Ranting About Self Talk
See, I am overdue for a weekly Blog post and have been focused on projects other than the Blog (Zine, DeLoreal Beach Mysteries, upcoming art show and sale) and yesterday when I asked myself what was next for the Blog I answered “I don’t know.” Then, in the third piece of timed writing for the day I went off on a rant about my history of negative self-talk (first mentioned in a post titled “Nine Words and A Question Mark ” way back there in ‘Couch Surfing at 70’), and this morning I had the thought, well, just go ahead and copy and paste here and then ya got yourself another commitment accomplished. Which is what you’ll read below, if you read it.
A couple of things. One, Natalie Goldberg, in her most wonderful book about becoming a writer – ‘Writing Down the Bones’ – insists that the most important thing a writer, wannabe-writer. writing dreamer can do is what she calls “Practice Writing”, very simply to put pen to paper and write non-stop for some amount of time, no worry about spelling and punctuation or even, really, having it all together in some kind of coherent, logical example of story-telling. Just write. Write it right down to your bones. I’ve exercised my writing mind that way since 2009, at least, which I guess could include in a way my “Morning Pages” described and advocated for in yet another post on this site. And, Two – within the context of writing (typing) non-stop for 18 minutes knowing I was the only one would ever see it, there is a fair amount of cursing ahead. Thar be dragons. R rated.
One more thing – I am crazy for run-on sentences, the kind advocated by Jack Kerouac, and certainly okay with both Practice Writing and Morning Pages. When I’m timing myself and just writing to write, there isn’t a period (.) ever crossing my mind. Doors of perception occasionally swing open. But, I get it, it’s not for everyone.
Well, actually, one more thing – I have made a choice to keep politics out of my posts here at “Couch Surfing at 70”, and have been most happy with that decision. But there is a brief comment below of a political nature, since I was writing just for myself, and if anyone of my readers is disappointed to find it there, or offended, or monumentally pissed, I apologize.
Now, in the spirit of telling a story…………..
Once upon a time, yesterday, I typed…………
Second – of three. Actually, you could say the third as I wrote about 15 minutes’ worth of a continuation of DeLoreal right in that document, most of which felt like worthless and lazy shit while I was writing it but sometimes you go back and get amazed how words have fallen out one after another, in some degree of coolness and especially storytelling. So, I went into a tantrum upstairs just before a shower, after a shave, saying out loud I’d fallen into a place of discouragement and laziness and fucking not getting important things done, as this happens quite often, no stretch of the truth there, so I am blown away by periods of sustained powerful activity, so rare, my number one goal, to wake up one morning with a burning desire that is quenchable only by ongoing all in to whatever the project is, almost always writing. In a way, recently, I see a small slice of that – not the 15-hour non-stop sweat gushing off my body delirium of chasing the thing, but a holding on to that goal of creating a zine – The Zine – and sticking with it day in and out, through multiple solo brainstorms and review of said storms and re-reading my poetry books to find poems that would “fit” and also the short fiction of unpublished ‘Collected Strays’ and reading a library book, famous, about making zines and the zine attitude and zine life, more punk rock than my life though my life is way more punk rock than most my fellows and friends, he says gratefully, and meeting with Joyce and sending out Joyce questions and the visit to the zine library at IPRC and so, well before our art show, I created and have 30 actual copies of my actual zine – my actual zine !!!!! – and fucking Yay!! The point being I have some degree of keeping my eyes on the prize, though nowhere near enough to where I need to be – not want, need – and if I say it’s a primary goal to get to that place of constant all-in I say it without reservation because that place will make the paths and journeys to all my most important life goals, and with my partnership with Susan, so much easier to chase down, and long back in this non-stop was an “Aha” moment, see a couple of weeks ago I saw a neighbor post on FB about outrage over more insidious Trump Republican inhumane behavior and posturing and then a number of her people commenting things like “my blood is boiling” and after a couple of days I got the idea to go back to that post and write “And?” after the actual neighbor post and all the comments. Like, You’re outraged – And? Your blood is boiling. And? – Because that feels more important to me. Chain yourself to a government office door, burst in on a corporate Board mtg, commit theater, but the thing is right before my shower I was saying “useful” things to myself about being stuck and not getting anything important done and continuing the life-long malaise of attention to important things as in way not enough and – bingo – it dawned on me that I need the “And?” after my own self talk. I’m not getting shit done – And? I can’t crank up the level of attention and devotion necessary to get painting. And? Etc. See, in the mornings in standing prayer to the Great Spirit I ask for help with a few things and one of them, the last I don’t know four or five months, is to be filled throughout the day with positive affirmations and positive self-talk and positive visualizations because I know that works, I truly knows that works, and here I am filling my head with self-failure comments – Duh!! – and maybe “And?” isn’t self-talk per se, but it’s at least grabbing the piss poor me language by the coat and spinning it around back in the right direction, and so after my shower naked I had the thought that going forward from this very today I’ll just set one important goal, instead of six or seven, and get it done, and that will be enough and whatever else falls out in the form of far out productivity will be like gravy but better and this is a really good plan and I still do lots of errands and details around the house which I don’t count until sometimes I realize I did actually accomplish some stuff and did take care of bidness and it ain’t all bad, butthead, and in fact it is all good and now if only one day really soon I can lose all the negative chatter, get done that one big important thing, and yell out “Yowser!!”.