A good friend of mine asked me via email, “Why aren’t you blogging?” And then another friend of mine asked me the same question via IM.
I guess my blogging has been reliable throughout the years–even after my stroke, I blogged. But I haven’t been blogging for the last couple of weeks.
So here’s the answer I provided to my friend, and one I’m sharing with you:
I took this break from blogging from China, mostly forced because they didn’t allow access…and I rather liked it. I was surprised that I would enjoy a break from blogging–but I am. I have thought about blogging about a number of things, but none of them were so pressing and interesting to me as to spend the time to post them. So I’m waiting for my burning desire to blog to return before blogging again. And in a way, I’m intrigued by this “conserving of writing energy” and perhaps only channeling it to my novel (hahaha.)
Without access to blogs, and without any good TV on the boobtube…what did I do? I got a bit more sleep. I let my mind wander and cull some more thoughts. I went to the gym and exercised (seriously!). I went out for walks. I saw an ARMY of people just spending hours and hours reading in a bookstore! I went to the market and pondered eating scorpion kebab (seriously!). I saw The Great Wall (amazing!). I saw The Forbidden City (wowzers!). I toured the West Lake in Hangzhou (beautiful). I went on an interesting taxi ride to the Longjing Tea Village and had the most interesting consumer experience of my life (more interesting than the backalley purchases in Korea’s Itaewon).
My mind is full, my body is rested. I did not want to return to my daily life. In sum, it has been wonderful to detox. I took better care of myself. Oh man!
I had no idea how many poisons were in my life, especially in the wake of a sort of Tough Year (my stroke, the untimely death of an immediate family member, other troubles, then my father’s heart attack). It was time to go away.
I thought about blogging about Bookfox’s list of Top 12 online literary journals, and recalling Perpetual Folly’s 2008 Pushcart Prize rankings. But no. It wasn’t enough to break the quiet.
What would bring me out into the blogging spotlight again?
Something very stupid. But something very toxic, that I think would be better aired than kept festering in my brain.
I signed up for another workshop again. I have heard SO many good things about this particular Famous Writer and his work as a mentor. And so I applied! It turns out that the workshop had filled up. So no dice. But in the last couple of weeks, a spot opened up, and it was given to me!
The manuscripts were sent out via email this week. But first, like any seasoned workshop participant…I scanned the email list. Did anyone look familiar? What did I know of them?
Remember the gal who said she wished she could blame her short term memory problems on a stroke? She is in the workshop. I am no longer as sensitive as i was then (I credit time and actual healing of the brain to this), but…still not looking forward to revisiting her.
And the guy who gave me FOUR SENTENCE feedback in my MFA workshop? He’s in the workshop too.
A friend and I have already decided that if he pulls that 4-sentence-feedback stuff, we’re going to confront him this time.
Okay. Feeling better. See how stupid and toxic these little “papercuts of life” can be?
I need to learn to let things go a lot faster.
Even so, I’m having my swells of emotions these days. Perhaps I’m coming to a turning point in my life. All I know is that I must turn a concerted effort towards focus. Because I am not working on my dreams, and it makes me cry, cry, cry when I acknowledge that fact. When I know I’m capable, but not focused enough to complete this novel.
So there’s a second mission here. Focus. And that might mean a lot less blogging and communicating with the world.