Blog Baking 101

I’ve been gone from my blog for a very long time which translates to “I’ve decided to spend my presence elsewhere.” I miss these excursions – this little walk down the pathways of me and my life . . . the occasional venture into the lives of others. My blogs are short. One might think that it takes little time or effort to come up with 500 words, and they would be right. I can throw a thousand words on a page in no time, but what matters to me is reproducing my journeys and discoveries in a way that unfolds me while taking the reader to their own journeys and discoveries.

Blogging requires planning, cooking, chewing, and digestion time. There is the thinking of the thing to write. Then, there is the drafting of the thing to write, followed by the finalizing of the thing to write. And, there is the delivery of the thing to write. I am my own worst enemy as I am in constant search of the right ingredients, and then the right combination and measure of those ingredients along with the correct temperature and time to bake my blogs. It might take me a week or so to examine and revise whatever current recipe is making my life.

Writing gifts me in the form of a present presence. I cannot be anywhere but here while writing. I cannot pay attention to anyone or anything else while writing. It is the perfect present.

The problem is that I have arranged my life so that there is always something else to pay attention to besides the present moment. People and tasks crowd around me each demanding their due. All the while I am writing, these various voices in my head command me to be here . . . or to be there . . . or to get ready for this . . . or to go take care of that. The next thing to do constantly calls to me. It follows me around like a dark billowing cloud who rumbles “Fix me! Take care of me! Resolve me!” My writer’s block always comes in the form of paying attention to anything but writing.

I have a thousand things to write! I know what I want to be when I grow up! I love what I write when I write it! My discovery of selfish truths and hidden agendas nearly always comes through words, either spoken or written. My truth lies in words and I have sought them out ever since I discovered their existence. My creativity is literally fermenting inside the spaces I opened up long ago. I have no fewer than 42 rough drafts. The words are yelling “Hey! Give us some air already!”

The art of being with my words is in need of tending in my life. The time slots on my calendar appointments are triple-stacked. If I want clean laundry and groceries, I have to put them on the schedule. All of the spaces in my life are filled largely by choice. I’ve made these decisions and chosen these activities because they are meaningful and supportive to me in some way.

Creativity requires that I conjure up an open empty space where I can visit with my life, select the cake I want to bake, find the words and add them in the right combination, mix and revise, taste-test the batter, and then nibble at the crumbs.

 

©2012 by Barbara L. Kass

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8 Responses to “Blog Baking 101”

  1. sandiwhite Says:

    Well, thank goodness, I know you are alive and not buried under an avalanche of activities that keep you up and running till all hours of the day and night. I’ve thought about you many times and wondered if you had invented another day of the week to do all that you planned. I’m glad to know that the words finally had to burst forth or blow up your oven. I found them to be crispy, flavorful and filling. Rich, too, come to think of it. There are days when I just wish I would just go and dash off a blog in the heat of the moment, by the time I walk to the desk the moment has cooled and gotten well, flat. You need to do this a little more often and I will be waiting at the table for every one. Just please remember to take good care of yourself, I can see you now, 6 games of tennis a week, 6 nights of World of Warcraft, and that’s just warming you up for the hard stuff.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandi — I honestly do not like being this busy. By the time I get home, I don’t want to have to think anymore. Regardless, I can make space in my life to write because that is something that nurtures me. I have to decide what is worthy of my time and attention and what is only distraction. If it is only distraction, I would rather meditate or take a shamanic journey. And then there are the “do nothing” minutes that I need. These are passive moments where I either read a novel or watch tennis on ESPN3.com.

      I am sorry, though, that you don’t write more on your blog. You have a lovely way with words and a sense of humor that makes reading fun.

  2. Gil Says:

    I am so glad you conjured up that empty space in your schedule for bringing forth something out of nothing. I like the baking analogy. Lately I haven’t had much time for baking. Literally and metaphorically. There is about to be even less time as I have just started third year of my BA Psych degree, and finally about to embark on the house renovation project. Literal baking or just plain cooking, will have to wait a few months until I have an operational kitchen. Metaphorical baking wont be blogs but academic papers. I also have to start planning the cake that will be my honors project next, so this year is about gathering the ingredients, and implements to start baking. 🙂

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      I know about the academic writing, Gil. Without a doubt, it requires more planning of ingredients and simmering time. Some cakes have to have peace and quiet in order to rise to their full capacity. Fortunately, this semester my writing consists of clinical case notes, which don’t have to be creative. Thus, the hidden treasure here is that I can utilize my creativity here on my blog.

      Congratulations on making it into third year, too.

  3. jeffstroud Says:

    Barbara,

    We so understand life getting in the way of living… that your choices have taken you away from writing your blog…
    Yet at same time I hear your voice calling out to the writer to find time to create, to write. it is part of who you are too.

    I am glad to hear your voice here… I am here as always to support and encourage your choice, or help you make room for the changes you wish to make.

    Jeff (((Hugs)))

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      (((hugs))) Thanks, Jeff. I feel like I am living as fast as I can and still can’t keep up! I am going to make sure that I take a weekend off here soon and then make sure I get a couple of days each month. I am deep in the clinical internship for my pastoral counseling degree and it is challenging.

  4. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    I always appreciate being on the receiving end of the word-cakes you bake. Your word bakery consistently serve up delicious food for thought 🙂

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