I had to Google “askew” because my brain kept telling me it’s pretty sure there’s an i in there somewhere, to which I (and Google) called bullshit. Joke’s on you, brain.
Today is an appropriately dreary day, as I just got back from vacation in the Outer Banks yesterday and my impending return to business-as-usual tomorrow has me feeling gloomy and out-of-sorts. It’s like waking up to discover everything shifted ever-so-slightly to the left with no explanation as to why, and I feel like I’m bouncing into every single wall there is to be bounced into. Something like that. If you’re reading this expecting poetic nuances, you’ll want to navigate elsewhere. The most thinking I’m doing at the moment is the standard focus on writing (and my lack of discipline in regards to writing)…and if I should finally get off of my ass and either start unpacking or go to the store to pick up some of the essentials. The milk in my fridge isn’t technically expired, but the aroma it gives off when opened suggests otherwise.
So, hours later, I’ve bought milk. That’s something, right? I also had bits planned out for this post that have since evaporated. Not ideal. I also made the mistake of reading a piece on Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and not stopping before the comments section. Aside from not being particularly enthusiastic about watching as the magical world of Harry Potter continues on forever instead of leaving well enough alone, it was a solid reminder that people are atrocious, horrid creatures.
Anyway, back to the points of this post. Or, at the very least, back to what I’m pretty sure the points of this post were. Maybe the new points of this post. Whatever. Moving along.
I lack discipline. If I were able to wield the Force, command magic, or anything else along those lines, I’d probably either be dead or in some sort of prison by now because my capacity for sticking to set schedules outside of work is comical at best. Thankfully, instead of waving a laser sword around or potentially (accidentally) casting deadly spells, I’m just exceedingly bad at writing on a regular basis.
The actual problem, as I’ve had pointed out to me, is that I put a metric shit-ton of pressure on myself to write. That coupled with not making time to write on a regular basis is causing me all of the stress. An over-abundance of stress. The other issue is the disconnect between where I am as a writer, with a handful of things published (one short story that is no longer existent among those things as the publication ceased to be) versus wanting to be able to write for a living (which still feels like an entirely impossible outcome for me despite understanding that many people make it happen).
Also unhelpful: my complete lack of understanding as to how to approach getting a book published the proper way. That, however, shouldn’t be a concern until I have a completed, polished draft, I suspect.
What’s the solution? In truth, I have no idea. The goal of writing for a living is, at least to me, a lofty one. It’s a very nebulous concept that I can’t fully wrap my head around. What I can do is work out a system of holding myself accountable while keeping myself encouraged. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
Starting tomorrow, I think my goal will need to be to write a little every day. Even if it’s minor additions or tweaks. Flash fiction. Pushing past my inability to free-write, as I’ve been told to do. Most importantly, I need to write. That, it seems, is the only way to get to the point where I can even entertain the idea of writing for a living.
Wish me luck.