The tension is there but it’s obscured by menial tasks and busyness. I finally sit down after months and months of avoiding it and making excuses. Months ago, I shut the door to my creative mind, the part that strings words together for no one but me. I stacked boxes in front of that door, boxes full of dusty phrases like, “I can’t,” “I need to focus elsewhere,” and “first I need to take care of these things…then I will write.” It seems noble to deny what makes me happy to take care of everything else first. In fact, I start to believe that I don’t even want to write, that it’s too much work and I don’t have time to get into my own head right now.
I can press a 25 pound kettle bell over my head with one hand but sometimes the weight of a pen seems like too much trouble.
I got past it today, for today. I had to leave my house and go to my favorite coffee shop and let Toni make me soup, but I got past it. After about 300 words I felt something crack in my chest. Something opened up that had been locked for a very long time. I struggled not to let tears flow because I was in a public place and I would look crazy sitting there with my laptop crying in my soup. But that’s how it felt to write again after all this time.
There is no way I am ready to take on the challenge of attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 consecutive days, but the first day of November (also the first day of NaNoWriMo) seems like a good day to set a goal.
My plan is to write every day for 30 days. I recently downloaded the IDoneThis app for my phone, as recommended by Patti Digh, so I’ve written at least one sentence about my day for most days over the past two weeks. It’s not very creative, but it’s an exercise in accountability, I guess.
Over the next 30 days, I’ll be traveling out-of-state at least twice, attending a wedding, a high school play, and a choir concert. I’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner and decorating for Christmas. All are excellent excuses for why I won’t have time to write! My goal…navigate the obstacles.
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to putting up road blocks to my writing. I tell myself I’ll get to it when the dishes are done and I’ve filed our taxes and after dinner. I never get to it. The idea that I enjoy writing makes it a less valuable task than all the others I’m responsible for. I feel like I’m being selfish if I put it first.
But, that’s just what I’ve decided to do. I’m determined to write when I first get up in the morning. Right now my husband is grumpy because he was sleeping next to my writing space. I’m not sure how he could hear my typing over his snoring but apparantly, I woke him up.
Well, this new plan works better when the kids are at school and my husband is at work so I guess I’ll have to work out some sort of compromise for the weekend. But it definitely ensures that I keep in practice if nothing else. As soon as I walk away from my writing desk the phone rings and emails need to be addressed and the hope of writing for the rest of the day is lost. But, if I can hold those first moments of morning sacred, I’ll keep writing and not feel guilty about stealing time from something else in my day.