Today, The Storialist is a kindergartener!
Six years of posting every weekday on this site. Sometimes it feels easy, sometimes it feels like a chore, sometimes it feels rejuvenating, sometimes it feels frustrating, and sometimes it feels comforting.
I’m always wondering--what is it I’m doing here? It’s my practice, my way of not squirming out of doing what I value. It allows me to both make space for and more fully incorporate writing in my daily life (even when it feels impossible).
More and more, what I do in writing feels like this scene. (I know it might seem absurd; hear me out!).
Paul Rudd cracks me up in this scene (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall). He’s teaching Jason Segel’s character to surf (well, supposedly). His lesson is such a non-lesson: “Don’t do anything, don’t TRY to surf. Don’t do it. The less you do, the more you do.”
It’s ridiculous and horrible advice masquerading as a sort of faux mystical, Yoda-esque method (and it is hilarious). But it’s somehow also pretty accurate in terms of describing what I try to learn in writing.
It’s not that I want to “do less” or not put forth effort. For me, it's a real balance between doing too much (intervening too much in the poem)/not enough (not carrying the idea/words far enough). I’ve learned that I need to beware of overcooking a poem....so much of writing is learning how to let it go where it wants to go, not censoring it or holding it back prematurely. This is really difficult. It involves trust, and also a certain detachment from how I want the poem to turn out (this is the "doing less" part, maybe). I don’t think this is true for all writers or artists, but for me, it all starts with deciding: today I’m going to write, and maybe it will fail, or maybe part of it will be okay. But all of this is of value.
As Paul Rudd’s surfing lesson ends, he says, enthusiastically, “YEAH! That wasn’t quite it, but we’re going to figure it out out there--c’mon, let’s go surfing.” We’ll figure it out out there, maybe, and if we don’t, we’re still figuring it out.
Undoubtedly, this year will bring new things in terms of writing--hopefully, more reviews, interviews, essays, collaborations, and experiments!
Thank you so much for reading, sharing, inspiring. I so value and appreciate everyone I've connected with through writing and blogging.
Let’s go surfing!