Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Inside Out

I'm taking another online course (yes I seem to be addicted to these things). This time it's not a writing class, but a kind of journey of creative self-discovery (didn't I just say I'm not a big fan of self-help? Apparently I'm not a big fan of consistency either), although there is a major journaling component to it in addition to meditation and yoga and probably some other stuff we haven't gotten to yet. I know there are those with strong opinions about the difference between "journaling" and "writing" but I haven't had a strong opinion since the very humbling experience of giving birth eight and a half years ago. Besides, I'm OK with making both journaling and writing a part of my life. And that is the problem...I haven't been making writing a part of my life. When I'm involved in a class I can do the assignments and even produce a finished piece of work for submission, but I just lack the discipline (or something) to do this on a daily basis in regular life. I'm hoping my self-exploration in this class will help me find the drive to do that.

Here's the "sacred creative space" I set up in preparation for the class. It's a tiny end table smushed between my sewing table and the big ugly chair in my bedroom. The first night I just worked in bed, but last night I sat at the table because glue and paints were involved. I ended up turning it around because the overhead light was behind my head, and my supplies spilled out onto the window sills because the table is so that tells me something that is likely part of my writing blockage: lack of a good work space, also lack of good work equipment (I share both of our Computers with C, and since he works from home--for money--he obviously has first dibs--that's one reason why I'm sitting here at 5:30 a.m.; however now that our laptop is repaired, I should technically be able to work at the same time as him, unless I need the Internet). Though aren't there prisoners who've written whole novels on rolls of toilet paper? Am I just spoiled?
The journal is handmade, it being Buy Nothing Month and all. I had a big stack of 11 x 17 paper, so I tried remembering the technique one of my mothers-in-law showed me a few years ago, but I did the signatures wrong, somehow, and ended up powering through it with lots of extra glue.

One of the assignments last night was to name an "adventure buddy"--the one person I can tell my creative dreams to, with whom I feel completely safe and who supports my crazy ideas. I couldn't think of anyone! I have tons of friends, but no one I talk to on a daily or even monthly basis. And no one I would talk to about something as cheesy as me taking an online self-exploration course (other than the entire Internet, of course). Even C and I only talk about what should we make for dinner and who's picking up M from that's my second lesson from the course: reconnect with friends and don't be afraid to share my dorky projects with them.

So two days in and I haven't produced any writing yet, but I've made two realizations about my life, and I've played with collage and watercolor in my journal, which is something that's never happened in the Writer's Notebook before...


  1. I have to admit that I have NO idea how you pull this all off. I continue to be impressed by the new things you take on and wonder what the heck I am doing when you are writing, sewing, cooking, creating, etc.

  2. Sara--I hope you're relaxing on the couch with a good book, but I imagine you are probably schlepping three boys through the snow on a bike to violin practice...

  3. What sara said.

    (I'll be your adventure buddy online.)

  4. this looks like a great online course...I hope you will share more of your discoveries

  5. LSM--yes! I'd love for you to be my online adventure buddy (have to admit, I have no idea what an adventure buddy does, but I'll keep you posted).

  6. What class is this (who's offering it?)

  7. Oops, sorry I forgot the link. It's offered by Free Spirit Knits, and there's a second session starting in April:


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