I started this blog approximately a week ago. To wrap up my week of writing about fitness activities, I was planning on an entry about swimming. It’s my day for a swim lesson at the Y. The immediacy of the experience makes it easier to write about, but there is a drawback to being scheduled after the kid lessons. If someone has an “accident”, the pool gets cleared for two hours and my lesson gets cancelled. This, of course, happens after I’ve wrestled myself into a swimsuit, showered and stood shivering poolside waiting for my lesson to begin. So to the kid who made boom boom in the pool today, you owe me a lesson or a noodle or maybe both.
When it comes to writing, I’m inexperienced and with blogging, a tad naive. After visiting other blogs, I really began to feel that I’m in too deep, in over my head, swimming upstream…..drowning in cliches. I have a friend, an experienced writer, who immediately replied that all my feelings about writing were typical beginner thoughts. Well, they’re my thoughts and I’m a beginner at this, so let’s avoid stating the obvious. And what does she mean, saying that beginning writers are always so oversensitive?
The lovely thing about writing a blog is that there are so many blogs, any bilge you might put out gets washed away pretty quickly. Especially when you haven’t developed a readership. One of my technophobe friends said nervously, “Won’t it be out there forever?” Uh. If I’m lucky. There’s a life preserver I cling to frequently called The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes. It’s a bible of writing neuroses and how to work beyond your fears and just dive in. I’ve had it on my desk all week and flip it open randomly to learn what some famous, crazy writer has done to make themselves write. It’s very reassuring.
Learning how to swim is a pretty decent metaphor for this whole writing process. I kind of know how to swim and I can keep myself afloat, but I’m not going to be a triathlete any time soon. I’m taking classes to learn the different strokes, get comfortable in a suit, build up stamina so that being a triathlete just might be an option someday. That sums up any activity I’ve embarked upon in the last few years – I want options. I want to make sure that as I age, as I watch my child grow into an adult, as I ponder retirement from paid work, I have choices and have learned more about potential than limitations. If I fall off a boat, I want more than my doggy paddle skills to rely on.