Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else — Gloria Steinem
I love that quote. I never put my feelings into words this way, but it is so appropriate. It is how I always feel when I allow myself to write.
The last few weeks I realized again that daily writing is necessary. Why do I need to re-realize this notion? No idea. I’m dense? Forgetful? Easily distracted? Not only do I allow my subconscious to release its dirty little secrets when I write, which is so very cathartic, but the narrative stays fresh, within reach, and I am excited to see what new characteristics arise, what new plot twist is about to happen every day, what new unknown becomes known.
The problem is the same problem though. Writing is difficult. There are so many nagging excuses. There are so many reasons why I should procrastinate for the day. Once upon a time I wrote from midnight onwards – like a good little night owl.
My new schedule: Wake up. Write.
That’s it. After I can internet, or video game, or god forbid, grade portfolios because if I’m honest with myself, and honestly, I’m way too honest, the writing is my work. It is the work I would always rather do. There is no financial gain now, at this stage, (or probably ever at any stage) but after hours of plotting and keeping up with my wordcount, I feel the sense of accomplishment as if I have put in a good day’s hard labor.
So, write like it’s work. Forget inspiration. If you want to write, write. If you have that great American novel in your head, it doesn’t amount to anything until you get it down on paper, and sadly unless you are Ray Bradbury or Mary Shelley it just doesn’t happen over a long weekend. It happens over the course of many weeks, months, and often years of daily attention.
Now, take this device from me while I go putter in the yard for no good reason at all and stare at the leaves that are describing more perfectly than I could ever put into words what the color green is all about.