I know, I know. I kinda disappeared for a few days. Oh a week? Ok then, I disappeared for a week.
Funny, I thought that getting my novel done so fast might free up some time and attention for things like blogging, but that time and attention has gone into things like sleep, and getting to know this little iPad, which I’m swiftly falling in love with. (Once I’ve had more experience writing on it, I promise a little review of this gorgeous thing)
But yes, here we are. I’ve done something all too familiar to any of us who are working on living a creative life.
I’ve gotten out of the habit.
Of writing daily, of blogging or frankly even thinking about the blog (I love you all dearly though.) In part, this is because WordPress’s iPad app is less than useable. I’m now trying Blogsy, which I am enjoying much more, and so far it hasn’t tried to post a rough draft while i am still writing it, which is what happened with the WordPress app and made it dead to me.
Anyway, we were talking about getting out of the habit.
The funny bit about falling out of the habit of anything is that once we’re good at not doing, it’s damned near impossible to remember what the experience of doing is like. It’s a good reminder to me, this period of falling out of my normal routine.
How totally comfy to forget what it’s like to have a deadline looming over me, how easy to forget all the other important parts of my life which hang suspended from that one aspect, writing, and how much I forget who I am when I let myself lounge about and simply be. I haven’t merely not written a blog post, but I have forgotten to search my mind in the idle moments for what to talk about, for what there might be.
No wonder I managed to get to twenty nine without ever writing seriously. It’s so easy to not write, to not think of writing until the end of the day when I realize it hasn’t been done.
And we will never be immune to this. I don’t care who you are. Writing begets writing, not writing begets not writing.
If we lie fallow, if we let ourselves totally relax (like I have) for too long, the relaxation will take over.
Because the further we get behind, the more we feel lost and like it all must be caught up. The next thing we know, it isn’t about just sitting down and writing a scene, a post, an article. Suddenly, it’s about writing all of the articles, words, stories all at once, and don’t you need to reply to emails, and what about all those comments on Facebook you didn’t reply to – it all has to be done, all of it. Right now.
It must be done right, or else what’s the use.
Wait… We know that voice. Are you there, perfectionism? It’s me, Michelle.
We stop writing and, perfectionism moves in just like dandelions in the spring. Pretty at first, those little yellow flowers. Until they turn into puffballs of doom, the herpes of the plant world. And perfectionism is just as contagious – it spreads through all your activities until paralysis sets in.
What happened? Weren’t we wise writers meeting goals just wast week/month/year?
When there is too much to write, nothing we begin will be the right thing. It could always be something else, something important, something worthwhile.
So we must begin again.
We must for now, sit and write whatever it is time to write. Your words will bubble up from your forgiving heart and tell you want to write next. It might be a tweet or an email or a letter of forgiveness to an ex. It might be a journal entry or a blog post about why you haven’t written, or if you’re fortunate, it might be your next novel or short story.
Write Iike there’s nothing else on your list. Write like you’ve never left the habit of it.
Then, if you’re like me, the next thing will be waiting in the wings for it’s turn. And the next.
If you are bombarded with posts in the next week from me, it’s because I’m finally getting to what’s next instead of what is undone.