I made a New Year’s promise (semi publicly, no less) that I was going to start writing practice again. The work life involves a fair bit of writing at this point, but for a while I did it every evening. And then, I didn’t, and I don’t know why.
I got the idea of writing practice as a practice (like meditation) from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones – to write every day, just to get the hands (or hand equivalent) moving. To breathe the rhythm and to get all the garbage out of the head and onto the page/screen. I’m one of those writers where I need the inspiration to be good, but writing practice helps me to be open to inspiration when it happens (largely, I think, decluttering my head).
Then I remembered my private New Year’s resolution – something else I’d been wanting to do – writing letters. I have a lot of people with whom I correspond who for one reason or another don’t use email much. Moreover, I’m an avid collector of cards and stationary (I’d post a picture of the collection of boxes that takes up the wall by my desk, but it’s just embarrassing).
So I took a look at the two promises and said, well, hell with it. I’m going to write to people – real people, whose feelings matter – and writing practice is going to have to wait. It’s not like I have really bad writer’s block right now anyhow. And the sprite is such an attention hound that it’s hard for me to have a real conversation with friends – the phone is just not an option, but letters still are.
One funny thing is, since I started this, I’m writing more poetry and I only just made the connection that maybe the two things are related. Somehow, writing letters became writing practice.
But the real synchronous moment was when a FB friend posted a link to the “August Poetry Postcard Fest.” I’d never heard of it. But there it is – writing practice, poetry, correspondence, everything right there – and not such a huge commitment that I’ll lose the time to correspond with my friends. Moreover, it sounds like one of my dreams come true. I’ve had lots of fantasies (okay, this is a truly embarrassing admission) of doing things like “dollar booths” at school fairs – you come up, give me a theme and a dollar, and I write a poem. I love the idea of just letting a poem go out into the world, giving a stranger words. On top of that, I love getting mail (thus, all those correspondents). So this…THIS is synchronicity. I got onto the coordinator and asked if it was too late (since in theory I should have been on a list days before, since it starts TOMORROW), but he was very kind and put me in and I’m so excited by all this that I could just jump up and down.
The things that can make me happy, sheesh. Since the first postcard should go out the door tomorrow a.m., I’m going to go rummage through my boxes of postcards to find one that says “beginnings” to me. I may post scans of some of the poems from the fest before I send them off – especially the bad ones – just to keep myself humble. And because this is going to be So. Much. Fun.