Slow Down, Child

Running womanImagine you’re training for a marathon. You start off strong: you’re highly motivated, and you’re sticking to an ambitious training schedule. Everything is going as planned.

Then, one day, you twist your knee. You’re forced to rest, to take a break. This is frustrating, but you know it’s necessary. You wait.

Several days go by, and you start to feel better. You’re itching to start training again, so the very first day you feel ready, you go out to run. You feel pumped. You want to make up for lost time. So you go for a long, intense run, throwing caution to the proverbial wind.

But you fall on your face. You re-injure yourself. As you lie on your couch later that day, you tell yourself, “I guess I wasn’t ready. But I so WANTED to be ready.”

That’s what I said to myself this morning. “I WANTED to be ready.” Except I wasn’t talking about marathon training. I was talking about writing. [Read more…]

The Time Is Write Now

I have been many different kinds of writers.

I have been a joyous writer. A pensive writer. A prolific one, a stagnating one. I have written inspired things, and I’ve written idiotic things. I have been a successful writer and a rejected writer. I have been a humbled writer, a proud writer.

Today, I am a struggling writer.

I have been reluctant to re-start this blog with its new theme, WORDS, until it and I were “ready.” The website itself has been ready for a few weeks now, but still, I stalled. I’m not in a good place right now, writing-wise. It has been hard for me to find joy or even satisfaction in it. I’m working on a project that I once loved, but now see as a gigantic daily chore. I’m struggling to balance writing with my teaching job, parenting, and taking care of myself. I’m failing at celebrating my writerly self. For fleeting moments, I’ve even thought about giving up, which is something that I, Leanne Sowul, don’t do. (A gift; a flaw.)

So I let this website sit, waiting for me. I told myself that I was “configuring fonts” and “adding widgets” and “brainstorming ideas for posts.” All of these were true, but they were just stop-gaps, the kinds of lame excuses I call my students out on when they haven’t practiced. I wasn’t ready, I told myself. I’d start when I was ready.

But this morning, I woke up- literally twenty minutes ago, as I write the first draft of this- and I was tired. Not just physically tired (though I was) or emotionally tired (though I was). I was tired of myself. I was tired of not writing.

I was tired of allowing myself to go untested. [Read more…]