I'm Too Tired to Write, but I'm Doing It Anyway.
It's all about discipline, isn't it?
This is a huge point of discipline for me. It is so easy for me to blow off my writing for a day or even an evening. Super easy. I can justify it. I can explain it away. No one would disagree with me if they had just come off a 12 hour shift.
Of COURSE it’s okay to take a break. I deserve it, right?
Maybe, but that’s not the problem.
The problem is, at least with me, one day or evening quickly turns into 2 or 3 days and before I know it, I don’t want to do it.
It’s almost as if I’m ashamed or embarrassed to come back to the blank page. I sort of sneer at it and then begin the ritual of beating myself up for slacking off.
I think we writers are our own worst critics. I want perfection to flow from my mind, down my arms, out of my fingertips and onto the blank page or screen.
Nothing less will do.
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” ~ Margaret Atwood
I need to tattoo this on my hand so I can always remind myself that it’s not perfection I am going for — it’s just getting the damn words written.
When I first started writing here at Medium, I thought it would be easy. Well, not easy, but easier. I have blogs that were successful for quite some time but then…life…got busy and in the way. My constant critical nature took hold of me and I left them all alone for a long time. I grew bored. I felt there were things I was supposed to write about because that’s what my readers wanted.
I wanted to please them and though there’s nothing really wrong with that, it’s never worked for me. It becomes serious and important and before too long, I was blank. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t figure out what I should write, so I stopped.
But I missed it. I missed the thrill and the rush of writing something I loved and admired. I missed the comments and the interaction and engagement with my readers who had become my friends.
I’m lonely when I don’t write.
I soon realized that it didn’t matter what I wrote so much as it is the actions and creation of something, anything, that I can relate to. Even if what I wrote was crap and I’d never publish it, I was at least being true to myself to see this through to the end.
I don’t know what the end is exactly, but I do know that it’s not over. I have too many ideas. Too much more to learn. More reading to do than I can possibly do, but as long as I have a stack of books on my nightstand or downloaded in my Kindle, I am a happy camper. It means I have more to do before I die and since I don’t plan on dying today, then it’s a good day.
I make a few dollars here every month and it makes me smile. It’s nowhere near enough to retire on, but since I can’t afford to retire until 5 years after I die, I might as well keep plugging away.
This publication is a work in progress. I’m learning how to do it — to me it is difficult to navigate — but when I woke-up this morning excited about it, I knew I was on the right track.
The idea of a story to write, of something to create, makes me get up early and start the coffee pot. I quietly get to work while the smell of the coffee wakes me up. When I wake up like that, I know I’m headed towards a good day.
Some say you should write every day. I don’t know. I don’t like anything carved in stone because my first reaction is to prove it wrong.
But I will say that it something that may apply to me.
I worked a 12 hour shift today. 4 hours of it was driving for Lyft after working 8 hours at my day job. I am trying to raise money to start a non-profit and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home and scarfed down 1/2 of a burrito at 8:00 tonight was to sit down and write…I did it anyway.
For me, that’s the discipline I have to learn myself.
Discipline — writing is all about discipline.
© 2019 Susan Lewis