Go for the Metaphor

Eleven days ago, I stopped blogging regularly on Wednesdays and Sundays and my mind shutdown, leaving me alone with my ego.  It had been years since that had happened, and I did not want to go there, again.

And so I begin my second Round of Words in 80 days, the writing challenge that knows I have a life and probably has similar suspicions about my ego. Wayne Dyer refers to ego as “Edging God Out,” and when it comes to God, I’m with Joseph Campbell:

Joseph Campbell
newworldlibrary.com image

 “God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that” (PBS Power of Myth Series with Bill Moyers).

It is always advantageous to define one’s terms succinctly, if possible, and if not, find others who can and do.

Our fearless ROW80 leader, Kait Nolan, provided an initial inspirational post for her ROW80 ranks of writers.  In particular, Kait dispelled a popular fallacy for many writers: if writing were their full-time job, writers would write as many as three or four novels a year, at the very least.

Once again,  ego spins falsely into fantasy.

Before I retired to writing, I, had that fantasy, which faded–frankly, on my first day– with full-time watching of Turner Classic Movies, then PBS, then British television, simply seductive. While some movie/television gazing can be considered studying the craft of scene and dialogue, reading and actual writing are closer to the grindstone.

As a writer and a human being—at times, known to be one and the same—my ego chatters constantly but I want the metaphor, aware  that I cannot know what transcends all intellectual thought but I can contemplate.

Frankly, ROW80 is what got me pursuing metaphor, in a most practical way. When I began round one in January, I was determined to publish a Sunday and Wednesday blog post for the entire round.

I did.

However, success has consequences, often overlooked in the glow of self-satisfaction, but for every action, there is a reaction.

The amount of time I spent writing blog posts, thinking about blog posts, and trying to have a week’s worth of posts written so I would not be always writing to deadline took on a life of its own, admittedly, a life bigger than screen gazing but it was not the metaphor.

So, here I am writing this post on the afternoon of April 2, the deadline for my first post of the second round of ROW80, battling my ego that says, “Post a couple goals. By Wednesday, you’ll be organized.”

No, I’m following fearless leader Kait Nolan:

“I want to help you develop that discipline and establish those good habits in your everyday life.  I want to help you take YOURSELF seriously as a writer, treat YOURSELF as a professional, so that bracket of time you can devote to writing, be it an hour or a day, becomes set in your mind as Writing Time–something you protect with the fierceness of a honey badger.”

See what happens when you go for the metaphor?

ROW80 Goal Posting

I have a separate blog page for the precise accounting of my R0W80 goals and updates, although I will probably  include a summary on main blog posts. Frankly, I can decide that later but for now, here we go:

Writing and Reading

Writing: Beginning April 4, 2012, write 500 words five days a week on my current manuscript. Word counts will be updated every Wednesday starting April 11, 2012.

Reading: Beginning April 4, 2012, read at least 50 pages every night to re-establish my reading routine. Am currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Beginning Sunday, April 8, 2012, I will comment on my reading progress each Sunday.

Blog Posts

By Sunday, April 15, 2012, I will have at least one week’s posts written and scheduled so I am not writing to deadline. 

Honey badger, honey badger….

6 thoughts on “Go for the Metaphor

  1. I quickly discovered that one blog post a week is all I can manage but I am dogged about it. As I sat here in my wheelchaiir post-stupid-car-wreck, meeting that goal while ignoring other, more real, life requirements I realized there was vanity in the idea that anyone was waiting for my posts and cockeyed optimism in the thought that the cosmos was keeping score and would award points for perfect attendence.

    Don’t chastise yourself when you miss these self-imposed goals. You are swimming in the right direction.


    1. Well, Adrian, while I am slower in responding to your blog http://slowdancejournal.wordpress.com these days, I read your posts almost as soon as they hit my email box, as always. What is it about these blogs that hook us in this way? They are intimate and public at the same time. It is exactly as you say, vanity to the extent of the Universe keeping score! This human experience is so extraordinary, isn’t it?

      I do understand life in a wheelchair as I had my moments there. I promise you, my friend, I understand.



    1. Hi, Diana!

      I, too, am loving The Night Circus! The review I read was critical of the length of time she took to tell her story but I am enjoying every page, in particular her wit. I do not know anything about this young writer other than it is her debut novel so hopefully, she will write more. Also, I am not one for circus stories but this one grabbed me.

      Thanks, Diana!


  2. Okay honey badger, well said, well done! Long live the metaphor! Great goals Karen.

    This is so funny. I did not realize that I was supposed to post my ROW goals yesterday or today. For some reason I thought it was Wednesday. lol And because I only post my goals on Sunday, I thought and I am still thinking, Sunday. I, apparently, am a rebel without a cause. Oh well. I’m not going to lose sleep over it. You inspired me today Karen. Thank you. 🙂


    1. Hey, Karen!

      “Honey badger” cracked me up when I read it in Kait Nolan’s post, although I felt much more a badger without honey…. I can relate to your rebelling as that is what I did for two days until I forced the post yesterday. It takes me the first third of the round to actually put some shape to my goals but this round, I am building in structure. In this moment, it feels possible, so I’m going with it. Thanks for the encouragement, Karen; it’s always a boost.



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