Last night, over a warming meal and a shared bottle of Bordeaux plus two extra glasses… ahem… I told one of my dearest friends my renewed and slightly terrifying plan.
For one year I am going to budget hard (so not a whole lotta Bordeaux) and write full time. I’m not going to focus on building a little herbal empire. I’m not going to finely craft a business plan for anything except becoming a paid writer, which means that I will also need to submit my writing places on a regular basis.
I’ve been writing every day for many years now, but I often write from my nice, relatively safe, mile-a-minute mind.
My mind isn’t the best writer. My heart’s much better, but she’s fickle. She likes poems, and plays, and sometimes stories, personal essays, and longer works of fiction.
“7 Ways to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Bomb… in bullet points!” is not writing from my heart. Thus far, anyway.
Because I can right now, and because I don’t know when the opportunity will come again, my primary job for the next 365 days will be to write from my heart, spirit, and soul.
Things could change. Things always do. I might have a child. I might have to take care of someone in my family. I might not have the financial ability to live thriftily and spend the vast percentage of my time making art.
Maybe it isn’t wise to take this risk, I tell myself. Maybe I should continue to build my herbal business and spend my extra energy writing instead of the other way around… but I can’t stop myself anymore from taking this risk. I can’t and I won’t. I’ve learned the hard way that once my spirit and soul truly decide something my ego has to go along for the ride. Just ask my ex or the restaurant managers of my last ‘real’ job.
My wise friend had two suggestions for me: 1. Stick to the budget. (I could get lucky, but it isn’t smart to assume that I will be… although I am going to plan to be lucky)
2. Find a supportive community. For me this means, among other things, finally going to poetry open mikes again after a hiatus of…. 17 years.
I’ve also added a third piece of my own advice.
3. Move and breathe everyday, preferably in a community of others interested in embodiment.
After returning from an incredible retreat with my teacher Dunya and our Dancemeditation community, I’m excited to start this new adventure by participating in the ’90 Day Self-Directed Intergalactic Dance Party’ hosted and conceived by delectable dancer, Dancemeditator and writer Alia Thabit. I’ll be improv dancing for at least 20 minutes every day, focusing on my breath and the beat, and I’ve added my own additional prompt of writing whatever wants to come out in poetic form for at least 20 min. a day. (Notice I didn’t say poem-a-day… but writing in poetic form for a minimum of 20 minutes a day… and maybe, as time goes on, I’ll give myself a maximum number of minutes also).
I think that this, along with regular doses of magic, synchronicity, travel, nature connection, art inspirations and mentoring/ learning from kids in my community garden should keep ‘the channel open’ as Martha Graham might say.
This thing I’ve told myself I’ve wanted for so long is now possible, and that possibility is a little terrifying.
I’m deeply grateful to my precious handful of supporters, all creative geniuses, who read this blog… I know that I’m going to need this space in the year to come to feel connected to the outside world as I keep climbing and falling down that rabbit hole, into the sea of tears and out beyond with nary a glass of wine and just a little cup of oatstraw tea…