It’s been too many weeks since I last wrote a blog. I had hoped to get into a groove and post at least once a week. It’s not for want of ideas. Or photos.
It’s for want of perfection.
Today I told a friend how I keep looking at my photoshoot pics, trying to find the right words to tell the right story. We’ve been talking about how to establish a daily writing practice. Are there good apps for that? What does it really take to feel ready to write for public consumption?
He shared this Keeping (and Losing) the Faith about writing. I love this idea:
If there’s one key component in a writer’s toolbox, it’s faith. Faith is the invisible fuel that propels us forward in the face of critique and rejection.
I wrote back…
“I am sitting here looking back through my recent photoshoots and trying to find words. I don’t think it’s a confidence block as much as settling into my seat and putting fingers to the keyboard to see what comes up. I often do better if I just process the pics into stories right onto my blog the same day, off the top of my head.
My friend had a suggestion:
“Close your eyes, take some breaths and go back there. You were really excited about the pics you got.”
I left iCloud and traveled back a few days. Took a breath. Smelled the rain enhancing the stones on the beach, like varnish to bring out the grain of old oak. Heard the crash of the waves, such as they are. Felt the cold on my fingers, and how happy I was to have the beach to myself. Noticed how the tide was high when I got there, and how I got high by being there–the waves of creativity crashing into my heart. The inspiration and heart-rocks galore.
How would I write about that? Which photos would I put into a sequence and story? Why did it have to be so hard to decide?
“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”— Ernest Hemingway
Here is my one true sentence that’s been floating around in my head since Saturday:
Some days when I walk on this beach, I can’t help falling in love with every rock.
I bring so many home with me, full pockets, full hands. The first months in Seattle I tried having a rule that I’d leave whatever I found on the beach and only take photos. But I couldn’t help falling in love with the stones and the shells, and still can’t resist their companionship. Once a season or so I return a basketful back to their beach of belonging. These days I’m wondering how many I need on my windowsills, bookshelves, or shoebox, like characters waiting for a story that has yet to be formed.
It takes courage to know what to keep as memento and what to release, what to hold in your hand and soak in the vibes, then leave on the driftwood for the next person to find. It takes courage because that means it takes HEART. Coeur, French for heart, root word for courage.
What to do with a heart so full of awe for the indescribable, never-again findable treasures that show up on the sand? I’m taking a cue from the tide, faith in the sea that flows in and out three times a day, or at least twice depending on how tides tally over 24 hours.
Sometimes it’s better to just start writing and see what flows out. Or stacks up.
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” — Margaret Atwood