Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Just Lazy (or Crazy, pick one)!

I have the beginnings of two amazing birth stories just sitting in my draft section. They've been there for weeks. I haven't been inspired to finish them. I loved being at those births. I love thinking about them. I love talking about them. Why won't I finish writing them out?

The perfect example of my Laziness/Craziness is that today I finished an essay that was the final piece of my requirement to be a certified doula through DONA. I've been a doula for almost 3 years, finished all the other requirements for certification over 2 years ago, attended many births, become a childbirth educator (my certification with that is still pending because I've done all of the work except for the writing), and attended several continuing education classes and workshops. The only thing that has kept me from being certified all this time is the fact that I refused to write that last stinkin' essay. Not only did I miss the two year deadline they give you, I got an extension and missed that deadline too. Why you ask? I have no idea. I just couldn't make myself write.

Finally, I allowed myself to be backed into a corner by a dear friend. She finished her certification packet and offered to help me get mine ready to send in. I would never have done it without her pushing. She literally sat next to me as I typed the last paragraph. In less than one day I wrote something that I've been putting off for over two years. Part of me feels great for finally finishing but a huge part of me feels a sense of resentment that I can't put my finger on well enough to describe.

Most of the time I tell my self (and others) that being certified has nothing to do with my abilities as a doula, and I really do believe that. The rest of the time I'm not as confident. The biggest why I had such a mental block when it came to writing that paper is because I have this weird issue with self esteem. I guess if I never turn in my packet I don't have to worry about having my writing judged. And before you say it, blogs don't count. My writing on my blog isn't being used to determine whether or not I get to put extra letters behind my name.

I so desperately want to be a good writer. I read the writings of others like MB, Leigh, and Jane, and think of all the reasons why I will never be as good as they are. I envy people who seem to write so effortlessly, whose words feel like melodies as they talk about the simplest things. These women, along with many other writers, tell stories that touch my soul. I want my words to be like that. I want them to dance, to flow effortlessly across the page (or screen), to move other people. I want people to be able to feel my passion when they read my words.

Maybe there are classes I can take, something that can bring out, or put in my creativity. Maybe I need to just write and stop being so critical of myself.
I don't know, any suggestions?


marybeth said...

First of all, thank you for you generous compliment. Secondly, I want you to know that every time I write something that I end up sharing I feel petrified. I feel unworthy. I my confidence wavers and I assure myself I am the shittiest writer in the world, destined to piss everyone off or be laughed at.

And lastly, your words flow effortlessly from your soul. When I read you words I can hear them roll from your tongue; casual, real, easy. Effortlessly. Know that. Know that in your inner most heart...and even when you think you know it, you'll still doubt your abilities...I think we all do.

All I would suggest to you is to keep writing. Sister. No class can take you deep into your writers soul. Just write. And live life, spend time with people who inspire you. Look at people closely. Live in the moment. Be free. The most wonderful think about being a writer is that it gives my life such meaning; everything I do is compost for my garden of words.

I love you. I blessed to have you in my life.


Doulala said...

MB, you are amazing! I can't believe that you ever doubt yourself.
Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I will keep pushing myself. I will also try really hard to stop being so self conscious.
Love you too, Sister Friend!

Anonymous said...

You are a very giving person. It's just who you are... So,when you write, think of it as gifting. Your thoughts are gifts that you can not, (no must not) keep only for yourself ;-D You must write them down! Publish them for others to see. Share the blessing. Yes, your writings are precious gifts and I for one am so thankful that you have shared with me.

Karen said...

I think self doubt is just part of every thing we want to do and be good at. I have always loved writing, but it's a scary feeling to put it out there. Writing is a combination of putting our insides out for everyone to see and wanting to make sense (& not like a complete idiot). Both very frightening.

You have many things going for you: we want to hear what *you* have to say, you have interesting experiences, you are cool.

MB is right, though. Just doing it is the only way to get even better. I'm taking a workshop in a few weeks to write about my mother. You could take the class and then go for drinks after (I'm gonna need 'em).

Oh, and for what it's worth...I vote for "Crazy."

Connie said...

First of all let me say I am so proud of you for finishing your essay. Not that it matters in grand scheme of certification but because you moved past your block and did it. Good for you.

Secondly your words always come from the heart and it reads from the heart. I always feel your love, pain, anguish and smiles and that is what makes a good writer.

Write as you live life, with passion and from the soul.

Jeanette said...

You have to know that my writing is NEVER effortless. You've seen how bad I am at decision making, right? Well, imagine writing as a million different decisions for each and every many words to choose from, how to say this or explain that.

I write and proof and rewrite and agonize and eventually finally hit the submit button - and usually go back and edit even after that.

Never, ever effortless.

But - it's such an important release for me - taking so much time and care with my words (just like with my pictures) is an important part of the release, and a way to show just how important the act is to me. I wish I could recapture the will/desire/ability to write. I miss it.

Doulala said...

MMII - Thank you so much for your constant encouragement. You are so wonderful. I only hope that I can be half the mother you have been.

Karen - I'm not surprised by your vote, especially since my nickname for you is Crazy Karen. Since you've already started your workshop maybe I can do the next one with you. I'll still join you for happy hour whenever you'd like.

Connie - Thank you too for all the encouragement. You are the best Sister/Mother/Friend a girl could have.

Jeanette - When you put it that way , I'm surprised that either of us ever put anything down in writing! I had no idea that you and all my other "cool writer friends" have such a hard time too. call me selfish but, it makes me feel a lot better knowing that it isn't effortless for most of you.
I hope you get your will/desire/ability back soon. As much as I love your photography, I'm a reader. I miss reading your stuff.

Dark Daughta said...

Thanks for the link. Writing for me is like multiple births in a way. It seems like a biological function...something I'm driven to do so that I can have peace of mind. I'm glad you finished your essay with the support of your friend. It's not everyone who will sit next to their friend and work through an assignment with them. You're lucky.