Thursday, March 29, 2012

Busy, fearful, me.

This past February, April 1st sounded a long way off.  I decided to be part of the A – Z blogging challenge.  26 posts.  One for every letter of the alphabet, submitting a post every day except Sundays.  Figuring it might be helpful to have a theme, I chose to blog my way through my childhood.   After all, it gave me familiar material and surely I could scratch out 600 words or so a day on something I’d lived through, right?  And of course, I had the WHOLE MONTH OF MARCH to start on some drafts.  Easy as pie, right? 

In a word - wrong. Things started out all right.  I made a list of general topics from A – Z.  Even managed to get a few pieces started. Then I stumbled across the Rev. Clare Fergusson/Russell Van Alstyne series by Julia Spencer-Fleming.  Seven novels in nine days.  They were captivating and before I knew it a little over a week was gone.  A few novels on the side and another couple of days were gone.  Then we had the most incredible week of unseasonably warm weather here in Grand Island ~ how could one resist the pull of being outside after a long winter?  How to resist taking walks, clearing the yard of a season of fallen branches and discarded pine cones from neighbors trees?  Can you say PROCRASTINATION?

Did I mention there was my 29th wedding anniversary to celebrate, a few “chat” dates with my two best girls, a dinner date in Geneseo with my son and a few social obligations?  Add to that a full time job, a little work at a small second job and here I sit on March 29th with nary one full blog post written and a big lump of fear in my throat. 

Now really, I could just as easily not do it and who would be the wiser?  Well, Elaine Kehoe, (writer of Tea Leaves) for one.  Many years ago I met Elaine in an online writing course.  We’ve kept in touch over the years, met up once for an awesome dinner in New York City with our families and unbeknownst to each other, each started a blog this past New Year’s Day.  She mentioned the A-Z blog to me and at first, I rejected the idea, but after mulling it over and deciding to sign up, she was the first person I told.  Then there are the few people closest to me – husband Steve, son Abram, sister Darcey and friend Ellen.  That makes it five - a whole handful of people who support me and my writing who would see me make an about face on the commitment of doing this challenge.  That would be tough. 

An oh, did I mention I’d have to look in the mirror?  How could I justify not following through?  Shouldn’t I be able to carve out a little time each day to write 600 words about something so close to me?  Maybe that’s the rub.  Who’s going to want to read what I have to write about myself? What could possibly be interesting enough about me to make someone want to give three minutes of their day, for 26 days in fact, for the month of April to read about it?  And shouldn’t that be the point?  I should, as a writer, be able to make it interesting, or funny, or sad.  Anything, as long as it’s engaging.  And if I can’t make it engaging, then I should just be writing for the sake of the discipline of writing every day, and the improvement that comes with that discipline. 

Just two days away to April 1st and I’m scared as hell.  Scared to fail.  Scared of being my own April Fool’s Day joke. 

And just now as I wrap up this post, Steve says to me across the living room.  “You are wicked awesome.”  “Oh really,” I reply.  “Why’s that?”  Because you blog,” he says.  If he believes it, I suppose I can too.  And all of a sudden, I’m not so afraid.


  1. Way to go, Amy!! By the way, I haven't started writing any of my posts yet, either, though I also have a list of topics--but even that isn't complete. Funny how the time slips away when you think you have so much of it! But we'll do it! We'll encourage each other. After all, we both got through NaNoWriMo. (And you forgot to mention that we both had poems published in those Rosebud contests!) Hey, I'm up to my ears in work right now; I missed two days to attend my aunt's funeral in NJ and two days on our trip to Philly. But somehow I still think I can do this! We can do this!

  2. Thank Elaine - I was thinking about NaNoWriMo as well - somehow I found the time for that and it was 1660 words a day minimum and one plot! Sounds like you've had a busy month as well. Can't wait to read your daily post and you're right - we can do this!

  3. You'll do great! I did A-Z last year and have signed on again for this round. I don't write my posts in advance (well, I do them one day ahead, but I write my way through the month, day by day) and it worked out pretty well last year. Here's hoping my wing-it method carries me through this time, too.

  4. Thanks for the encouraging nod Beth - looking forward to your posts as well. They alwasy bring a smile and give me a little something to think about.

  5. Happy 29th anniversary-- sorry I'm late to get here and comment. All my A-Z Challenge posts will be "on the fly". LOL. I'm going to go find your A-Z posts now so I can comment.

    Cheers, Jenn

  6. thank you Jen and I love that you read the post (at any time.) I've enjoyed your website - just joined tonight. Wine and chats are the best! ;-)