I’ve been blogging for Patch.com for two weeks now.
What a roller coaster ride. The good kind. The scary kind. The kind you “wonder if I really wanted to take this ride?” The kind that makes you feel great you did after all.
My novel’s been sitting in my bag, waiting for me to come back to her (I’m a sailor, so of course she’s a she). I like to think this time apart from her is just allowing her to breath, like a fine wine. Sometimes, though, I think of her like a neglected child.
I’ve still got my critique group, thank God. Every two weeks, we present 5-7 pages of our work. That deadline kicks my ass sometimes, dragging me to the computer to create or revise the next submission on time. If it wasn’t for that gun to my head, I might not push myself as hard. My critique group partners know the feeling, and I’ve come to love them like family. There’s a special bond made with people you share your writing with, and ironically, words fail to describe how deep my fondness is for them.
These past two weeks have found me immersed in a sudden new “career” of blogging about life around town for Patch.com. So far, I haven’t struggled to find interesting tidbits to write about, nor do I think I will. The challenge doesn’t even come in finding the time. These past two weeks, I’ve found myself living, blogging, parenting, cleaning, carpooling, wiping tears (some of which were my own), checking in with my husband, worrying about friends and family, grocery shopping, petting the dog, attending other meetings.
The biggest challenge has been seeing my typos and grammatical errors show up in many of my blog posts. They drive me insane. I’m a recovering perfectionist, and I physically shudder when I see my errors. I remind myself that, like a newscaster, you can either soldier on and keep going, or stop dead in your tracks and make a bigger deal of it. I’m trying to soldier on, to check my work more carefully. I’m often writing, spell-checking and submitting my blogs on the fly while living and doing 1,000 other things. I try to review what I send before it goes out, but inevitably, it shows up with something (or things) that I missed.
Well, I tell myself, I’m learning. I’m trying. I’m not going to beat myself up. It’s been two weeks. I can improve and it’s not the end of the world.
The end of the world came for the young man who died on a playground near my house this week. Who, apparently, used a pipe bomb to blow his head off, splattering his remains all over trees and swings and teeter-totters and wood-chips. Closing school for two days so police and the FBI and social workers and groundskeepers could try to put things back together again. They’ll never go back to normal, but we can all try our best…that’s all anyone can do.
And so, I can live with my spelling errors. I can live with a lot of things. I can live. I can.