I never realized how difficult it is to blog regularly. I know that we bloggers are advised to write regularly and often–all for very smart reasons. For me, though, it is more a “quality rather than quantity” equation: I just don’t feel I have anything of import to say that merits posting so frequently. My mind is constantly thinking, of course, so it isn’t the problem of having nothing to think on or ponder about. Life certainly supplies a fresh batch of ideas every day even if my internal reflections aren’t exactly acting the muse.
On the face of it, that’s nothing to worry about. There is a lot of life to live, and if a writer is out experiencing it rather than chained to their laptop, I think it makes us happier and healthier, or at least more balanced. On the other hand (as I’ve written here before), if there are too many distractions taking you away from writing, that’s an imbalance too. A writer who is not consistently writing is an unhappy person. There’s also the discipline of it — a workout to your soul that is similar to the benefits brought to your body by physical workouts.
I need to remind myself about this by analogy – just as a walk around the block is better than nothing at all when it comes to physical exercise, writing something, no matter how small, has the same benefits to my mind and heart. This daily writing exercise is something that most successful writers say they had to train themselves to do. Perhaps if I did that, I would open up the floodgates and brilliant pieces of writing would rush out … okay, maybe not. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t experience some benefit.
However, this post is not just about repeating advice that most writers have heard a dozen times. I wanted to add another take on this subject. It is not simply that I have avoided the discipline of daily writing because I don’t want to write or embrace my ADD and refuse to focus on anything for more than two minutes. The main reason I inexplicably avoid something I really love to do is: I run. I run from writing because I am not ready to go that deep into what I am thinking. It essentially is running from myself.
It isn’t that I am frightened of what I will find, but because it is just a bad habit. Writing takes up a lot of time, and while I love it — it requires me to open up my heart, my mind, my life, and my soul. It requires me sacrificing other things I would rather do so that I don’t have to dig deep. It requires that I discipline myself to step away from all the things I worry and think about on a regular basis. It is much easier to switch on the TV, watch a movie, or find a million other distractions. But all that is a substitute for thinking and creating, and not nearly as satisfying. You would think the choice would be a “no-brainer,” but it is not that easy for me.
So the point I am trying to make throughout all of this is … there are times to get out and experience all that life has to offer, to be with the people we love, and to feel the sun on our face and move our bodies out in the wilds of nature, or the urban jungle, wherever your playground is. But there is a time to quiet the distractions and come home to your writer-self. There’s an oasis there that is just as important to find as anything else we seek. In fact, wandering aimlessly in the desert of distraction can run your soul and heart dry. It’s time to replenish and find out what the waters of the writer-self has in mind — and it never fails to surprise me how little I know about me. It’s time to stop running and start writing.
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