I'm going through it, too. In the meantime, maybe you missed these...
I think you’re connecting two important things: the desire to move slowly and the instinct to punch back at anything that tries to hurry you up. Those feel like they have the shades of grief to me.
I realized for me that deep grief and loss makes me dizzy inside. I need slowness to not feel toppled over. When I reflect back on the four years it’s taken to “re-stabilize,” I realize that grief needed slowness to “digest.”
You can go slowly and still matter. You can write less and still matter. I think the folks at Substack have a directive to grow this thing, to keep bringing in more readers, more resources, more writers and to tirelessly proclaim the value that you and I already know Substack has. The concerted effort of teams can feel pushy at times. But just know: they aren’t changing my mind about you being someone I want to hear from.
Take care Ramona. Big hugs x
I'm so sorry you're feeling lost and down, and I think you're taking exactly the right approach to slow down, focus on what's important in the moment, and seek solace in the companionship of writers and readers. We can all relate.
I so relate to your vulnerability and love that you reached out. I call this the 'in between time,' when nothing feels right because the future hasn't unfolded yet. When I can (occasionally) just let the discomfort be--the impatience, frustration, irritability--somehow it becomes weirdly exciting around the edges, because I know the next right thing's gonna show up sooner or later. As long as I'm patient and trust the process. As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other. Thank you for reaching out.
Sending hugs. It’s rough. Please hang in there.
Ramona, I've been feeling just this way, though, I am thankful, there's no grief in my life at this moment. I am sending you a warm abrazo.
Just to maintain the momentum with writing to the "you" in the ether is hard. It's been hard for me lately. Before bringing my newsletter onto the Substack platform, I knew that the intimacy in my voice, who I am, was essential. This, I knew, is what my readers liked, and the adventures with language that I took. I feel a little intimidated on Substack--a need to behave a certain way, though there are many inventive posts. I seem to be caught again in the utterly boring pattern that visits writers much too often: Can I do this? I do think the solution is Helen Redfern's "just tick along" for a while--and allow yourself to feel the pleasure of writing and creating.
I too am in throes of grief. It’s like walking through the ocean and waves crashing on my head. I don’t control my pace or strut, I’m a fighting tides at war.
But, I keep writing and finding a bit of joy in typing the last words. Of losing myself in a new plot. Or writing away my grief. It all seems ugly now, but I bet with 3 years of aging, I will love this ugly and uncentered version of my prose.
I will find it tucked in a forgotten folder and be amazed at my bleeding on the page. I will be proud I walked through it and survived.
Please keep writing.
Dear Ramona, I'm glad to have found you on Substack and loved this album of wonder. I look forward to anything you write, as well as the beautiful pictures, whenever it's time to post. ❤️ ❤️
Your honesty is such a balm in an inauthentic world, Ramona. Whatever pace you need to set, I hope you see from these responses how much we all just want to share your journey with you. And YOU get to decide what that looks like. So many hugs from the PNW. 🌿
Even though I am not grieving, I feel exactly where you are on your journey. I am plodding along, but at the same time, I am living life. Now that summer, and a nice one at that, has arrived, I find it harder to stay focused on my sequel YA fantasy novel. I am querying the first manuscript and some days feeling guilty because I don't move as fast as other authors to accomplish goals. Yet I write and edit daily for a few hours. I write my Substack articles, there's this appointment and that one, lunch out with hubby, tea with friends, walks with my pooch. Oh and camping. I think at certain times, during certain seasons, its the Universe's way to show at this point in one's life, maybe other things rank just as important as the writing and accomplishing. As long as you (and I) continue to find joy in the process and time spent, it doesn't matter how many hours are invested, are we happy 'just doing.' Thank you for your post! Know you are not alone.
Sending you lots of hugs.💕
Holding you in my heart, Ramona. Grateful for whatever you're inclined to share here. Pulling for you to take all the time you need to rest, sort through stuff (and feelings) and write whatever you need to write *for yourself* first, and for publication if you feel like it. Or not, so there.
From the comments it's clear that you have a caring, appreciative community here (to which I come late as its newest recruit!). Grateful to hear from you; most grateful to know that you're doing whatever you most need to do on the day you're living through.
P.S. I'm thinking one visit daily to Notes -- no more -- would be a good compromise for my serenity and my "engagement." Going to try it for a week, anyhow. If you'd care to join me in the endeavor, we can compare notes (not Notes) in a few days. ❤️
It seems to me you're handling all of this with a great deal of grace. It might not feel that way, but it does look like it.
Your authenticity, heart & soul vulnerability, and your writing touch me to the core Ramona. I so wish I had the perfect "words" to help you walk through this hardest of paths you find yourself on. I can only hope it helps in some small way to know you are not alone and you have many "connections" in your corner. After the traditional Hawaiian ash scattering service we held for my Donald James a year following his passing I think I had an expectation that now the grieving would lessen. I'm now moving toward year five and realize it never really stops, but like waves and tides in the ocean it comes and goes in varying degrees. Mark Nepo's daily nurturing via "The Book of Awakening" has become one of my own heart & soul calming and healing reads. I remain convinced that we are all "Perfectly on Time" in every single given moment we walk through and my own journey has confirmed that absolutely everything comes and goes. When I'm able to listen to my soul voice instead of my naysayer shadow voice the experiences being presented seem to shift and a level of comfort and peace arrives. Please be gentle with yourself - you are truly a bright light and gift to the rest of us.
This is my own constant battle. Honestly. I don't think I've ever read a piece that speaks to me so strongly. I hope that helps you realise your words are needed, Ramona ✍️💓
Take care, Ramona. I said to a dear friend the other day that grief walks beside us and we never know how it will be from one day to the next. No one does. And no one can tell you what is the right way of the wrong way to live with it because it's your grief.
Being 'slow' sounds good. decluttering sounds good, walking, writing, whatever suits you but it has to be at your pace.
From a reader's and writer's POV, I can tell you, I appreciate and learn so much from everything you write.
As I said above, take care.