Today is the day I’m supposed to jump back into writing with fresh ideas and an abundance of enthusiasm. I’ve been making excuses all summer, but summer is done now. My granddaughter has gone home, my husband has gone back to work. I’m alone in a quiet house. So what’s my problem?
The honest answer answer is that I really don’t have a problem. I’m just tired and undisciplined and too eager to create problems where none exist so I have something to blame when I’m feeling bad about my feeble output. I could sit down and edit the poems I’ve written this summer, do some cleanup on them, work at them. I could jot down ideas I’ve had for stories (not true—I don’t have ideas for stories, I have characters and snippets of dialogue, vague scenes, no real ideas). I could print out my blog pages so I have a hard copy of what I’ve written over the past year and a half. I could read. In other words, I could work at being a writer and do writerly tasks.
Why don’t I? Because I still don’t think of myself as a writer. I don’t take my writer-self seriously, even though I love writing (and reading, and reading about writing, and talking about reading about writing). I still keep that part of myself tucked away, hidden from the rest of my life.
I have a list of life-improvements I’m wanting to make this fall. I’ve been holding off, delaying any changes until after Labor Day. Until now, today. Integrating my writing-self with my self-self is one of those changes. But I didn’t wake up this morning clear-headed and eager to get started. I didn’t exercise or eat a healthy breakfast. I didn’t meditate. I didn’t set up my computer at the desk in the spare bedroom or arrange my favorite writing books within reach on the bookcase. I didn’t prepare myself mentally before bed last night to do any of those things.
I woke feeling groggy still after a long, busy weekend. I shuffled to the kitchen and made a cup of weak coffee. I watered the flower baskets by the front porch even though it’s raining lightly, because they’ve been stressed by the drought and needed a good soaking. I sat in the recliner with my laptop and checked my email and stared at a blank page in my Poems in Progress file. And I almost quit without writing a word. But I didn’t. I wrote this, whatever it is. Just another day, another trivial thought. Still, I wrote.