Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Elizabeth Demers: Breaking Down the Wall...Naked

Another A to Z challenge comes to an end--- another collection of posts and poetry have been written, another deep breath of relief is released. For my fellow bloggers that survived as well, it's another 'challenge-completed' notch carved into the writing desk.

I've come to enjoy my yearly foray into the world of all things alphabetical. This was my third year, though it was only the second year I had a workable theme (which made the challenge substantially easier than the first year I attempted this challenge.) And, though my first year was difficult because my focus was so scattered, I found this year was more difficult because I lost the enthusiasm that came with the first year excitement----excitement which helped me plug along until the end of the challenge.

Year 3 was a success in the sense that I completed the challenge, though, this was the year that almost wasn't----

Somewhere about a third of the way through the challenge, I seriously considered giving up.... there weren't enough hours to get everything done, the way I wanted to get them done. My poems were getting harder and harder to compose (I mean, there's only so many supernatural poems you can write before they all start sounding alike). I haven't been able to visit near as many fellow A-Z challengers' blogs as I had wanted. Though, I'm hoping to amend this in the days/weeks to come.

Time and time again, I would find myself saying, what's the point? or, I don't care enough about this subject to write anything about it, it just happened to start with the requisite "letter of the day."

Life and work and family and more life, kept getting in the way. I could feel myself teetering between the edges of apathy and despair. I HATE not finishing a writing challenge----- even if I had all 26 posts left to do on April 30th, I'd still give it a go....

But, then I'd push through a couple of posts...find a couple of cool pics and suddenly the poems weren't just 'cereal-box-ingredient-lists'.... And, then I'd remember....

There's a reason we do what we do, we writers. And, it's when things feel past the point of restoration and repair, that our basest and truest form emerges. We aren't caught up in the grandeur of ourselves, wrapped tightly in our own self-assurance, exuding the confidence of the never-failed.... Instead, we're exposed and raw and vulnerable-- we are naked to the world, and more importantly, we are naked to ourselves.

Being naked (especially when you didn't intend to leave the house without your pants) is more than a little scary. We can't hide in the comfort of the background when there's a neon sign hanging over our heads that tells the world and their brother to look at us because we're starkers.

And, when we turn the mirror to ourselves, we are, at once, all too aware of every flaw and imperfection... every blemish screams, every scar burns. But, instead of looking into the mirror long enough to grow accustomed to---and perhaps to even love--- what we see, we build view-blocking walls around ourselves that have no window and no door.

It's here we stay until the claustrophobia (read: innumerable ideas clogging the space around us) becomes too much and we begin the frantic scramble to tear down the stone and mortar.

It's when we push ourselves past the wall, fighting every crumbling brick to make it to the other side, that we are reminded, we can do this. And, it's the relief/respite we feel from the first piece we've written outside the wall, that we are reminded, we want to do this. It's the joy/exhilaration we feel once the words are flowing again, that we are reminded, we MUST do this!

I apologize that this got up late in the day. My bad. A case of a person juggling too many sorry Liz. Thank you for taking the time to be here!


Anonymous said...

This was my fourth and I am at the anti climax stage, the challenge is finished, the reflections are written and read, our two days of summer has come and gone, But hey it's only 292 days until April 1st.


e.a.s. demers said...

LOL... 292 days, you're right about that. I've already thought about possible themes for my 2014 A-Z. Funny how we ALMOST can't seem to write during the challenge---but, as soon as it's over, we ALREADY have the next couple of years planned out!

Andrea said...

I enjoyed my theme a little bit too much I think, as I have felt pretty much unable to come up with anything that seems interesting to me since!

Chancelet said...

What powerful words. This was my first time doing the challenge and I didn't have a theme. I liked not having a theme, because I think I would go through what you did - not feeling the motivation to sticking with one theme. I do love writing prompts, and I felt the challenge was sort of like doing a prompt everyday, even if I didn't write fiction each time. But next year, who knows? Writer’s Mark

e.a.s. demers said...

@Andrea --- I think I had the same problem. My last year's theme, Poisons, was far more interesting than this year's. So, I floundered a bit.

@Nancy --- Thanks! And, like you, I enjoyed my first year without a theme. Though, by the end, I was scrambling to find words for my letters. I was determined to work my second year with a theme... and it was much easier. :-)

Tina said...

Hey Liz,
Thanks for posting here, we sure appreciate it! Your honesty about the Challenge is really good for everyone to hear!
Tina @ Life is Good

e.a.s. demers said...

Thank you, Tina, for inviting me to share my thoughts!

And, a big thank you to everybody at the A-Z Challenge Blog, for hosting the challenge in the first place! It's always an exciting and unpredictable adventure :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liz - I can imagine with life around you etc .. completing and participating in the Challenge is mighty difficult - good for you for doing what you've done.

I struggle and I don't have family .. and I still need to go on that road trip ...

See you next year I hope & how the hosts manage, I'll never know - kudos to them! - cheers Hilary

e.a.s. demers said...

Thanks, Hilary!
And, I'll definitely be here next year! It wouldn't be "April" without A-Z :-)