When I quit my daily blogging challenge back in July, I said I hoped I wouldn’t quit writing altogether. Whoops. In the last two months, I’ve posted six blogs (and one picture). I’ve essentially stopped writing. I don’t write my daily journal pages, or review the books I’ve read. The most I’ve written in the past month was a character backstory for my D&D character, as requested by my Dungeon Master. (In fairness, it’s a pretty long and detailed backstory.)
I don’t know what’s going on with me. I think I’ve lost my happy. I introduced myself as a writer a few weeks ago, and the words felt weird in my mouth. I could feel the lie in them even as I was saying them.
I’m not a writer. A writer writes. Universal law of being a writer. Right now, I’m more of a thinker. I think about writing. I think about what I could write, and how it would be terrible. Or I think about how shitty I feel for not writing, for lying to myself and breaking the universal law.
I feel ashamed for not writing, then guilty for letting myself get away with the excuses. I list my ‘if only’s’: if only I lived in a different place; if only I had better ideas; if only I had a better education; if only I had more time, better tools, less distraction, a different life. If only any of those things, I could be a writer. But my situation sucks and not having a job (or, more specifically, not having any money) sucks and having depression sucks and social anxiety sucks and whine and whine and bitch and moan and wallow in this giant pit of misery.
I can see myself not owning the situation, but can’t make myself take responsibility for it. And I feel like a massive hypocrite for it.
Years ago, a friend introduced me to The Artist’s Way, a twelve-week self-help-type thing for creatives. In it, the author makes writing a daily task – three full pages in a journal, every day. Of all the tasks and challenges, this was the hardest for me. I had no idea what to put down, and almost never came close to filling three pages. My friend, after patiently listening to me bitch about it, told me to just write the bullshit. Write the mundane tasks and happenings of the day. Write the same word or phrase over and over again. “It’s not about what you write; it’s about moving your pen across the page.” Somewhere along the way, I’ve forgotten that.
In an effort to publicly shame myself into action, I’m resolving to write at least two full pages in my journal every day, and post at least two blogs every week. For further embarrassment/proof, I’ll be posting pictures of the journal entries over on Instagram, with links to them in the bi-weekly blog posts. Shame isn’t the most positive of motivators, but it’s all I’ve got right now.