{31} Thirty-something.


Thirty-one days of writing. I’ve done it before and should know that this isn’t the way to some profound revelation, but each time I start again I manage to convince myself that this time — this time — I’ll somehow jettison the crippling insecurity that compells me to erase page…after page…after page…

I’ve written this entry three times already, and it is sheer willpower and the fact that it’s almost 4 am that will ensure this gets published instead of obliterated with a quick full-page highlight-and-delete.

There are just some days where no topic feels right. There are too many, but the energy and focus required to explore them and get to the full richness that exists in my head is just not there. Any attempt at tackling those topics, if forced, will come up empty and strained, lacking the discovery or uncovering of any truths or insights. The writing is insipid. Flat. Uninspired.

It is easy to imagine that these days indicate that nothing is happening. The process is broken or you’re doing it wrong or, let’s face it, you were never going to be any good at it anyway.

This is a mistake.

What does happen after thirty-one days of consecutive writing is largely internal. In the same way that the homeowners on HGTV get frustrated when their budget gets “wasted” on unseen things like wiring or plumbing, the process of Getting Better at Writing is comprised of subtle shifts deep beneath the surface rather than bright splashes of paint or fancy crown molding. Certainly we’re nowhere near accessories or furniture.

Writing every day allows your brain the space to play — not to think, not to work, but to meander from topic to topic, flirting with ideas, probing them for depth, trying them on to see how they fit. It feels, sometimes, like writers block, this inability to land on a topic and see it through. But the mere act of picking something and deciding to discard it — and it is a decision, remember — means you have held it up to the light, seen the prisms and rainbows it created, and those refractions are now a part of you. They will re-emerge when you least expect it.

I still feel weird putting this at the end of posts, but I’m going to keep doing it because it’s so hard for me. Contribute if you wish, but definitely please consider putting your own link on your work. Your words have value.