Stepping Away To Restock The Well sol#16

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Writing can consume you.

Even when you are not actually writing, you are preparing for writing by seeking the topic for which you might write about today.  Knowing you have to put a post out there each day adds that pinch of added pressure to pick something good, something worthwhile, something that others really care to even read.  I mean, do you really want to read about how my coffee maker overflowed?  Or all about the zipper that broke on my favorite pair of jeans? How about the fact that my dog is dragging old deer bones to the front door step now that the snow has melted?  Yes, these daily happenings could take me to deep, underlying themes of angst, aging and rebirth if I decide to go with some of these topics, but frankly, I just don’t want to go there.  Ugh. Blah. Meh – my daughter calls it.

It was time to step away for a bit.

I skipped two days of the 30 Day Slice of Life Challenge.

“This is okay,” I kept repeating to my “Bernice” brain.

I needed a little break.  Not from writing – but from writing for an audience.  Not everything we write is for the public eye.  Thank God.  Even though I had some content from my days that I could have crafted into a post, my inner writing angel, Gabby, nudged me away from the keyboard this weekend to travel with my husband to his swim meet five hours away.  Yes – to restock the well.  Prime the pump.  Collect new fodder.

Oh, how I love collecting fodder.

The collecting part of writing is where my pure bliss happens.  The not knowing what I will do with a noticing – or if it will grow into anything at all is not the concern.  All I am doing is collecting.  There is an inner joy when there is a shift into a “presentness” mode of being, a living wide awake. Arrival at this place, fills me with peace and contentment, the heart opens and expands as reminders of how connected we are to everyone and everything saturates every moment.

~the sweet coffee shop lady of Mexican decent (I think), a beautiful smile that lights up the shop, her voice like music.  I felt her healing morning blessings as she crafted my decaf dark-as-you-can-make-it latte with almond milk and a shot of hazelnut syrup.

“Can you do that?” I asked.

“Of course,” she comforted me, “It’s an art, you know”.

Can you fall in love with your coffee making lady?  Umm. . . yes.

I left the coffee shop, my hands surrounding the warmth and love in a cup that was created for me.  Yes, I can feel that.  It’s a big deal.

~the college age boys slumped back in their stools at the restaurant bar, beers waiting for them to sip on, their attention – each of them, on their phones, few words spoken between any of them.  Yeah, I felt that, too.

~the waitress who swayed us away from the house soup.  “It has been sitting in the pot too long,” she warned us.  Again.  Felt it.

~my husband’s college buddies who show up to swim with him.  My husband is 52.   These boys shift to 22 year olds.  It’s pretty hard not to feel that.

My notebook filled faster than I could keep up.

My husband became annoyed at my wonderings.  “You’ll have to google that,” became his response to anything he really didn’t have an interest in investigating with me.  That’s ok.  It was my own senses on high alert.  His focus on driving or to get his swimming mindset on.  There’s no way he could keep up to me on my fodder collecting days.  A child, I am.  He’s lucky I do most of my wondering in my head.

The most miraculous thing happens when you tell yourself you are only “collecting” and not going to write.

You can not help but be driven to write.

It’s a little trick I play on myself.

I love it when I fall for it.

So, I’m out of being eligible for any prizes in the March 30 Day Slice of Life Challenge.  I’m okay with that.  I had to go with the ebb and flow of my own writing self.

And, my well is restocked.

Shari 🙂

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Stepping Away To Restock The Well sol#16

  1. This is one of my favorite slices that I’ve read this month! I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between writing every day and publishing every day. I try to be mindful not to publish for the sake of publishing. Of COURSE I could pump out some very quick slices about just the trivial topics you mention and maybe I could even turn them into something a little grander, but why? Meh. I don’t want to waste my time and I don’t want to waste my readers’ time. I love what you say about fodder and collecting. I think I don’t allow myself to spend quite enough time collecting. It’s one of the big pleasures of writing for me.

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    1. Thank you for your comments, Elisabeth. I hope I do not sound like I am judging anyone else’s posts by being trivial because these are small slices of our lives. There are days where those events are meaningful for me and I can get to some gem of a realization or just documenting it is enough for me. But, when I recognize the “blah” of everything feeling “meh”, it’s not my topics that have gone boring, it’s my perception and it means I need to step away. Collecting re-inspires my flow. 🙂

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  2. I think everyone takes something different away from the March SOL challenge. For some it’s realizing they CAN write. For others it’s the realization of small moments in their lives that may be lost if they weren’t awake to noticing them. Others find a rhythm where writing becomes a habit. Thank you for sharing that the process of collecting is what helps you most to become a better writer. Sounds like you had a very productive weekend. I look forward to hearing more!

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    1. This is so true, Rose. Collecting is a big part of who I am as a writer and I have to have some days just for that. It was good to learn this about myself as a writer. I should be ready for the week with all this fodder! Thank you for reading and commenting!

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  3. Although I missed your writing the last two days I LOVE your reasoning and the result. It seems you were do lots of prewriting. I agree that everyone goes in to the challenge with different goals at different levels. Although you may not remain eligible for physical prizes you seem to have gained something bigger- the chance to look at things with a writer’s eye. I loved the part where your husband got fed up with your wonderings- easy to relate to. I also loved all the quick images in your collecting! Lots more fodder for slices (and more).

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Erika. Yes, you are right, I have gained much. I was on almost a year stint away from blogging. I feel like that has come back to me – this habit of writing for an audience rather than just for my notebook. That is huge, too. But, also recognizing when I need to just be with my notebook is important, too.

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  4. I wrote about needing to find inspiration and not having much to say today. For me, the challenge is to write something every single day. I need something to push me to do that or get out of the habit. Someday I hope to not need the challenge to be able to be in the writing habit but for now, I’ll take the help. I hope the break helped you refill your well!

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    1. Thank you, Kristi. I agree that the community is amazing and there is no one “right” writer. We are all in different places and have different processes. It’s affirming to hear what others go through as writers so one doesn’t feel so alone. Thank you for reading my words. 🙂

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  5. Oh this is beautiful. I read it once and just sighed. Then I read it again and talked to it. Likely, you didn’t hear me so I will give you the highlights. Yes, to falling in love with the coffee lady. My husband too is happy that most of my thinking stays in my head. And well, I could read anything you wrote. Especially about the deer bones . . . I echo Elisabeth – this is a favourite, favourite slice for me.

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