Summer is kicking me around the block, friends. Every moment from now until the kids go back to school has been planned away, and during the school year every moment is logged and accounted for, and I fall into a spiral of despair about time whizzing by as speedily as I did in my car past the police officer that one time I got a ticket and it was all my husband’s fault because I was following him on an unfamiliar road and then after the ticket my husband STILL didn’t slow down enough for me to follow him and I took a wrong turn and got lost and things were ugly at home that night.
Wait. Where was I?
Because things are moving rapidly around here, I feel like I’m playing a one-woman game of catch-up against the world, and I’m losing miserably. It’s survival mode on steroids around here, folks. About the only saving grace is that my kids are old enough to mow the lawn and feed themselves.
They feed themselves cookies and soda, but still.
I haven’t written anything. I haven’t done anything blog-worthy, either. And it is soul-crushing, because ennhhhhh… I MUST WRITE. And I can’t figure out how to get back on the horse.
Which usually means that I’m about to get back on the horse, thanks to the following advice to writers that I hear pretty often:
Write every day. Write when you have ten minutes, write when you don’t have anything to say, write even if it’s crap. Writing is my preferred mode of expression, and – by the way, thank goodness ‘writer’ is one of those nebulous, broad designations – I took this advice to heart.
It’s amazing how great advice sounds before you have to do anything about it.
So I sit in my chair, fingers poised on the edge of greatness, the precipice of understanding, the foothills of the great mountains of truth. I wait for pearls of wisdom to drop onto the page, er, the screen.
I got nothing. And oh hey, the laundry needs to be folded again.
Writing is a muscle that you have to exercise, I hear. Exercise – that terrible word that conjures up pain and time spent sweating and pushing yourself to exhaustion only to undo a fraction of the damage a body has sustained as a result of poor lifestyle habits. I hate the thought of it, enter into it only grudgingly. Since I quit the gym most of my muscles are slowly atrophying into masses of substance that I’d rather not even think about. I could be in better shape, I guess. I’ve thrown my back out while doing not-so-strenuous tasks like reaching across a car seat and climbing into bed. My core strength might not be all that it could be.
Why must something that is so good for us be so difficult?
Is writing good for me? Spending time alone sitting threatens at a lifetime of sciatic pain and relationship breakdown. Exposing my thoughts and dreams and desires that might not previously have seen the light of day is scary. Ignored household tasks and piles of mail and being late to appointments and SOON - school pick-up - and all the things that eat up the hours, days, weeks of my life degenerates into chaos.
But for ten minutes a day?
How hard could it be?
Even if this is all I have to offer?