Class 9, November 10th: The MEmorial Step 1

“At the heart of writing, Lamott argues, lies a capacity for quiet grit and a willingness to decondition the all too human tendency to get so overwhelmed by the enormity of the journey that we’re too paralyzed to take the first step.”

I like learning new things. It doesn’t get any easier when you get older and find yourself out of your comfort zone. But the learning process itself is very satisfying and the feeling of empowerment that comes with new knowledge is self-enabling and invigorating.

So when we trudged en masse out of the class in Brookfield facing the test of a new project, with a challenging deadline, using an unfamiliar tool, there was a fair bit of bitching and dread. And group-think does kick in too and that’s fine. It’s natural. It’s part of the process. We all need a good moan every now and then – the cleansing feeling of a rant.

But deep down we all knew that we’d give it a go again and help each other out. And that process began quickly – offers were sent out and taken up. The natural camaraderie that has been a feature of the class kicked in, on queue. Youtube didn’t hurt.

And one of the things I’ve figured out over the years when faced with a challenge, especially a big challenge like writing a five hundred page report or starting a two year project, is that it’s vital not to think too far ahead. As Anne Lamott says: do it Bird by Bird. A long journey begins with a single step. Then another. Don’t be a perfectionist.

So I did. We all did. And my first pass at a project on Premiere Pro (above) isn’t much to look at or listen to, but it got done, and I learned from it. I took the step and it was from the heart. And while it’s a bit of a mess, it’s my mess and I’m okay with it.

As the great woman said:

What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here — and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.

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