Shasta is one bossy mountain. My boyfriend and I went up last weekend and we caught the first snow fall, which was pure frozen joy - even before the golden retriever in a bright orange jacket started bounding ecstatically through legit winter wonderland.
Legit winter wonderland. Well-suited to ecstatic bounding.
In addition to the snow and donuts - not to mention the snow donuts that my race car driving companion took it upon himself to pull at the top of the deserted mountain, scaring the absolute shit out of me, because he didn't share his plan before starting to spin out - the mountain also gave me an assignment. (See: bossy mountain top.)
Stop everything and write for 21 days straight.
Also some stuff about silencing my brain and drinking green juice and exercising and, let me just say, I have not been as diligent as the bossy mountain probably intended.
Mostly because all of this is terrifying. Doing nothing but writing when you're self-employed and "doing things" is where your money comes from is terrifying. Moving after months of sloth is terrifying. Writing after being in a creative funk for years is terrifying. Silencing my brain is terrifying. (My brain does not enjoy being silenced and becomes exponentially more obnoxious whenever I try.)
Drinking green juice is actually pretty easy so that's fine.
At this juncture, I should probably note that I am a super sensitive human and as diligently as I try to unhook myself from the collective emotional energy, sometimes I still end up in fear and, ya know, faintly hysterical terror.
That said, getting back into this writing game is not going smoothly.
Pushing myself doesn't seem to be working. Starting yet another novel and getting four pages in before abandoning it doesn't seem to be working. Journaling mostly just turns into all-caps yelling as I let my brain throw a tantrum to unleash all the feeling I've carefully hoarded thanks to that aforementioned sensitivity - so that doesn't seem to be working either.
Maybe the solution of my bright-eyed twenty-something self will work for me now. Back in 2005, at the virtual dawn of personal internet musings, I started a blog as a way to write daily. It worked and I loved it. But that was when we were just talking about our lives without much expectation and our friends were doing it too. It was a big ol internet party in those sweetly naive pre-social media years.
I mean, the technology still exists. Where did we all go? What happened? It feels like it wants to come back. Some of the bloggers of yore are at it again - and some never stopped. (Who's still doing this? If you are or know of people who are, please share.) So here I am too, doing my utmost to silence the plague o' self-doubt and use my voice.
Going back to conversational writing and less curation sounds like a goddamn breath of peppermint-flavored arctic air. Overthinking is choking the life out of me and my poor beleaguered words.
Who would want to read this? - my brain
You've lost your special spark and I refuse to subscribe to this claptrap. - person who unsubscribed to my newsletter and felt it necessary to tell me why
Should I be talking about this? Am I complaining too much? How is this adding to the world? - my brain
HEREBY BANISHING THE BRAIN HAMSTERS. AND NEVER READING PEOPLE'S REASONS FOR UNSUBSCRIBING EVER AGAIN. There. Problem solved.
We'll see what happens. Whatever it is, I will do my utmost to squash the brain hamsters, unhook sticky emotion, and speak what is true and loving. And possibly annoyed and cynical. But that's the beauty of not over-thinking. You get to just be.
So here's to just being. Like it's 2005 and we're in the first flush of internet sharing and I don't yet have that alarming trench between my brows.