This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no room for fear, we speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. ~Toni Morrison
For some reason, I’m feeling incredibly motivated to write ALL THE THINGS. I’ve been working on a tiny project at work that I’m going to finish today, and this weekend I’m going to return to my book. I haven’t had the headspace to return to those words since I watched The Orange Halfwit snark about my governor. Feels like 100 years ago, but it was really just three weeks.
I’m not hopping on the braggy train that I’m so productive here, but I do see this writing of mine as a coping mechanism. I’m having a hard time focusing just like everyone else, and I’ve never felt so exhausted.
Last night during a volunteer meeting, I just didn’t have anything left in the tank. I’m pretty sure I sounded bitchier than I intended, and I know for sure, I looked terrible on the screen. I excused myself early because all I wanted to do was go to sleep, and you know, it was like 7:50pm. We got the things done that I needed to participate in, but I realize now more than ever, I’m at capacity. I need to shed a few things in my personal life to make the space for my work (as in my job that I’m so grateful for), my writing, and my little family. I don’t want to leave anyone hanging, but I’ve been walking–no slack-lining–with a very full glass trying to keep all the liquid from spilling over for quite some time. This feeling of being at capacity–I simply can’t do it anymore.
This phrase we hear so much right now. When I looked it up, this was the definition I needed:
Capacity: an individual’s mental or physical ability : APTITUDE, SKILL
When we combine this word with the preposition “at”–we’re given a location. A place. When you combine the two, you’re at a location of an individual’s mental or physical ability. At capacity. I’m at capacity. And I have been this way for quite some time.
So I’m going to dial it back. At least for the next three days or until I can control what is happening in my life. So much is unknown. Uncertain. Undecided.
At capacity is still a location yet to be seen.
Here are a few solutions that I’m going to work with today and this weekend. First, I’m going to take Queen Toni M’s advice in the epigraph above. Note that she says civilizations in the plural sense. There are many civilizations to heal right now, but I can only work on this little one right now, so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to write, I’m going to finish a baby blanket for a friend, and I’m going to write a little publishing plan for my book. I’m going support my Mister with his little project of creating the Perfect Pain Cave (our indoor cycling studio) and his guitar lessons.
I might change my mind, but this morning, while it’s quiet, here’s my plan.
I’m going to publish a chapter of my book each Saturday. I’ll invite folks to comment, I’ll block trolls, and I’ll give myself a little goal to share what I have so far. My little backpacker book is in the developmental edit phase as they say in the business of crafting words. Technically, I need somebody else to help me, but I also feel this need to publish it in some way. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Each Sunday-Friday, I’ll edit it. Saturday morning, I’ll polish and click publish by noon.
When This is all said and done, I’ll try to the book proposal route, but for now, this is the capacity that I have for this book. This is the capacity that I have for these words. I need to click publish and move on to my next book.
Wanna hear a sentence I wrote in 2009 that clangs like a one-ton bell for me, right now? Wanna hear the thing I’m ready to return to? What I feel like I have the capacity for after all these years. What I want to write about next?
Here’s The Thing: