Starting Where You’re At

Writing is a muscle. A discipline. A calling, yes. But a practice. The more you do, the more readily it can come. The more smoothly.

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Not all the time. Writer’s block is a thing for a reason.

But the blank page. The atrophy of “not having written”. These things can make the first few times back more painful. More full of stumbling, bumbling moments.

So I’m starting where I’m at.

I can’t wait for the perfect time — there will never be one. I’ll perhaps forget to post a weekly post, but I can’t let that stop me today, this week.

So many excuses. So many hurdles. So many “I’ll wait until I have more time” or “I’ll wait until I have less distractions” said.

Right now is the time. It’s 4 pm in the afternoon, a rainy, blustery spring day in the pacific northwest. My laptop rests on my legs as I lean back in my leather recliner, dog napping on the couch to my right and 5-month-old son singing to himself in the nursery. He resists his late afternoon nap every day. After about ten minutes, he usually gives in to slumber.

Life is chaotic. Life is blissful. Life is a mess. Life is better than I could have ever dreamed.

I’m starting right here.

Remembering the days, the years where I churned out a novel every 12 months or so helps fuel me on. I’m capable of these things. I’m capable of doing this even with a full-time job, mothering responsibilities and a household to care for. Because a little bit every day, every week adds up. Each post, each page build up to something greater over the span of the creative lifestyle.

So let’s be bold. Let’s not hunker and be timid to step out. Let’s put a word on the page. Then two. Then three. Then fill the page. Do it again tomorrow. And the next day.

Strive for the unbroken chain – an “x” or check mark on each day or week you do your work. Do the thing that calls to you.

Dishes can wait. Vacuuming can wait (let’s be honest, you really only do those things when something else more pressing is at stake.) Clever thing, that Resistance. But this is what matters. This is what endures. This is what makes you come alive.

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Start where you’re at.

 

Note: This post was written as a personal journal entry two months ago (right now, it’s not quite blustery, but nearing 100 degrees, and my now 7-month-old still resists his afternoon nap.) 

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • You’ve addressed the challenge every writer faces, Nicole. We all think that we’ll write when we’re “ready”. But that time never comes. Eventually, many promising writers just fade away because they waited for too long to find inspiration. Instead, as Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a bat!”

    I’m reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, in which she says that it’s important to sit down every day at a specific time and stare the screen/paper for an hour if needed. The words will slowly come.

    Brilliant post this.