Growing up, my mother held to a steady diet of self-help books as guidance. I'm OK, You're OK" glared at me from the bookshelf, daring me to misbehave, threatening a punishment of a self-help book geared toward figuring out my particular behavior. While she would leaf through Games People Play, I chose Siddhartha as my guide.
And while I still swear myself opposed to the vast genre of self-help, I am cautiously optimistic about what the coaching will bring my writing. I did my usual writing jitters in anticipation of meeting with The Coach. After signing a contract, my first assignment was to put together a list of goals and submit it a day prior to our meeting. At first I could not figure out the assignment, something I find typical in my responses to being assigned anything. While taking the writing workshop this past winter, I immediately repelled any of the weekly assignments, thinking how the hell am I supposed to write about that. However, after I sat with the idea for several days (or sometimes even several hours), something always emerged; I always found myself energized and pounding words.
The same thing happened with my goals. Initially I couldn't think of any that had any resonance. After quizzing Nan about my goals and discussing them with Liz, I finally felt able to sit down and write something out. Once I surrendered to the fact that I could not come up with a neat list of a, b, c, d, I created a narrative, articulating my goals. Usually procrastinator me instead got jazzed by the idea and began to attempt to figure out how to articulate goals since it's not something I usually do, at least consciously. Some that made the list:
- Build confidence in my sense of myself as a writer
- Understand who I am as a writer
- Understand craft more from a writer's perspective
- Develop a practice as a writer
- Move many ideas into finished essays
- Learn to embrace revision
- Finish pieces so they are ready for publication
Feeling slightly nervous just prior to my meeting this morning with The Coach, I realized once I sat down and started talking about things I wanted to accomplish and why, that this is exactly what I need to help move my newfound energy in writing into a deeper practice, one that I won't ignore.
And so, not dreading my assignments, I am more than cautiously optimistic; I am completely energized.