So, writing is supposed to start with forgiveness.
The idea is that you approach each new piece you set out to write with clean mental slate. Slough off the frustrations and guilt from the day before. Scrape away the I should have and why didn't I'. Otherwise, you've already blocked your own ability to create.
I was told, when I was much younger and these sorts of conversations were common, that unless you asked for forgiveness for the sins you've committed, your prayers went unheard. Maybe unheard isn't the right word. More like ignored. Sort of like when a kid asks me a question in class but they still have on the non-uniform jacket I told them to take off ten minutes ago. And I'm like, "I'm sorry, I can't hear you with that jacket on." They'll stop, and start to give me a "Seriously, Ms. Bruce?" face, but then just sigh and take off the jacket because they know once I make a corny joke, I commit. And then they can ask their question, confident that I'll answer. I used to start my prayers with a totally awkward and self-conscious "Uhhh, sorry for all the crap I've done that's bad since the last time I prayed", a clunky toll to be paid before passing into the realm of God's listening chamber. My jacket's off, can you hear me now?
Then I started feeling like I was whispering and supplicating and crying to my ceiling, which is totally inanimate, and not at all omnipotent nor omnipresent nor omniscient (I always enjoyed the three big O's in elementary school) so I sort of stopped. And then I really stopped.
I stopped asking for forgiveness and I also, I suppose, stopped forgiving myself.
I began this 100 day writing challenge because I needed an outlet, I needed to push myself, I needed to produce more content, and most of all, because I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. Despite being so tired all the time, and being busy, and all the other realities that accompanying being a wife, a teacher, a full-time working mom. I needed to feel successful for myself, because of something I did, alone, me. And in doing so, the challenge became a guilt-ridden obligation. I love to write, but not like this. Lesson learned.
Jacket's off. I'm forgiving myself.