Command to Self:

TODAY YOU WILL WRITE SOMETHING.

This is not an artistic goal, and it isn’t literary or profound, or even really a specific goal. But, it’s the baby-step mark I set out to reach each day.

So, if I do end up getting a few scribbles down on the screen or page, it’s a good day. I give myself a little pat on the back and have some fruit snacks.

Some may say that it helps when you make a vague goal without too high of expectations. I say that that is the lowest of my daily expectations for myself as a writer (As a human, I hope I at least brush my teeth and put on the requisite amounts of clothing before leaving the house). Every time I meet the lowest expectation, I step up to the next one, which is less general, and each level of expectations gets more specific the more I meet the general expectations. It’s a great system. I’m always disappointing myself, and congratulating myself at the same time.

I’ve been finding that the more I read, the more I’m able to write. I was reading some JCO (as Joyce Carol Oates calls herself) today over my lunch break, and I read this following quote and thought: Yes.

“For if you read, you need not become a writer; but if you hope to become a writer, you must read.”

Yes.

I’m not trying to be existential (this is a word I finally looked up the meaning of, and am still trying to legitimately work it into conversations) in my agreement with a truth universally acknowledged among writers, but I’ve recently begun listening to audio books to supplement my regular page-turning habits. I commute too much and don’t have enough eyelid power to read before bed (in bed; that’s probably the problem.)

I think the audiobooks are making a difference. I can hear the cadence of words more easily and “feel the beat” as it were. In this way, I’m able to ingest more words, and ergo, more words come out. And that’s the goal: to get the words out. Some words. Any words.

To write, I must be full: of words, observations, emotions and experiences. So I spend just as much time living as I do locking myself away to write. Add in reading time and I’m basically spending an estimated tenth of my life, maybe an eighth, writing, while the rest is spent in absorption of Life in order to have something to write about.

It’s thrillingly backward and fulfilling to say that part of my chosen career path is living fully. Unfortunately, they don’t pay people to simply exist…so I have this thing called a day job. That’s what pays at the moment, so the career path is still on its way. It will always be on its way, probably.

I HAVE WRITTEN SOMETHING TODAY.

See? I met the goal.

 

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