Monday, May 11, 2009
Give and Take
I want to start this post by saying thank you to each of you for reading this blog. It's wonderful to have comments and emails about my quirky posts, rants, and scribblings (yeah, I know they're typed but I prefer to think of them as scribblings. Besides they often start as scribblings on sticky notes, napkins, or torn envelopes before ending up on the screen).
The more I write the more I discover what a collaborative process it is. Without your presence and encouragement staying the course (living a life with what feels like two full-time jobs) would be difficult.
Life is better when we listen to others (those who are sincere and wise, that is. Ignore inane, snarky babbling and general pettiness at all times.) Snippets of thought, compliments, questions, and invitations from friends and strangers bring us closer to our selves.
My friend and poet-extraordinaire, Kristin (her book comes out this fall!), invited me to try something new this morning: Bikram Yoga.
For those of you not familiar with the yoga world, Bikram Yoga is hot yoga. Really hot. The studio is heated to 105 degrees. I normally practice Vinyasa (flow) or Ashantaga (power) yoga, and I think I'm a decent practitioner.
Let me tell you, Bikram is hard.
I'm a red-haired, fair-skinned lass who takes heat about as well as a snowman. According to Eric Cartman I'm what's known as a "Daywalker."
But trying new things generally creates good outcomes, so I pushed aside my anti-heat prejudice and joined Kristin at the studio at 9:30 this morning for a 1 1/2 hour session.
About fifteen minutes in I was certain I was going to pass out. Or at least vomit. Beyond hot, my skin was slick with sweat. I became convinced my body was actually evaporating. I had started wilting and was definitely no longer "following my breath."
The air sparkled before my eyes. My muscles quaked and shook. All my yoga hubris crumbled. I didn't think I would make it.
But the hour and a half passed and I didn't lose consciousness. I completed the class. And I felt wonderful.
I signed up for more sessions.
What does this have to with writing?
It's about risks.
The writer's endeavor is all about risk-taking. No success without the potential for failure (or at least the eternal delay of seeing one's work published and lauded - if that's your goal, there are many versions of success). Writing represents an intimate part of the self made bare for everyone to see. It's scary and thrilling, horrifying and gratifying. There is nothing in the world that means more to me and nothing I have more fear of than this craft.
But it's worth the risk.
So what are the risks I'm taking this summer?
Finishing the sequel to my novel, continuing the creation of two other WIPs, and mastering toe stand pose.