When I flipped the card for day two of the Goddess Tarot Challenge I’m participating in for March, I was genuinely curious what it would tell me. The prompt for the day asked what I needed to focus on to support my inner goddess, and to be honest, I had no real guesses what would come up. When I turned over the Seven of Bows in the Wildwood deck that I’m using, I looked at the image but still had to check the deck book for the meaning.
“Allow the passing of the old”
“Focus on what you really need in life and what to dispose of”
My first thoughts, as they always tend to be, were about writing, but after a few moments thought, that reaction didn’t seem thorough enough. It’s not a suggestion that I let go of writing, but rather that I let go of how I think about writing.
I spent a bit of that night journaling about the card and my relationship with writing over the years, and it’s amazing how on only the second day of this challenge such a strong message has come across.
I’ve been writing since I learned to hold a crayon and put it to paper. I remember half-begun short stories written in elementary school about ghosts and adolescent horror. I remember my first writing competition submission. I remember my first LiveJournal account (and second, and third…). Quitting writing itself is entirely out of the question; it’s too great a part of me to even think it’s possible no to do it anymore. Reframing my mindset, however, is the message I got from that card, and since then I’ve been meditating on my relationship with writing.
I’ve kept journals since middle school, and even if I go months without writing in them, I always come back, usually when my emotions are in the midst of some upheaval. In middle school, my entries were full of angst and heartbreak, the crushing weight of rejection and the confusing presence of affection. There were angry tirades against everyone around me. There were lengthy love letters to the peers who caught my eye. I held nothing back. As I got older, though, and some things were chronicled online instead of in my journals, I felt the walls starting to come down on my words. I became more careful about what I wrote because I started to care about the work being palatable. I started to care about others reading it rather than about just writing. It’s been over ten years since that happened, and I’m only now beginning to realize the consequences.
In that time, the closest I’ve come to being as open as I was in those first LiveJournal posts was in my personal zines. I’m not sure what it was about the medium that opened me up, and even as I wrote those I was still guarded about what I shared. It’s not that being selective is a bad thing, but it feels like this approach has left me falling just short of my potential. Instead of just writing, I’m always analyzing what I’m going to say before I even put it down.
My first step is determining my ideal reader, and to be honest, I think I’ve already done that: I want to write things that Finn would want to read. I never realized it before, but I want to write things that my child could read and be interested in, be entertained by, and be proud of—even if they’re hard to write and read sometimes. I want my writing to be honest with Finn, whether it’s hard truths or silly musings.
My next step is just to get writing.