writeonthebay

Facebook Failure

In In Other Words, Writing on February 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

Some of my creative friends are doing 365 projects. They’ve committed to doing something creative everyday — a photograph, a drawing, a piece of writing. Me, I’d sort of half-heartedly committed to writing at least once a week. Of course, I never really made that commitment out loud or wrote it in some publishable form for someone to hold me accountable at any point.

So fine, I’ll do it now, 6 weeks into the New Year and 4 weeks away from baby’s arrival.

I will create everyday.

No, that’s not specific enough, cuz giving birth could count, right? Not to mention milk supply.

Ok. I will write everyday this year. Something. Even a sentence.

Doesn’t seem too hard does it? For anyone who doesn’t partake in creative activities, it might seem a little silly. But to create and put oneself out there on paper or canvas or computer screen means vulnerability. It means risking feeling like your living that grade school dream where you showed up for class naked. It means taking the chance of creating something that even you hate and view as a piece of crap.

My friend Damien is painting everyday for his 365 project — painting and posting his work on his blog no less. The other day he posted a piece he didn’t like, and pointed out that he felt for the sake of honesty, he needed to put it up anyway.

I applauded his efforts and decided I needed to take Anne Lamott’s words to heart myself.

““Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper.” Anne Lamott

Of course lately my failure has been less about terrible first drafts and more about the fact that I haven’t been writing much. Facebook, that modern day time thief and wizard of social networking, is where I can say I’ve largely mislaid precious minutes.

I love Facebook, which is not so surprising when one considers my Myers-Briggs score that tips steeply on the “E” for “externally motivated”. I love chatting it up with friends near and far about topics mundane or magnificent. My computer sits in my kitchen, where I spend most of my time, and it’s oh-so-easy to check Facebook a zillion times a day.

Facebook has been my failure. So I’ll add to that commitment.

I will write everyday this year. And only after that will I update my status.

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  1. Love it! It’s embarrassing that FB lets everyone know when I’m online – like I need that kind of public exposure. I’m a big fan of Anne Lamott too. Maybe she wants to be Facebook friends . . .

    • Hey Shelley, thanks! I avoid the public exposure by going “offline” in the chat window under options. I actually started doing that because I’d just leave the FB page up, and friends would try to chat with me while I was out galavanting. Didn’t want to leave them hanging. Now I just like to be mysterious…

  2. Thanks for the props!

    It took me a LONG time to commit to the 365 project – as in YEARS. I kept thinking that I wanted to do it with photography, or writing, but couldn’t get it together.

    Drawing/Sketching/Painting has worked out. It’s been a lot of fun so far… The first few posts were difficult, but then it just started to flow.

  3. Facebook is usually too addictive, it basically keeps me from spending enough time with my family!

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