On Not Being Sure About Writing

I set up my writer’s space. The clearing out of what is old and now unused happens first. My son and I take apart the old bed that my girl slept on, then my oldest boy this summer. I look at the mattress and try to remember where it first entered my life. It is very old. Its label features the photo of a woman from the 80’s. Its fabric is the blue ticking of very old mattresses. Before the mattress topper was a thing. We lean it and its box spring up against the wall, so that I can get some sense of the room without it. I like the broad sweep of space up to the desk, which is a simple farm table on permanent loan from a friend. This will be my writing table, I think to myself.

If I tell myself I am a writer, the defeating voices crowd up, like chickens stretching their necks in competition to see who can cluck the loudest. I turn away from the chicken collective and tune into my body, into the energy of the moment. This is how I’ve been grounding myself lately, tuning into just, energy, sensing instead of thinking. There is only just this one moment, and in this one moment, I am a writer. It doesn’t matter what clucking is happening. As a matter of fact, I can write about that. But I am reminded again how there are two minds to writing, the creator and the editor. The channeler and the critic. I am both, but the critic has become very very good, and the channeler needs a lot more quality time with me. I will open up myself to the channeler. The channel has nothing to do with the crowding chicken necks. Those are a construct of the critic.

The chicken necks revolve around fear as well. They are there to keep me from falling on my face. But I, the part of me that wants to touch someone with my writing, the part of me that wants to leave a legacy of that touch for people even when I’m gone: that part doesn’t need to be cushioned from falling on her face. Because the identity I am protecting is just a construct.  My creative voice, that I came into this lifetime to honor, does not have to be cushioned from anything.

Today, I will commit myself to that voice, that channel. I will open up to her every day. Her and Him, it, they: We? We will come through. Maybe in thinking of those voices as a collective, it’ll take a little pressure off this one woman.

This fall will be a time of opening up to that voice. In the way that I will open up to it. Not others. Not how others tell me. But how I tell me. And remember that we, WE are writers. Here in this life to express ourselves. Here in this life to help others through our words. To float out on the driftwood of our words an offering to others in this ocean of consciousness. Service must be an element. The heart and emotions and the way of trauma and development must be an element. And the soft sweet grounding of my home, these islands, is an element too, for me. How else do we slaughter the chickens and have a good meal of a story?

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