Sunday, March 13, 2011

Giving yourself permission.

I haven't written in a while. I mean, really haven't written. Not here, not anywhere. Okay, so there have been some tweets, maybe a facebook status update now and again, but that's it. I wouldn't say I've had writer's block specifically. It's not that I couldn't think of what to write, or how to express what was on my mind. I would instead say that I haven't wanted to write at all. Not the slightest desire. So I didn't write.

I understand that I'm going completely against my "Eat Your Vegetables" post, where I pontificated on why you work, even when you don't want to, because it's good for you. I guess I should amend that entire post. I won't, because it would require work and because it seemed like a good idea at the time and I like to be true to the me who felt that way when she wrote it, but I should.

Here's what I'll say instead. Sometimes I get freaking bored with running the same run every day. I used to think that I had to be consistent with my workout in order to build a good habit and to see results. So I was consistent for a long time, and I grew to HATE my workout. Like dreaded it all the time. Which was stupid, really, because that's the best way to set yourself up for failure. For quitting. And one day I planned to blow off my workout entirely, and would have if it weren't for that little voice inside me (whom I've named Guilt and picture in a frilly pink dress with curly hair and a sweet voice that is as unrelenting as my daughter when she wants ice cream) telling me to do something. Anything. So I ran. Just not my usual run. A shorter run at a slower pace. But it was something.

*Light bulbs flash*

I realized that I don't always have to be hardcore. I don't always have to be Miss Badass Workout Girl. Sometimes I can be Miss Likes To Elliptical To Chill Music For Twenty Minutes. And once I gave myself the permission to achieve less when I felt like I needed it, to vary my routine so it wouldn't become stale, a giant weight lifted. Why I didn't figure this would hold true for writing as well, I'll never know. Especially since most of my analogies are workout/writing. Anyhoo.

I've been spending all this time working on my Nano project, filling it out, editing, whatever, and hating every minute of it. Wondering if it was worth it, wondering if I should instead focus on revising another work, start a new project, or quit altogether because I couldn't stand it anymore.

Not many days after the Veggies post, I just stopped writing. I wasn't getting anywhere with it and I needed a break. I needed to revise my strategy. To give myself permission to achieve less. To vary my routine. I went to the library and checked out a crap ton of books. A literal crap ton which, if you look it up in the Urban Dictionary, is equal to 4 shit loads. That's a lot, for those of you who don't swear. And I've been reading. Like crazy. Drag it out for three syllables to get the real effect of how much I've been reading. Or look at my Books 2011 blog post to see the list of books I've read. I think it's been good for me. I've infused myself with stories, renewed my love for them, and- FINALLY- have begun thinking of my own again. With interest. I'm ready to write now.

Listening to: Band Of Horses "Infinite Arms"



  1. Yay! Welcome back to writing! =) I completely understand how you felt. Taking a break and/or changing things up a little always helps me, too. (As does reading a LOT -- experiencing voices, new stories, living through different characters.)

    Also, I never knew what a literal crap ton meant. Thanks for the lesson. ;)

  2. Jessica- I love Urban Dictionary. It's in my top five fav sites.
    And it's good to be back. I'm outlining right now, which is awesome because it requires thought but without emotion (so much easier) and it's so changeable. *Love*

  3. We all go through these phases.

    Happy writing. Shit loads of writing.

  4. Lola- Thank you. I plan on writing a f**k ton, which is, again according to Urban Dictionary, "An unimaginable amount of something; so much of an object, item, or substance that it is immeasurable." :)