27 December 2013

“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.”
--C.S. Lewis

One author said he succeeded at his craft, not because he was the most creative or prolific in his writing classes, but because of all his classmates he was the only one who just kept writing. And I always thought, well, that's simple. Just never stop.

But it's not as easy as that.

Of late my writing has fallen to the last bullet point on my priorities list. There always seems to be something more pressing, more useful, more productive—more fun—to do. School, family, friends, housework, errands, school, work, school…. Not to mention that trying to write on a computer, for me, means opening my StoryMill app and then drifting over to my mail and Internet icons instead. It's easier than staring at a blank screen or a half-finished paragraph/sentence and trying to figure out…where is this going? Writing consists, nowadays, of journaling and jotting down quotes. Creativity consists of working 50-page research papers into documents that will help me pass my classes. I don't think I've thought in Story, or any creative literary form, for months. And I've been too busy and distracted to really miss it.

But my Christmas this year included the following:

  • Five new writing pads (including two new Moleskines!).
  • Five new pens (really nice ones).

Encouraging. People still think I have it in me.

And the above quote, I found today. It drove the point home a little farther. The older and busier I get, the harder creative writing becomes for me, the easier to avoid. I tell myself I'm just waiting to feel it again. But I've waited so long that the feelings have dried up right along with the ideas. Not good.

Twenty years from now, I want to be the one who just kept writing. And who has something to show for it. But I can't wait twenty years for that to materialize.

So I made a goal to sit at my computer today, for a few minutes, and write 100 words. No rereading old stories, no reworking in-progress ones. Just plain writing.

I wrote 200 words. A tiny increment. It was a halting, awkward process. But it worked. And maybe, if I do it every day, creativity will start trickling again.

Writing. It's the work I've always wanted to do. But if I want to do it, I realize that I need to treat it like work…and do it. Every day. Whether it's convenient, easy and organic or not. I'm a great worker. With a little channeling, maybe I can be a great writer.

I'm a writer. In training. But I'm in training. Because I want to be

A writer.

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