The winter has been cold and wet, but not enough to make the ground frozen for long. There is mud and muck all about, any time I walk down the trail or head into the yard I come home with my boots covered in thick brown slime.
My house is a huge mess. We are adding on a small sunroom, or rather, enclosing the front porch with a few windows and doors, and the process has been lengthy and dirty. Mixing cement, cutting wood, fitting insulation, foaming cracks, hanging drywall, and using spackle all has turned the front of our house both inside and out, into a massive mess. Don't get me wrong, I am quite happy at the progress, and am looking forward to the finished product, but the meantime is less than desirable for a neat freak like me.
The health of my family has been a mess this winter too. Since the beginning of the year, viruses, bugs, mental health issues, old ghosts, and wild conflict have welcomed themselves into our home. Causing everything from pneumonia to moluscum to vertigo. It has been another long winter in that department.
In all the messes of recent life, I have had little time, inspiration, health, and inclination to get down to hard work with my writing. It being the thing I most want to do with my time and energy, having to put it at the bottom of the list has been rather frustrating. Now, finally coming back into a week of a little more time and a little better health, I have strangely found that my inspiration has dried up. I feel worn out and tired, and though I want to write, sitting down to do it feels very very hard. I have so many thoughts rattling around in my brain, that I cannot concentrate on the task at hand. I feel overwhelmed by ideas and thus too many topics and conflicts and themes are finding their way into the few essay’s I have written. Making those works their own confused mess. I feel that my writing progress, while still moving forward, is a bit of a mess along with everything else.
Last November I participated in Tara Lazar’s fun event, PiBoIdMo. That’s Picture Book Idea Month. With inspiration being half the battle, it was a great to be an idea generating machine for a month. Just knowing I had to sit for a moment each day and brainstorm some new, fun, or interesting idea was inspiring. It brought a lot to light.When I flip back through my notebook of PiBoIdMo and read what I came up with back in November, I am inspired again. Some of the ideas are lame-o and boring. Some are wild and wooly and deep and I can instantly feel myself being drawn into the idea wanting to run away with that idea and some blank paper and hide. Each and ever day I have thoughts, ideas, places, and characters coming to me and asking to be written about. I often write down a the snippet of information and add the idea to the growing list.
I see now that all the messes this winter has given me, have turned my writing brain into it's own mess. I am overloaded with ideas, and the ideas are quickly becoming more overwhelming than the short time and energy I have to execute them. So, I decided to try the something this March. Same as PiBo, but not for kid stories. This time for nature essays, memoir ideas, and motherhood stories. There might even be a work of fiction up there somewhere.
I think I will call it Memoir Essay Idea Month- MeEsIdMo. Or just call it a mess; a MeEs. Whatever it is, I think dedicating a few moments each day to putting all the ideas on to paper, sorting through the rattle in my brain, and sitting to focus for a short while will help get the MeEs that is my writing life, and maybe even the mess of this winter, ever so lightly cleaned up.