January 13, 2011

Life without Facebook

I have several thousand New Year's resolutions, but the grandaddy of all my resolutions is that I'll spend more time writing poetry and fiction instead of status updates, sending submissions instead of friend requests. I have a new policy whereas I allow myself to visit the site only on Fridays.

I've been at it three weeks now-- I like to get a jumpstart on resolutions-- and the result is . . . well, the result is nebulous, but my dreams may be suggestive of what's happening in my head.

First, I dream once again of moving back to California. In the last dream, R and I were viewing a victorian with hardwood floors, tall, sunny windows, and a sweet little office for writing. It was, of course, across the street from a coffee shop and book store. I woke bereft.

I also dreamed I was graduating from Chico State all over again, and my last project was to create a painting for one of my professors. I painted an autumn ginkgo for Gary Thompson, from whom I learned to appreciate the ginkgo and the egret. I woke and spent the morning reminiscing about Gary's classes and long post-class afternoons drinking wheat beer with lemon and discussing poetry at the pub with my classmates.

Oprah's lifecoach, Martha Beck, says the goals we set for ourselves are not always what's best for us. We should re-consider our goals, think about how we believe our goals will make us feel, and then decide if there's anything else that will bring that same emotion.

My forever goal is to publish my poetry manuscript, and I can't imagine any reason why that goal is not appropriate for me. Lately, though, every rejection letter or "you-missed-it-by-that-much" letter brings me to a new low in a way it never did before.

After applying Beck's formula for happiness, I realized that, while rejection is never a blast, what I'm really grieving is the loss of the writing scene. I miss those lengthy craft conversations, and I've been trying to bring the scene to me by publishing instead of going to where I might find it.

And it all came to me when I cut back on my Facebook time because Facebook is a bit of a band-aid: it fulfills the need to connect with others, but the connection is mostly superficial, and without Facebook every day, I realized just how incredibly isolated I am from everyone, but especially from other writers. Facebook can't heal that wound.

I've made a plan to attend some local poetry readings-- well, they're not local at all, but I'm going to get myself there come hell . . . Uh, I can't really complete that line since yesterday my attempt to poetize myself was foiled by a blizzard, but I am going to try really, really hard.

And in the meantime I have a conference call this weekend with three lovely poetic type people scattered across the country. In fact, I need to write a poem to share with them, so I'd better get to it.


Anonymous said...

Just keep at it. Don't be swayed from your goal. If Oprah's life coach has a problem with that, send her to my house. You are a Writer and a Poet. You will publish your manuscript because the parts that I've read are unique and powerful and alive and you. And the rest of the world needs to hear that voice. So don't you ever think that's not going to happen. Have faith and keep striving. Take it a day at a time if you must, but don't stop the daily dream. Miss you Buttercup. Go write somethin'. All my love, fmf

lahn said...

As always, I am in awe. I believe you will publish and I will be in line for an autographed copy. You are always, always inspiring.