Another A to Z challenge comes to an end--- another collection of posts and poetry have been written, another deep breath of relief is released. For my fellow bloggers that survived as well, it's another 'challenge-completed' notch carved into the writing desk.
I've come to enjoy my yearly foray into the world of all things alphabetical. This was my third year, though it was only the second year I had a workable theme (which made the challenge substantially easier than the first year I attempted this challenge.) And, though my first year was difficult because my focus was so scattered, I found this year was more difficult because I lost the enthusiasm that came with the first year excitement----excitement which helped me plug along until the end of the challenge.
Year 3 was a success in the sense that I completed the challenge, though, this was the year that almost wasn't----
Somewhere about a third of the way through the challenge, I seriously considered giving up.... there weren't enough hours to get everything done, the way I wanted to get them done. My poems were getting harder and harder to compose (I mean, there's only so many supernatural poems you can write before they all start sounding alike). I haven't been able to visit near as many fellow A-Z challengers' blogs as I had wanted. Though, I'm hoping to amend this in the days/weeks to come.
Time and time again, I would find myself saying, what's the point? or, I don't care enough about this subject to write anything about it, it just happened to start with the requisite "letter of the day."
Life and work and family and more life, kept getting in the way. I could feel myself teetering between the edges of apathy and despair. I HATE not finishing a writing challenge----- even if I had all 26 posts left to do on April 30th, I'd still give it a go....
But, then I'd push through a couple of posts...find a couple of cool pics and suddenly the poems weren't just 'cereal-box-ingredient-lists'.... And, then I'd remember....
There's a reason we do what we do, we writers. And, it's when things feel past the point of restoration and repair, that our basest and truest form emerges. We aren't caught up in the grandeur of ourselves, wrapped tightly in our own self-assurance, exuding the confidence of the never-failed.... Instead, we're exposed and raw and vulnerable-- we are naked to the world, and more importantly, we are naked to ourselves.
Being naked (especially when you didn't intend to leave the house without your pants) is more than a little scary. We can't hide in the comfort of the background when there's a neon sign hanging over our heads that tells the world and their brother to look at us because we're starkers.
And, when we turn the mirror to ourselves, we are, at once, all too aware of every flaw and imperfection... every blemish screams, every scar burns. But, instead of looking into the mirror long enough to grow accustomed to---and perhaps to even love--- what we see, we build view-blocking walls around ourselves that have no window and no door.
It's here we stay until the claustrophobia (read: innumerable ideas clogging the space around us) becomes too much and we begin the frantic scramble to tear down the stone and mortar.
It's when we push ourselves past the wall, fighting every crumbling brick to make it to the other side, that we are reminded, we can do this. And, it's the relief/respite we feel from the first piece we've written outside the wall, that we are reminded, we want to do this. It's the joy/exhilaration we feel once the words are flowing again, that we are reminded, we MUST do this!