writing with no excuses

the first of the original twelve steps from alcoholics anonymous deals with the admission that we are powerless over alcohol.

here is my first step: i am powerless over perfection and i am admitting it.

but i have a plan to help overcome this condition: i’ve signed up to participate in nanowrimo this november.  the thing that drew me to the willingness to participate was found on their web page:

“make no mistake: you will be writing a lot of crap. and that’s a good thing. by forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. to forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. to build without tearing down.”

so many times in life i have found myself with a lot to say but without the perfect words to convey what i wanted to say.  this event will hopefully help me get past that.

i have a theory that i am working with: people don’t realize just how much space they take up.

i notice this theory in action when riding the bus on my morning commute.

the bus is almost always standing-room only by the time it gets on the freeway and heads south in to the city.

i get on at an early stop so i always have a seat to sit in.  by the time it gets to the last stop, there are only about 1/3 of the seats still available and enough people to fill those seats plus more.

now, i’m a big guy – not fat, but solid [that’s my excuse anyway – what my wii fit tells me is a different matter].  and there usually is another guy sitting one seat away from me who looks like he could play linebacker for an nfl team [or at least a cfl team] leaving one small seat between us for someone petite [or perhaps a midget].

enter big person, exhibit 1.

i think that there are a lot of people walking around who think they are thinner than they really are.  they try to squeeze in to places that no one in the right might should squeeze in to.  they sit between me and nfl linebacker man and spread the shoulders all the way out so as to push nfl man and me away – me, pressed up against the window of the bus.

i try to read my book but am keenly aware for the entire 40-minute ride that my back is tweaked in a manner unknown to man and that probably should stop by HR before going to my desk to seeing if my insurance policy covers chiropractic work.

traveling mercies,


2 thoughts on “writing with no excuses

  1. I’m heading right over there, to sign up myself. For similar reasons, but also because right now, having no set occupation, I need a set goal that is an occupation. (If that makes any sense at all). If nothing else, it will get me through at least two of the writing projects I have set for “before December”. Some people have no idea how much space they take up– some think they are thinner then they are, some fatter, some fear taking up any space at all. I have a theory it works the same way with our noise levels– and our importance in the world. Take care of your back, my friend. Shrug off some of the burdens it carries. Or share them over with some others who care about the overload.

  2. That looks like fun! I wish I had the time for it, but this winter’s looking to be a hairy one. Ehhh.There have been studies that show that the average American takes up a third again of sidewalk space than the average European does- not through body mass, but just through gestures and movement itself. It’s half again more than the average Asian. Americans also expect, if I can recall correctly, a foot more of “personal” space than anyone else. I think it’s probably inherent in American culture- something to do with the geography, perhaps, or the spirit of egalitarianism (whether that’s a myth or not, it’s an all pervasive one). Maybe it’s due to my dance training, but the only time I’ve ever not been aware of how my body would fit somewhere was when I was pregnant. All bets were off then. I don’t know how many times I got wedged into places and couldn’t get myself out. :)

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