never mind. look away. eyes on your own paper.

from me:

this sober girl got up at 6:15 and wrote some on the new sober fiction writing project. it’s day 6 of 100 days in a row. remember when i said it was 100 days until christmas? yeah, that.

there are so many ways that writing is like being sober.

you show up and you don’t know what to expect. you’ve heard other people’s stories but you don’t know if they will apply to you. you are sure you’re a special snowflake and that “what works for others won’t work for you.” You get advice from people who don’t get it. You get cheerleading in unusual places.

In my case, i writing to be so close to early sobriety that some days, it’s all i can do to just keep going. i’m on day 6. don’t want to break the streak. don’t want to have to start over.

if you’re like me, you do better with accountability and support. and when i say “if you’re like me” and you think you aren’t, you probably are. You do better with support. You do better when someone you respect, who loves you, who has your best interests at heart says something encouraging. Imagine the storybook version of a grandmother. that kind of support. (if you have a grandmother like mine, whenever i’d complain about a perceived slight or a sister squabble, she’d say “Never Mind,” as if to say: look away. eyes on your own paper. keep your eyes on the road. don’t let your sober car run out of gas.)

and like writing, it’s not enough to feel like you have the ABILITY to do it, you also need the right combination of motivation and spark and timing and momentum. And when you get momentum? well i’m not dumb, i know that momentum is hard to get, and even 6 days is hard to get, so i’m keeping going.

i also set up some external accountability by posting the book, in order, a bit at a time, as it’s written. It’s officially called ‘serializing’ your book, when you print it bit by bit. And if the experiment of posting day by day continues to work well, i’ll share it here too. for now i’m being a bit careful of who/how i share (sounds like sobriety?).

mood-wise i’m doing ok this week. I mean, i’m as sloth-y as ever. I’d LIKE to: clean the house, run a 10K, get my eyebrows done, empty the freezer, read a book about Hope, make 4 new recipes, and go to IKEA.

instead of that list of things i’d LIKE to do, instead i’m doing this: emailing sober penpals, hosting a class about worth (which is turning out to be super fascinating, as we discuss in more depth how the “THING is not in the THING”), writing every day, and going to physio twice a week for a sore shoulder (just tendonitis, nothing exciting). that’s it. i’m not cooking meals, i’m not running much (more walking), i’m not making new recipes. in fact, if you must know, i had canned beans for lunch today (3:02 pm) for the first time in 8 years and they were delish. that’s it.

and like when we make any large changes (writing fiction – which really is just like being sober – it’s creating a new something where there was nothing before), i’m being kind to myself to remember that 6 days is a big deal. that writing daily and doing the rest of my life is enough for now. and any ideas of nice eyebrows will have to wait. the freezer will wait. the new recipes can wait. IKEA will still be there on the weekend.

striving for underwhelm so that the magnitude of what i’m doing doesn’t make my head fly off.

 

Belle

I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

20 thoughts to “never mind. look away. eyes on your own paper.”

  1. I relate with everything you wrote especially the affirmations and support from grandparents. My grandmother always said “The best is yet to come” Two “for what it’s worth” points: 1. Love the book cover 2. I would have had to attend to the eyebrows before I started anything else. Happy writing.

  2. Oh gosh, I haven’t thought about my grandparents’ ‘-isms’ in quite a while. My Grandpa always told me to, ‘be a good girl and stay out of trouble’ whenever we parted ways. I took his words to heart until I turned 16 and got myself a car! Keep up the streak with your writing. Six days of doing something big and new is a very large deal, I have been enjoying your character snapshots very much. 🙂

  3. Love the cover of your book, can’t wait to see the final decision. Maybe we could all vote on a favorite cover!? I’m so happy you have committed to 100 days of writing, I’ve been enjoying your story already. I’m on day 19 and going to see Bruno Mars tonight with my 36 year old daughter. My first concert, ever, that I will be completely sober. Ugh! already wondering if it will be as much fun, if my dance moves will come as easy (i suck at dancing anyway, let alone sober). Wolfie is telling me, one beer would be ok. He is a fucking bastard. I keep thinking, a sober concert is better than day 1. Oh, I’m looking forward to your next treat, as I really wanted the chocolate bar…..but I’m trying to cut back on those high calorie foods, if you know what I mean. lol

  4. I’ve just been realizing myself how a lot of what I’m learning to help me stay sober can be applied to other areas of my life. I’m amazed at how much I’ve changed/grown since giving up my wine. Though it’s not just the removal of booze, it’s all the things I’m learning from you (audios, posts) that have helped me make these changes.I love seeing you applying them in other areas of your life as well.

  5. That’s a great way to approach your book belle, just like you did sobriety. Avoid overwhelm but don’t forget your treats. What will be a significant number of days writing for you to celebrate and get your eyebrows done??

  6. Eighteen months ago I invested in a low budget film rig. Needless to say, it has spent the majority of that time sat in the corner of my flat, judging me through it’s guilt inducing cloak of ever thickening dust.

    Over the last 30 days I’ve written 4 short interlinking films which make up a 60 minute feature. I have a cast and crew in place. Today is the last day of pre-production. We start shooting tomorrow.

    Today is also my Day 30.

    NOTE:This in no way feels like a previous day 30. This feels very different. More secure and at the same time less complacent. That is down to the sober tools I have in place.

    And although film projects can be wildly stressful, I have been very careful not to overwhelm. This is something love. So it doesn’t feel like work. Im basically ‘playing’. AGAIN!

    (Proudly raises cup and saucer) Here’s to the next 30…☕️
    Cheers.

    Sobe the Lion.
    🙏💫

  7. “striving to be underwhelmed” what a nice thought – really takes the pressure off and let’s one just go about the business of getting something done without hard parameters and goals – so freeing.
    It is ok to just be underwhelming today!!!! It’s not ok to give up.

  8. I am really liking the serialisation and it’s a nice role reversal to be serving as a source of accountability / cheerleading to you instead of the other way round 💜 And way to go on day 6 xxx

  9. First comment, day 12. Love these blogs. This weekend will be a real test. Love that picture, hate doughnuts though. ha. #nolongeranoberver

  10. Not wanting your head to fly off seems to be such n important choice to make continually… avoiding overwhelm. Good job continuing to show up!

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