It’s been two years since I’ve written on my blog, simply because I did not make myself sit down and write. Oh, I tried, I swear I did! I occasionally put my butt in the chair, but I could not make the words come. I thought about writing but could not make the words come because they chose to stay in some dark place, stagnant, without a journey. Instead, I chose art as a mode of expression. I took art classes and learned how to channel whatever was going on inside of me onto paper and canvas.
That was before fact-based science and ridiculous conspiracy theories splintered the world, then shattered it, while a pandemic pushed us into a state of emergency. Some of us—yes, me too—listened to the science and sheltered in place. I delved more into my art. I became depressed and worried. I participated in National Novel Writing Month and got about 15,000 words of a story written. I created more art but my well of words seemed to run dry more often than not.
The truth is, I can’t figure out what happened during this whole pandemic. I am lucky to have been working from home since mid-2017, so the pandemic did not change my physical life much, except I could not longer go to the gym or sit at the local coffee shop and chat with friends on my lunch break. I was also blessed to have my husband during the pandemic, not to be alone like so many other people were.
The pandemic also showed me a whole viewpoint that I was not aware of before. I found myself intolerant of people who touted conspiracy theories about the pandemic, or politicized or religicized (yes, I know this is not a real word) Covid, or simply chose not to follow health guidelines. Now, in my own community, I have no interest in those businesses that did not respect others during the pandemic by wearing masks and following health guidelines. I felt like I was ultra-focused on what was going on in the world instead of the stuff that I wanted to get done in my own life.
Now that things are starting to return to normal, I’m feeling more motivated to write. I recently continued working on a short story and I have been researching magazines to send my already completed stories to. I have opened a “shelved” novel and considered the ways that I can revise it or utilized parts that can go into another story. I have actually starting put in the work required to be a writer.
The pandemic has brought to light that my belief has been that motivation is a motivator when it’s really just an excuse not to sit down and write. For me, motivation is another word for procrastination or laziness, or not taking the time to work on my stories but adding hours of guilt for making that choice.
So, this is it—to be a writer I must write. I must take action It might just be working on this blog today, but tomorrow it can be working on my current short story. And the next day I might not write anything at all, or I might revise my novel.
Words on paper equal writing.
Writing is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent sitting down and writing. Like I have done now.