My intention for 2018 was to write for a minimum of one hour a week until a habit had been formed. Once it was habit I would place no limit or constraint on how much time I must spend writing, just as long as I did it and made progress. I’ve been telling myself I’ve been working on a book for so many years now, and yet truthfully I’ve barely written a thing. Last year I finally sat down and planned out chapters, and began on the one that was easiest for me to begin because of how it related to my life at the time, but the thing is I am not disciplined in my writing habit and so I have moments where I write loads, and then many weeks of famine in between. At this rate, the book will never get written.
And so, here I am, keeping my promise. Last week I wrote twice, and perhaps I will again this week. I’d begun writing another piece this afternoon, but I can’t quite get the feelings on paper…or is it screen now? Either way, I find myself stumbling over my words today. My thoughts are jumbled and I am tired. What is the point of me writing today? I guess I need to share that this is hard, especially when you’ve grown up with the romantic idea that authors just write when inspiration strikes. I’ve tried living this way, and it doesn’t work. Inspiration always calls when you are unable to write. ALWAYS. My God, the number of times I have been in the middle of my workday and a paragraph, or even a sentence, begins to loop in my mind. In those moments I consider dropping what I’m doing to pursue that little literary treat dancing upon my brain, but before long I am brought back to reality and that line is gone forever, unless I’m lucky enough to jot it down.
I find myself constantly caught between wanting to express myself intelligently, and not wanting to sound like I think I know everything. Most people would say I think way too much about this, and many would tell me to just get on with it and write. As absurd as it is, I constantly think what makes me so special to tell this story in my mind? Who wants to hear that story? You’re probably wrong anyway. Self doubt, it is so constant. And yet, so many people appear to believe in me so here I am, writing, and sharing. The truth is, I am so scared that I will pour my heart and soul into something and have it just flop, never getting anywhere beyond me and my circle. If that happened, would it be so bad? No, I guess not, but oh how I dream of being able to be creative for a living. To write, photograph, paint, and sew, and for that to earn me a comfortable living so I can do what I feel I was made to do.
Just keep going, I tell myself through gritted teeth. There are only two ways about this; I give it a go and I succeed, or I give this a go and I fail. I no longer want to give myself the option to just dream about doing. It has gotten me nowhere in life, nowhere but sadness and regret and I don’t like that place. Practice makes perfect, they say, and so with each piece I write I hope you see me getting better. I’m no longer scared of reading over what I have written and editing it, so that is progress, but at the same time I think I need to just pour it all out and worry about the editing later. So for now, when inspiration calls, I will jot down those words dancing behind my eyes and store them away for later.
I feel it is important to share our struggles and how the beginning of something can be so daunting and exhausting, but eventually we’ve got to realise that just DOING something is better than dreaming, even if it isn’t great to start with. That’s the biggest lesson I have learned over the past couple of years, and each year I am better at the doing (though I am still an honors student in dreaming!). Tonight I am tired, but hopefully I’ll be able to share something a little more captivating next time.