I am convinced that the meaning of life is knowing how and when to start over.
In my life I’ve had starts and restarts. As a journalist, you have to. It’s a couple of years in one stop and then several years in another stop and then you go again and again.
But this time, I decided to restart a bit differently. This time I decided to be daring and bold.
This time, I’m going to focus on the life not the work. Hold on. I think this needs some explanation of some sort.
A month ago, I was at VONA and it was DNA-changing. I was lit up from the inside not only from words and the other writers who were there. I was lit up by purpose and how art can be and is a form of activism. Storytelling, true storytelling, is an act of rebellion. It’s about telling the truth as it is and not being apologetic about it. It’s about doing a panel for the community about the Dominican Haitians. It’s about smuggling books back into Arizona. But it’s also about telling stories people want to read.
So, at the end of VONA, I set my intention. For the next month, I was NOT going to write to focus on creating the life I wanted to live.
That was scary. Damn scary. Who was I without writing? I was going to find out and it was going to be something that I knew was going to change my life.
A month later, I’m moving back home to Houston and I’m teaching English classes again.
And I’m focusing on my writing.
For the past year, I wrote in spurts, not with any consistency. My writing muscle grew weak. The thing that made me the most happy made me so sad. I couldn’t for one reason or another, write. Then I didn’t want to. Then I got sick. Pretty sick. Probably the sickest I’ve ever been. And it got worse. Getting out of bed was difficult. There was lots of crying. I was afraid.
This month off from writing was the permission I needed to say, “Hey there, it’s okay. You don’t have to write today”. So I didn’t. And then things got clear. Really clear. Razor sharp. And I knew what had to be done.
So now I’m moving home and have returned to blogging and writing, two things I LOVE to do. And I’ve returned to art and teaching the art I love. I am searching for that feeling I had at VONA, that feeling of being lit up from the inside. That feeling that when you feel it, you know you’re in the right place at the right time.
I’m starting the right way, right away.
I’m searching for authenticity. Authentic stories, experiences, and above all people. That’s what I’d been missing for awhile.
So get ready for some awesome blogging and awesome books (hint: I’ve made a decision on the indie vs small press vs traditional press debate).
Get ready, world. I’m coming!