I have to admit. I laughed at this one. Out loud.
And then I cried a little. On the inside.
And then I smiled when I realized life is kinda like that.
Anne Lamott talks about writing shitty first drafts in her book “Bird By Bird”. It’s one of the things that gives me the courage to keep writing. Not worrying that anyone will necessarily read that first bit of dribble, but rather just getting it down on paper. Worrying about the editing later. Much later.
I think about this idea of a shitty first draft a lot, actually, and now that I am solidly planted in the middle of my life, I kind of think the whole first part is pretty much a first draft. That is to say, once you finally get to be an adult, you realize you’re the one holding the pen, and you get to write your story however the hell you want.
Maybe you start out writing what other people tell you to write. Or you’re writing with someone else’s voice. Maybe you totally in good faith follow after something you feel sure you should want. And then one day you wake up and you realize it didn’t exactly turn out the way you wanted. But you know what? That’s ok.
Somewhere along the way, you come up out of the haze and hustle of life and look back down the road. You edit. You adjust your course. First drafts are supposed to be messy, because life is supposed to be messy. It’s all red pen marks and arrows and suggestions doodled into the margins.
For example, I got divorced recently. I’ve been getting divorced for some time now, but when I finally got the documents in the mail it was like taking a two-by-four to the face.
It took that piece of paper, that declaration of dissolution, to bring it home to me. You can think a lot of things in your head, you can even know it in your “knower”, but it doesn’t make it true until it happens, and you can put a time stamp on it. A mile-marker. A signpost. The papers were like that for me.
So I’ve been standing here looking at this signpost, looking behind me, seeing what’s nearby, and then finally looking ahead. I realized this blank canvas isn’t so much a painting as it is a road map.
And I have a plan.
2016 is going to be a banner year. I’m going to stop talking about writing and write. I’m also going to stop talking about traveling start doing it more often.
Here’s what my 2016 is going to look like:
Jan / Feb:
January 20th: Book club speaking engagement for Letters From The Ledge, Vancouver WA
End Jan / Begin Feb: Oregon coast personal writer’s retreat (4 days)
March: Two weeks in Madrid and touring Spain
April: Las Vegas with the girls 🙂
May: California Coast motorcycle trip (Solo – 6 days)
June: Olympic Peninsula motorcycle trip (4 days)
The Dream Roll (Women’s only Motorcycle and Camping trip Mt Adams, Wa)
Canadian motorcycle trip: Kelowna, Jasper, Banff, Calgary, Glacier National Park (10 days)
September: Writer’s retreat weekend
October: Babes Ride Out Joshua Tree, California and The Grand Canyon (extra)
I’m not giving up. In fact, I’m just getting started. And I’m going to be writing about all my adventures right here on the blog, so if you haven’t signed up for email updates yet please do! I won’t spam you – you’ll only get a notification when I post a new entry.
As you can see, a lot of these trips will be made on my Harley, so it should be full of humorous stories and adventure a plenty! I want to tell my story, but I also want to tell the stories of the people I meet on the road and around the world. Our stories and shared experiences are what connect us, so if you live in or near any of the places I’ll be traveling, hit me up and we’ll have coffee along the way (I’m a huge fan of coffee shops). Or if you are part of a book club and want me to come and talk about Letters From The Ledge or Finn Again (releasing Feb 2016) let me know that too and I will do my best to schedule it in!
Also revamping websites to somehow put all these split personalities under one roof so be patient and stay tuned!
Wish me luck!