September 3rd, 7:58PM

All day I’ve been both anticipating and dreading this moment. Last night the words flowed so easily, it was as though my thoughts had a direct connection to my fingertips. Oh wait, maybe they actually do. Maybe that’s how the mind and body work together. What do I know. Maybe I should research that. No, that seems like a distraction. I won’t research that.

What am I doing here? Oh yeah, I’m getting into shape for National Novel Writing Month. But so far I’ve not written a single sentence that could be considered novel-worthy. What does a sentence require to make it novel-worthy? I don’t know. Maybe I should research that. That seems less of a distraction than researching brain and body function, right? But maybe still off topic.

Maybe I should pause for another sip of tea. Ahhh.

I’ve already used the word “maybe” five times. What does this mean? It implies doubt and questioning. Should I be doing this? Should I have told people I’m doing this? When I really stop and consider that question I hear a clear and emphatic, “yes!” Instead of asking myself why I’m doing this, I feel more strongly, why not?

I’ve been reading and hearing advice from others about endeavors like this (ones you start that you don’t know if you’ll carry through with). Some compare it to the decision to diet. Do you tell others or not? The “don’t tell” camp is aware that you could save yourself embarrassment if your efforts are fruitless. The “tell” camp recognizes the value of a cheering squad; having people regularly ask you how it’s going and tell you you can do it.

Oddly, when I chose to focus on becoming healthier and losing weight about three years ago, I elected not to be public about it. Oh sure, my family and close friends knew. I started working out which had previously been unheard of for me. But I loved when I began to really lose weight how people noticed. The compliments were an encouragement. But I didn’t share my plans or progress on social media. Yet this time, regarding trying my hand at writing, my first inclination was to share it with people on Facebook. And last night as I wrote and the words so freely flowed, I knew I wanted to start a blog to share them. I was giddy with excitement choosing a simple blog theme, getting the site details up, and adding that first post to Facebook and Twitter. Straightaway there were “likes” and several kind and encouraging words. And one friend later commented, “ I decided this morning after reading your blog, that I’m going to go for round three on NaNoWriMo this year. See you there!” How exciting is that? Darned exciting to me.

So even if I fail at writing a draft of a novel during National Novel Writing Month, I’ll have succeeded in doing something I’ve never done before…attempting to write a draft of a novel. And that really does excite me.

I feel the need to stop and thank those of you who’ve followed this blog. There are two of you so far. Thank you both. One of these is my husband and his support is worth a great deal to me. But it is the other follower that’s special for a different reason. We only recently connected on Facebook, but more than 30 years ago we were friends in high school. In the intervening years I don’t know that we exchanged a single letter or phone call. We did what many do; we graduated and moved on. When I found her on Facebook, I saw she was married with two children and living in China. In China! And she’s got a beautiful way about her that took me right back to high school. While we weren’t what today’s youth would call “BFFs”, we enjoyed each other’s company. And it’s interesting to me to think back on the fact that at that age, our personalities where just forming. We were becoming the people we are today. Fast forward 30 years, and we’re still forming ourselves. I started this new adventure in writing, and she just took up photography and is doing something of a photo journal of her time living in China. She takes these wonderful pictures of life there; street vendors cooking, women dancing in the streets, people going about their shopping, etc. They are colorful and interesting and give a glimpse into a world I might not otherwise see. It’s a real gift finding this friend again, and we might not have connected in this way had we not put ourselves out there.

I’ve got a few minutes left and there’s still some tea in my cup.

So here’s a question – what about you? Are you in the tell or don’t tell camp? Why? Do you ever doubt what you’re doing? At my age (nearly 50) that seems such a waste. Oh sure, if I were thinking of giving up my day job for something like this I might be more thoughtful about whether this is a good idea or not. Maybe that’s a luxury I have. I don’t have to write (but I really, really want to). No one will think less of me if I don’t do it. Well, I suppose there are people out there who would, but I’m not the sort to care about that. I don’t know that I could have done this when I was going on 40 or going on 30.

So tonight the words didn’t come with the same ease. My thoughts weren’t as organized. But I’m still here. And your’e still here (well you are, or you wouldn’t be reading this). So let’s keep going, shall we?

My time is nearly up and my tea cup empty. Until tomorrow…

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2 thoughts on “September 3rd, 7:58PM

  1. I am definitely the don’t tell type… not really sure why. Maybe it’s the fear of failure or the joy of accomplishing something on your own. I think there is definite motivation and accountability in sharing your goals though. Good luck, Sue! You can do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So I have goosebumps and tears…. things happen for a reason dear friend. I guess we were meant to find each other again in this way. And I am so happy that we did. I’ve loved catching a glimpse of your life – a beautiful life at that! with what seems like a wonderful husband and amazing daughter. I love seeing an idea of who you are today and I believe we would totally be hanging out again if we were in the same city. I hope that we do get to do that some day… but for now we’ll hang out on FB and your blog 🙂

    And I have to tell you that I read your post from last night with my 15 year old daughter who also loves to write… you inspired her to sign up for this novel thing in November too! So at 49 you inspired not only a friend to go for their 3rd time but a 15 year old!!! And I could tell you more about the last few years with her (it’s not been easy) but I’ll save that for our actual cup of coffee/tea someday 🙂 Needless to say though, I was thrilled to see her want to jump into something she is passionate about with both feet…

    And HEY I liked your post today just as much as yesterday. Isn’t this supposed to be more stream of consciousness right now? I love the way you write and I like that it’s like I’m having a conversation with you… so keep going however it looks at the moment you sit down with that cup of tea for 1 hour.

    Oh, and your question – ok, I’m definitely the DO TELL… as I’ve gotten older I have found a lot of value and freedom in being open about whats going on in my life (the good, bad and ugly :)…. Now this doesn’t mean I put everything on FB :)!
    But when I think social media can help me I will – and did (my photo a day until I leave china goal 🙂
    I also think that when we put ourselves out there like that it helps others – by inspiring them, encouraging them, and maybe even going as far as having some feel like “ah, I’m not alone!” So I encourage you to be vulnerable – even if you falter – when we share our humanness with each other it provides a space for others to do the same. I truly do believe this.

    xoxo – looking forward to my daily dose of tea with you 🙂

    Like

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