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my key to the Writers’ Grotto

Wow, it’s been a long time. I know I have popped in for one post every many months or so. But to be honest, I’ve been gone. I’ve been blogging elsewhere. But I feel the tide is shifting again. I am turning back to my writing life. I am terrified, thrilled, grateful, incredulous.

I’ve been wanting to Return for a very long time now. Not writing – or not writing enough or what I really want/need to – has made me very sad. But I felt like I had to attend to other business. I felt like I needed to really focus on my health.

Which is what I did. For four years. I recently passed my four year “healthaversary.” I think I can say with confidence now, that the changes I was striving for back in 2009, have stuck. My identity has changed. I can now see myself as someone who can do three half marathons in six months and not worry too much about it.

Now. Can I see myself as someone who can truly, actually, finish a book?

Gulp.

I want that. I want that more than anything. And if I want this as badly as I wanted to be a reliable runner, then I have to do what it takes to make that happen.

These are the things I have done.

  1. I have made a concerted effort to cut back on my (physical therapy) work. Much as I love it, much as it is satisfying and also as much as I love the nifty paychecks, I need to keep it in balance. So now I am only seeing patients three days a week. This is sometimes very very hard to stick to, but I am getting better at it. When I read Ang Lee’s beautiful piece called “The Never-Ending Dream,” and he talked about becoming an accountant – but then realizing that there are so many accountants who could do that work – but only HE could make his films – it made me weep. Recently our agency hired two new physical therapists. And they immediately jumped in and took on a bunch of work. Which was awesome. But it also made me realize – if I don’t do it – OTHER PEOPLE WILL. And it is just not at all true of any of my books. I can’t outsource them or ask anyone else to write them.
  2. I joined the community of writers at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. This has always been a dream of MINE, but until now, it just didn’t work in my life. Or seem to. Now I am thrilled to commute to San Francisco two days a week, to be in a space full of other writers. To bask in the quiet and knowing that others in these walls are also tapping away at their own never-ending dreams. BEING in this space inspires me. And moves me.
  3. I am taking a month long Sabbatical starting at the end of this month, to travel to rented and borrowed cabins, cottages, even a yurt, from New York to California. I am not going to work as a physical therapist during that time. At all. We’ll see how that works out.
  4. I will be reading new work at The Bloom reading series, next Thursday, 7pm, at Progressive Grounds on Bryant Street. So by a week from tomorrow I will be putting it out there!

I have missed writing so much. So very, very much. It feels good to be back. Ahhhh.

 

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