Life is … complicated.
Or perhaps ‘life’ is simple, and it is the ‘living’ of life that complicates things.
Complicates, as in, making things a hellofa lot more stressful and tiresome than needed.
I am skilled at that kind of living, through years of practice.
Yet I am also learning new ways to live, to be me, a writer.
A writer is someone who puts words together, tells stories, creates people and places.
To do that, you need to make the effort of literally writing, whether on paper or screen. Ideally, writing should happen regularly, not only to build the creative muscles but to improve at the craft of words and to also write more than a page per year.
For some time, as I tried to become and live as a writer, I would go through spells of productivity – writing regularly, meeting my goals and making good progress – followed by spells of anti-productivity – actively avoiding my stories, procrastinating with every conceivable excuse and committing increasing energy to feel like a failure for it.
Always, inevitably, back and forth.
A pendulum of extremes.
Writing like a true bonafide artist one day, then the next day not writing like a wannabe/has-been artist, scared of seeing my own shadow.
“I put off another day of writing, so clearly I am self-sabotaging and should stop calling myself a writer…”
For SO LONG this was my routine, feeling like a champ for writing today or else feeling like my own worst enemy thwarting my growth as a writer.
When suddenly it occurs to me:
all of it – the writing and the not writing – is the practice.