Thursday, December 16, 2010

Resolutions that Revolve Around Trees and/or Paper

I wrote a post about carolling in the workplace here. I talk about being the only one to know the dreidel song (me, a Lutheran girl!) and about being fearless enough to sing in public. So, if you're still looking for Christmas postings, that's the one you want.

Or maybe you want to celebrate Jane Austen's birthday today. If so, you might want to read my post from last year. Make a pot of tea, eat a warm scone, and enjoy.

Or maybe you still haven't gotten enough apocalyptic thoughts this time of year. Kathleen has some reading suggestions for you in this post.

But maybe you want to do more than read. Now is the time to reflect on what forests mean to you, and as Dave explains here, you can share your writings here.

A resolution that involves trees. I like it. I'm tempted to vow to plant a seedling a month. But I won't be making that resolution. We've planted just about as many trees as our South Florida yard can hold.

No, I've been thinking of a different resolution. I'd like to write in my offline journal more. Have no fear--I'll still be blogging daily as I can. But I've realized that since I've started blogging, my offline journalling has really dropped off. I've wrestled with wondering what I've lost.

In some ways, the blog does act as a journal, a more searchable database of my thoughts and interests on any given day. I read back periodically and have those same moments as I do when I'm reading my old paper journals: "Oh, yeah, I remember pondering that! Oh, yeah, I remember that moment." In some ways, it might be even better--I have pictures and links.

I've continued to write in my paper journal, mainly about issues that need to be kept more private. Happily, my personal life is fairly drama free, which means I haven't been writing in that paper journal as often. I write once a month or every other month. I write about things that need to be recorded, but events that likely aren't very interesting to people out there who don't know me. I write about other people who might not want an online presence. I write occasionally about work drama that needs to be kept offline.

I wonder what I'm losing though, by not writing in the paper pages where I don't have to censor myself. When I'm blogging, I try to always remain conscious of who might read: my boss, my future boss, my friends, my family, Facebook connections, someone who's doing a Google search and somehow ends up here. Am I less self-aware than I used to be?

So, I think that in the coming year, I'll try to write in my paper journal once a week. While I'm at it, let's make some other writing goals, and let me keep them small and attainable. Then, at the end of 2011, I'll see how I did:

1. Write in my paper journal once a week.

2. Write at least one poem a week.

3. Continue to blog on a near-daily basis, when I have computer access.

4. Arrange at least 3 readings to promote my new chapbook.

5. Continue to submit both individual poems and book-length manuscripts.

Five goals should be enough. I feel slightly guilty that none of them involve planting trees; in fact, to achieve some of them, I'll have to use dead trees (paper). And the amount of paper I use as an administrator haunts me.

Maybe I will plant some trees next year!


Kathleen said...

Thanks for all of this thoughtfulness! By coincidence, I wrote in my "paper journal" this morning and yesterday morning...

And there's a wonderful program in our town for planting trees in a local park in honor of family members, so we planted a tree for each child and each set of grandparents, and it's good to be sending out all that fine oxygen and re-making a small local forest on land that used to have trees...and now does again, trees that will be protected!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Great resolutions.

Two thoughts.
1) My life is also fairly drama free these days and so little besides weekly poetry drafts go into my journal, but I remember the days of scribbling furiously page after page b/c my life wasn't working out the way I'd wanted. While I miss the journaling, I don't miss the drama!

2) Paper from work makes excellent paper for printing drafts of poems. I collect all the paper I use at work that is only printed on one side and not needed anymore. Then, I bring it home and use it to print poem drafts and esp. manuscript drafts. If it's not needed after that, I take it back to school and put it in the recycling box (which is privacy protected by being like a mailbox, locked and secured). It helps me feel better about the trees anyway and I thought it might be useful for you.