby steps to living life.  Baby steps to living life.  Woo-hoo I'm living life.  Look out world, here I come!

However I may need a little help climbing out of my comfort zone.