It is Tuesday.
Last Thursday I set out to free write daily until Monday.
On Friday I woke up, did my morning routine (walk dog, pour coffee, don’t drink coffee until it’s too cold to drink, wash face and apply 37 lotions) and head to a cafe. I putzed around (1920’s term for went on Facebook) for 30 or so minutes and then opened a document and wrote, freely.
It was awesome. I got out some frustrations. I typed some things I couldn’t believe I was typing. I laughed, twice I think. I don’t even remember what I wrote, but I really liked some of it. And I liked how my brain was working while it was happening. I thought, yep, I see how this could go. I’m thinking a thought and getting it down on paper without judgment or editing, so things are sounding really, naturally me. I will do that every day. Or at least a lot.
And then I didn’t.
I didn’t even sit down to free write and fail.
On Saturday I honestly forgot. I knew there was something I was supposed to be doing all day long but around 3PM I convinced myself it was order more shampoo from Amazon, did that and walked away from the computer.
On Sunday I wanted to free write but I’d left my other writing work until that day and so I didn’t have time. This is something my brain decided, not a fact. There were minutes in the day to write freely but I told myself I needed all those minutes to write what was due.
Yesterday, Monday, featured some highs and lows mood-wise so I didn’t feel like spending time with myself rehashing those things in a free write. Again, a pre-made decision. I could have written for thirty minutes about how delicious avocado is on top of a cream cheesed bagel, but only if you add a little salt and a squeeze of lemon.
And now it’s Tuesday, and I’m mad.
I believe the moral of this story is yet another lesson I teach in the very first class of every single writing workshop: you have to make time for writing. And that time has to be sacred.
I have to make time for writing. And that time has to be sacred.
I can wake up earlier. I can go to sleep later. I can section off time in my calendar. I can set an alarm to go off on my phone. I can get an iPad with one of those very nifty detachable keyboards so that it’s easier to write wherever, whenever.
Lots of options but they all require the same decision: this free writing is a priority, like any other piece of my writing career.
Why? Because of the original goal: get back to writing more blog posts about something other than writing blog posts. During my one day of free writing (and by day I mean hour) I started in on a stream of thought that could definitely have become a blog post. If I’d sat back down on Saturday I could have picked it up again or started something new because, being a two-day-season free writer, I’m sure ideas would be flowing even more freely.
So I’m going to try again. This time my first goal isn’t going to be the free writing, it’s going to be figuring out when and how I can build it into my life.