Writing has become a chore. This whole “write every day” thing is a wonderful idea, and I know it is important for me as a writer to exercise this thing that I say I do. In theory, I want to write daily. I do love writing. But in practice I find myself coming to the end of each day without writing yet, and I sit with my iPad in my bed while my eyes start to close and my fingers try to type while my brain starts drifting away. The sentences become nonsensical, and I just stare at the word-count and dread losing a day of this streak (today is Day 21).
I think I might have cheated.
I have written every day, but I cannot say that I have written more than a sentence or two. Some days, that’s all I can muster before I absolutely crash. I write using 750words.com. The site doesn’t count the day as completed unless there are 750 words written. And so, many of my words are just a simple phrase that says something to the effect of “I am too tired to keep writing and this stupid app needs 750 words” copy and pasted over and over until my word count is reached. One day, though mostly closed eyes, I managed to get myself over to Wikipedia to copy and paste a paragraph about who knows what. I was amazed at how incredibly hard and confusing getting myself to Wikipedia and copying and pasting a paragraph was. That is how tired I get at this point of my day.
I love the act of writing each day, though. It helps me explore those ideas that I keep meaning to get to. All of those times that I tell myself that I really need to write about a certain topic, I am now able to when I’m writing consistently. And then, there are times when writing is good just for recording what happened each day. Sometimes when I get too wrapped up in writing for blogging sake, I lose the personal aspect of it and miss recording the things that make each day special. (Today we set up the half-size artificial Christmas tree downstairs. We missed the local Santa Claus parade because it was raining and Dan was working this afternoon and I couldn’t wrap my head around taking two children and a baby downtown to sit in the cold for at least an hour while we waited for the parade to actually start. Since our cable provider didn’t carry the parade, we watched the Toronto Santa Claus Parade on demand. I was determined to watch a parade! We cleaned up the basement a bit, rearranged furniture, and set up the mini Christmas tree, with everyone except Logan helping to fluff out the branches. I got the colourful lights and ribbon on and then the boys decorated it, all while being incredibly grumpy with one another. Logan found it exciting. His first ever taste of Christmas happened today.)
For me personally, I think that writing is also an outlet. It is my therapy. Anytime I question my mental health, I consider the options my doctor will likely offer me: Therapy first. If that doesn’t help, then we can try meds. I’ve been in that place before, with those options in front of me. But I can’t get to a place where I can honestly talk about things with a therapist and have it make much of a difference. I have tried. I can’t break down that wall that has me keeping up appearance when I’m face to face. But I do let myself express what is going on through the written word. I work through my emotions through writing. The other day I wrote about a new development in my life that I knew was the worst and that I hated and was incredibly sad about, but I couldn’t really feel it until I sat down to write it. Writing allowed the tears to come. It allowed me to grieve.
Tonight I’m trying to finish editing photos for one client. I still have two other clients to finish (and I think I owe my sister some family photos too!) I have someone to message back about a Jamberry order. There is laundry in the washing machine that needs to be moved to the dryer (the dryer has already been emptied and folded by me earlier in the day at least). It is ten minutes to midnight and I wanted to do my nails before going to bed, but I need to have these photos done before I go to bed too. Still, I took a break, made some tea, and decided to write. I can’t let the streak die. And I certainly won’t be able to write when I finish everything and go to bed.
It is hard to know where writing fits in on my priority list when my priority list is so long and disjointed. I have house priorities and family priorities and personal priorities and photography priorities and blogging priorities and my direct sales business priorities and design priorities and soon enough editing priorities. Some days they’re all just as urgent as any other thing. Even if I took the most urgent from each category, it couldn’t all be done in a day.
I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up the every day writing thing when November is over, simply because my need for self-preservation will take over. But I wish I would keep the streak alive. The benefits of writing outweighs the exhaustion. It is one of those things that takes time but results in more benefits than is expected.
Speaking of things that I haven’t taken the time for lately, but are really beneficial, I really need to get back to running… I’ll just go add that to the list too…