I need to spend less time on this blog. It pains me to say that, but it’s true. It doesn’t mean abandoning it, it just means giving a little less of myself here, so that I have a little more of myself to give somewhere else.
I am so grateful for Extra Dry Martini. I’m grateful for what it began as, and I’m grateful for what it has become. I started blogging just a few short months before my entire life hit the skids. As events shifted and spun around me, what started as an experiment to indulge my love of the written word rapidly became a lifeline. It became a vehicle to help me process overwhelming grief and loss, and was often my only avenue to connect with the outside world when I felt desperately alone. I know that writing is no substitute for therapy, but this blog became therapeutic because it enabled me to articulate my thoughts and feelings, to write them down, to look at them, and to realize that they didn’t have to define me. This blog has helped me gain clarity about who I am and who I want to be in a deep and profound way. It’s simply impossible to imagine my journey over the last two years without it.
Publishing a weekly blog post is intensely satisfying. It makes me feel a sense of accomplishment because in a relatively short amount of time, I can find a beginning, middle and end, and when I’m done, I get to share my post with the world. Writing is a lonely process and I’ve been very lonely as of late. Publishing regular blog posts assuages that loneliness and makes me feel a sense of connection and purpose. It allows me to dialogue with friends and fellow bloggers and to receive their feedback and validation.
But feeding the instant gratification that I crave has also allowed me to forestall bigger dreams. If I can feel validated as a writer in this space, why should I bother to tackle a larger, lengthier, more challenging piece? If I can share little bits of my soul each week, why should I bother to write the whole thing out, to map out my entire past, present and hopeful future? I love writing this blog, but it’s time to admit it: I have been using it to procrastinate. I have been using it to resist the pull of my bigger, more all-encompassing story. I have been using it to avoid what really scares me: to tell the truth, all of it, in long form.
I’ve just returned from an intensive writing workshop on Orcas Island in northern Washington State. The workshop was actually less about writing and more about unlocking creativity and giving yourself permission to live the life you dream of. At least, that’s what it was about for me. Over the course of three and a half days, I listened to the stories of other writers from all walks of life and all different types of backgrounds. I focused inward. I asked myself some big questions. And what I came away with was this: I need to make a change.
This blog is intensely personal to me. It has formed the core of my heart over the last couple of years and has, at many times, served as my best friend over a difficult and tumultuous 2014. I don’t have any plans to abandon it. But the reality is, my life is full. I have too many things I want to do – admittedly, a good problem to have – and not enough time to do them all. And if I want to tackle some of the bigger writing projects that have been tugging at my heartstrings – projects like finishing my semi-autobiographical screenplay and writing my memoir – I have to make time and space in my life for them. Starting now.
I’m not exactly sure what that’s going to look like. Maybe it means enforcing a time limit on garbage activities like surfing Facebook or watching TV. Maybe it means that my posts here become a little shorter and a little less polished. Or maybe it means that not much of anything will change for the people who have been faithfully reading this blog, but the change will simply be an internal shift that only I’ll notice. I’m not sure yet. What I do know is that that the change needs to happen, and l’m approaching it in the same way I approach every topic I write about on Extra Dry Martini: with as much openness and honesty as possible.
Thank you for supporting me on my journey. You have no idea what it has meant to me. You have no idea what it will continue to mean as I move forward and throw my arms around the big, scary, what’s next question. So thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for helping me along the way.
And here I go.
Until next time, friends.