i don’t know: 78/365

credit: WPics

credit: WPics

Sometimes I don’t know. Actually a good fifty percent of the time, taking into consideration my issues with math.

Here’s the thing, in the last few days I haven’t wanted to write these posts, and I haven’t had a lot of free time to spend with that. So each of the last few days, I slapped a true thing up here and moved on. #75 in particular, I’m not happy with, for more than one reason. I cringed when I posted it. I mean, what if it were the only thing someone read of mine? I’ve tried not to think about it. But last night my husband said, so your recent posts…not so much. And I was thinking about it again.

I guess it’s too soon to decide for sure but I don’t want to waste your time. I could just take a pass on those days that I’m gritting my teeth and wishing I weren’t doing this, but I’m thinking the point of a 365-day-thing is to show up and see what happens and if it’s not so great, living with the words anyway. And maybe one of the days I don’t want to do this will coincide with a day I have more time and I will take that time, and something will come of it.

Writing posts ahead for those busy/blah days doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure why exactly, except that one of the reasons I’m doing this to become more aware, on a daily basis, of what I think and feel and who I am and what I stand for. Plus I want the post to come out of the day itself.

I may go back and work on #75. By the way, any post that I go back to–and there have been a few–I mark edited in the bottom right corner.

All thoughts are welcome, as usual.

~

 365 true things about me
why this daily practice

33 thoughts on “i don’t know: 78/365

  1. My vote is to enter a true thought even on the days you don’t feel like it. They were perhaps “not so much,” but who’s to say? You’re writing True Things. And that’s enough – just to show up on the days one doesn’t want to.

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    • Thanks so much, Kirie. I realized last night after writing the post how hard it is for me to leave something “not my best.” But maybe that’s part of the journey.

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  2. Some days we’re inspired by all sorts of things, some days not so much. That’s life. Me, I did four Project 365s (as I called them) in photos, which I posted to Flickr, and I definitely had the rule that the photo had to be taken on the day it was posted. I did not miss a day, in all those four years–although I daresay a few of those shots were far from exciting. But I showed up, and that’s what counted. It was about the practice as much as the imagery.

    And now, I’ve decided to do a Project 365 in words–inspired partly by YOU! And partly by the fact that I miss the discipline of the photo projects. I’m on day three. I did wonder, as I was pondering the notion, if I was crazy, but then I decided, what the heck, it’s a journey of discovery. And already I have wondered also about pre-fabricating an entry, but so far I’m sticking to it being a thing I do on the day itself.

    That said, of course we make our own rules. Nobody out there cares. The rules are for us, not for anyone else. So I guess it’s a question of which is more important for US: brilliance in the writing or . . . the practice itself.

    But then again, so far only four people know I even have a blog 😉 Unless that changes much, I’ll be boring only myself. THAT said, I found even your #75 of interest, and admired you simply for showing up on a day when it was difficult to do so.

    (If you’re wondering who the heck I am, I’m Patricia Smith’s sister-in-law. We met at Tomales Bay last October. And for full disclosure, I suppose I should say the URL of my blog–roostmusings.blogspot.com. So far I’m having fun with it. We’ll see how it goes over the long run!)

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    • Anne, now I know exactly who you are. Four–wow, just wow. There must be something to this if you’re embarking on another 365 days…

      And if you look at it that way–that it’s about the practice as much as the content–then showing up is the key. And understanding that each piece is part of a larger whole. I appreciate so much your sharing your experience. And I love this: “Nobody out there cares.” : )

      I look forward to visiting your blog and reading your words there. Thanks again for your support and for taking the time to encourage me.

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    • Thank you so much, “Ann Can Right,” aka Patricia Smith’s sister-in-law, for sharing your Project 365 in images. A couple of years ago, I wanted an image of the sky over the water in front of our cabin every single evening. “Mark, isn’t that a good idea?” I asked my husband, thus handing over the concept to someone who wasn’t even interested in my vision, and why should he be? Then I got a phone and did shoot the images – but during a middle of the night sea rescue of our collie, the phone got wet, and the images were lost. Self sabotage? Or what? And as I write my reasons for not doing the project, I see the process I’m also reading here: ways one can short-circuit one’s own ideas. Myriad, right?

      As soon as we return north, I’m going to start my own 365 of Sea Over Pulali.

      Thanks for the inspiration!

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  3. Write what is true for you in that moment, on that day. Be real. Be true. Honesty and authenticity wear well, and endure the test of time. ” Performance” is overrated.

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    • Marielle, thank you. Your comment reads like a mantra. And I thought of it again as I read Katrina Kenison’s words in her post on Wed: “I have to keep reminding myself: meaning isn’t found in accomplishment; one thing isn’t better or worse, or more or less, than another thing.”

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  4. I say that when you go with the moment when that’s all you’ve got is part of what this is all about and ultimately, what you’re going to get is a sort of “average” over the course of the 365 days and I’m thinking that “average” will be way ABOVE average 🙂 Try not to sweat it. Be proud of the fact that you’re doing it, regardless 😀

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    • Donna, you’re right–when the thing is to write something every day, I don’t have a lot of leeway–sometimes all I’ve got is going to be all I’ve got : )

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  5. Think of it this way. This blog is a reflection of your life on that particular day. As such, there will always be bad days. You do make the rules with this blog, but I don’t think you should go back to edit the individual posts. If you did it would no longer be an accurate reflection of that particular day. It would no longer be a “true thing.” In life we don’t get do-overs for bad days. We learn from them and move on. If you need to clarify something. Do it on another day as a reflection or expand on the original thought. To me in would seem more honest to do it that way. But, that is just my opinion.

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    • Mary, you make a strong case. I agree with you–no do-overs. That helps me clarify my thoughts there. The few posts I did go back to were just minor changes, and even then, I felt a need to add the word edited. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. Sorry to be so long in responding!

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  6. Hey! Happy Birthday!! (I’ve come to comment on this post a day late.)

    Please, do keep going. You are an inspiration to me (someone you have never met) and I am having the most productive writing year of my life, due in large part to your daily reminder that showing up is necessary. Plus, I know that every single day, whatever bad news or garbage is in my email inbox, there will always be one gem in the form of your post. Thank you for these posts, really – thank you.

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    • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Louise!

      It makes me so happy to know you’re having a wonderful writing year. And also happy that I had something to do with that : ) I appreciate your letting me know, too. I’m putting your comment in a special place so I can read it over any day that I’m struggling. Really, I can’t thank you enough. And I apologize for taking so long to respond.

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  7. Keep going however you can. No one’s posts are all great no matter how easily they come or hard we work at them. So stay with the project as you originally set it up, and see what happens. That will be a learning experience too.

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    • Yes, this is a learning experience, Nina. Thank you for that reminder. And also I love this: Keep going however I can. That should be my mantra. And to you to, apologies for taking so long to respond.

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  8. I went back and found #75. I see it as a beginning of something or the craggy tip of a volcano still mostly submerged by ocean. The desire NOT to have a roommate — that is something I’m interested in, and then of course I am wondering just how it felt to end up with one eventually anyway. Left to my own devices, I can imagine all kinds of things having to do with wanting a room of one’s own after living in a houseful of kids, or a secret birthmark you wanted to hide. In other words, it sparked my own imagination and desire to know more and I am guessing that somehow more will emerge as the year goes by and you continue your experiment in peeling back the layers, doing the work of showing up every day even if the work is not what you would like. I just read an essay today all about the importance of writing that line a day, or whatever the assignment is that you have given yourself.

    And happy birthday!

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  9. Thank you ALL for jumping in with these wonderful, encouraging, supportive comments. It dawned on me as I began to respond to them today that I think I delayed responding in an attempt to somehow make them last longer : ) xoxo

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  10. Oh your lovely commenters! I’m so sorry I was wandering in the abyss when you hit this particular struggle and couldn’t help–I’m thinking of your encouragement when I was writing a story every day and I so want to return the favor. But it’s clear that you don’t need me b/c your blog readers are so smart and funny and have said everything you needed to hear. Yes, yes, yes, and yes and yes again to all they said.

    In case you’re still needing this kind of encouragement (well, of course you are, that won’t go away), here’s my particular take as a fellow writer, a fellow 365-er, a fellow perfectionist:

    This writing practice is exactly that, practice. It’s practice at drafting, at horizontal writing, at flying at the page. You are already very good at revising, yes? You have terrific attention to detail, the ability to focus like no one else. You demand precision and fullness with every sentence. But. Because you are smart and intuitive and reflective, you get that your natural gifts are also, sometimes, natural burdens. Because you are a wonderful writer, you understand that there is always another level, there is always a fuller, more satisfying process, and a fuller, more satisfying page. And you know that the path to that fullness is in practice. So you choose to practice something that is not your finest gift.

    I would argue–and so would the commenters here–that you are in fact QUITE good at the quick draft, at the intuitive shot, the impulse sentence-to-paragraph, the off-the-cuff micro or hint essay. But you know–and I happen to know–that your BEST writing self is that focused, meticulous word-by-word crafter. Well good for fucking her. You want to be more. You want to push harder. You are not content to rely only on your finest gifts. And because you are generous and a bit wild and willing to take a risk, you choose to do this openly. Which is, my smart and talented friend, why you inspire us.

    Of course you want and need to do this every day. Of course!

    And can I just add, I think you were very smart to highlight that post. In fact I have no doubt that your subconscious was working its magic by persuading you to do so. Because please trust me when I tell you that #75 is a SIGNpost. You knew that, but you were having trouble reading it. So you invented a way to plant the seed within it deeply into the right soil. There is absolutely no way, now, that post #75 won’t live in your subconscious, shooting up through the soil, bending toward the sun, finding its nourishment. It will flower. Maybe it already has, or maybe it will wait until post 120 or 200 or 245. Or maybe it will wait until you’ve finished your year. No matter. It’s there, working its smart and pretty way to your typing fingers.

    I must add this, too: There is no such thing, in this year, as “not so much.” There just isn’t. Because you are not here to entertain us. You are not here to ensure your readers don’t waste our time. We will see to our time, thank you. You are here to do your job as a writer b/c that makes you a better writer and a better person. And you are kind enough to invite us along, which we–DAILY–find inspiring. Very often that inspiration comes from what you have written that day. Just as often, it comes from our admiration that you have, once again, shown up to do your job. But mostly what is inspiring, Cynthia–and you know this, b/c you have already said so in many of your posts–is the WHOLE you are making. And post #75 fits quite nicely into that whole. This is a practice, a daily writing and spiritual practice, you are making meaning in a hundred ways, and it never, ever, comes down to one word or one sentence or one post or one day. It is simply impossible for this practice, EVER, to translate to “not so much.” Full stop.

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    • Claire, first, I hope you are way, way out of the abyss. Second, I absolutely do have wonderful commenters. And third, thank you so so much for taking the time to write this comment. I’ve read it over and over, and I appreciate every word.

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