Why do I never update my blog, you ask–or do you? Since I don’t update like I should, you likely don’t expect it of me, especially if you’ve subscribed in the last year or two. Because I NEVER update. I don’t update like I should because I don’t write as much as I should, which, if you’re a writer, means you’re not living like you should. But I’m working on that.
Here’s the thing. Life will get you out of the habit of writing quicker than a jackrabbit on a date. Whether it’s focusing on school or a career or a family crisis or your health or moving or politics or even nice things (those do happen, I’m told) like a new puppy or winning the lottery, life will endeavor to take priority over writing. Screw that. As I find myself getting crankier, I realize that maintaining my sanity via spending the time it takes to write 250 words a day requires far less effort and/or actual hours of the day than it would take to improve my habits, veg out after work, go to therapy, find healthier recipes to cook, shop online, or anything else I’m supposed to do to make myself feel better.
A few months ago, maybe four or five now, my partner and I had finally clicked into this groove. We’re both creative, and we’ve both been lured away from our efforts over the (now) 8 years we’ve been together by efforts toward our respective careers and, you know, adulting. And after all this time, we both got into the habit of being creative at the same time, in the same space, and were excited to come together in the evenings and talk about it. It’s one thing when you’re single and this kind of inspiration hits–but for two people to have it at the same time? Well, that’s GOLD. Then life happened, and we both felt the good new groove slip away. And ever since, we’ve both been striving to bring that little mini-era of mutual creativity back. I’ll only speak for my end, because his end is his own business, and he’ll have to write his own blog about it if he wants to.
But for my own part, I choose to re-prioritize my writing at this point. I love my day job, and my side job, and they both afford me opportunities to research and write in their own vein…and I don’t have a ton of income, that I can just casually decide to push extra income opportunities aside. Trust me on this, I have a BA in Anthropology…I’m lucky to have a job at all. But as I’ve always told aspiring writers, I’ll tell myself now: You can write 250 words a day. Every day. Yes, even on a really busy day. And a lot more, once your’e in the habit. Once you decide to write daily and stick to it, it’s so ridiculously easy to write a page a day that you feel silly doing so little.
So I advise you, as I’m advising myself: Consider creativity part of self-care. When you think over your day or how stressed you are or everything that’s wrong with the world, yeah, sure, you could do the housework or take a bath or play a video game or drink a beer. You could also write or paint or compose music–or whatever your creative outlet is–with part of that time. And drink beer. At the same time. Which is what I’m doing as I write this. As you can probably tell.