Here I sit, coffee cup at my side and laptop on my, well, lap–just as I sit every morning between 6 and 8 am, warming up to the new day. I am thinking just now of the writing life I wish I had, knowing any moment the phone will demand my attention, an urgent email will pop into my in-box, or some member of my household will awaken with ready made expectations. And I find myself frustrated by the realization that just the potential for distraction is in itself, a distraction.
Like many writers I know, I suffer from a self-inflicted syndrome that at its best prevents me from accomplishing the daily writing goals I set for myself, and at its worst, prevents me from writing at all. I worry daily that this affliction is chronic, or possibly even fatal. There must be a cure, or at least a treatment.
It is a constant struggle to nurture my creative nature alongside my other commiitments and obligations. I have a business and clients to attend, family to care for, and friendships to honor. All of which, I gladly report, are happy and healthy. My writing, however, suffers terribly from neglect.
Well, not all of my writing. By trade I am a MARCOM writer–I do in fact write every day–and there is creative value and nourishment in the writing I do for clients and students. But this writing for hire does not feed my artistic soul in the same way as the writing I do for myself. Not even close.
What to do, what to do. It is an inescapable truth that my children need new school clothes and my husband really does like to eat everyday. Bills must be paid, dishes must be washed, carpools must sally forth, and so on. All the items on the ‘to do’ list get done–save one.
I do set out to write each and every day. I commit to it whole heartedly, I have serious intent. I plan the time, plot the work I want to accomplish, create the space, and yet more often than not it still doen’t happen. True, it is the very last item on the daily ‘to do’ list, but it is on the list. Why is it the one thing I am willing to sacrifice when it is the one thing I want to do the most? Why is it so difficult for me to give my writing the same importance I give everything else in my daily life?
I wish I had the answer. Perhaps I do and just haven’t discovered it yet. If persistence counts for anything, I will indeed write today. But first, a second cup of coffee.