Photo by break.things
I’m still not writing.
So as an escape hatch to stop me feeling guilty about that, I’m questioning if I “should” be writing at all. Questioning whether I have any talent. Questioning if keeping on trying to write for publication is worth the effort.
At least I’m being honest about my reasons. For too long, I’ve blamed so much else in my life for me not writing. My husband. My job. My parents. No room to write. No time to write. No peace and quiet to write. I’ve got angry with the people around me and the circumstances of my life for stopping me writing.
What I’m really angry with is myself for not writing.
I can’t make any of those external factors the scapegoat for me not writing. That’s bad for my husband, my happiness, my productivity, and my karma! If i don’t write, that’s my responsibility.
Not my job or my husband or my head cold or the tiny house or anything else. Me.
The big thing about growing up is taking responsibility for what truly is mine to take. Not feeling responsibility for things that aren’t down to me. Not blaming anyone or anything else for what really IS my responsibility.
So me writing or not is down to me, no matter what the circumstances are. If I’m not writing, it’s because I am choosing something else. Maybe that choice can be justified, maybe it can’t. What matters most is acknowledging- it’s my choice.
Not in an accusatory blaming-the-victim “You chose this” kind of way. More of an ”If you don’t like it, what can you do differently next time to change things?”
No matter what the situation, there will always be some choice I can make. It’s hard to imagine likely situations where there wouldn’t be. Being kidnapped and taken hostage, okay, all I can choose is my attitude. But in most everyday situations, I have a choice.
I did it to lose weight. I stopped trying to lose weight, which I’d been doing without much results for a couple of years. Instead, I just did it.
There is no try- do, or do not. Or something like that!
Anyway, it’s so true. Eighty pounds in two years, from a UK size 22 to a UK size 10.
I had to choose to exercise more and to transform how i ate, not once, but many times a day. Walk rather than take the train. Eat this apple, not that cake. Eat this salad, not that garlic bread. Say “No” to a second glass of wine (or even a first glass). Over and over again.
The secret is to keep choosing, and make the choices easy. If I pack a salad lunch to take to work, I won’t be tempted to buy a less healthy meal. If i have lots of fruit and nuts and healthy snacks with me, I don’t need to go near those cakes and biscuits in the office kitchen. If I want to be slim more than I want to eat this chocolate, I know what to choose.
Reinforce the benefits of the positive choices, and don’t beat myself up if now and then I choose differently.
In fact, if I do choose to eat something I “shouldn’t”, I need to make sure I truly want it and then savour every bit of it and celebrate my freedom to choose. Choosing differently every once in a while only reinforces the truth- everything is my choice.
I did it for weight loss, I can do it for writing too.
I need to stop trying to write, and get doing it instead. I need to know that writing is a choice I can make, a gift I can give myself. It’s not another dreary have-to on that neverending to-do list.
Yes, I need to set things up so I have no excuses. It’s my job to get systems in place that give me time and space to write. But first I need to know that writing or not writing is my choice.
I can set up work patterns to give myself time to write. Getting up before my husband on week day mornings is one. Going to the coffee shop for two hours a day on days off is another. Simply getting into consistent work patterns even here at home so Arthur knows when I’m not to be disturbed will help. Encouraging him to get out more, then making use of that time will help too.
There’s a lot I can do to change things. If I want to. If I choose to.
It starts with changing myself. Being real. Taking responsibility for myself and my life. Dropping the blame and resentment, and accepting what is my choice and what I can change. Recognising that I can have some but not all of what I want. Working towards creating what I want rather than demanding it all happen at once.
Most of all, being a grown-up about my writing, not that hurting ten year old girl whose heartfelt gift of a hand written book was rejected. Hug the ten year old me, love her and tell her she can so write. But don’t let her keep making my choices for grown-up me.
Only just in this moment do I realise how much power that ten year old still has in my life. No wonder it’s been hard to feel like writing.
It’s time I chose to grow up. Time I chose to give this everything I’ve got, because I love to write and I want to write. And because to have the stories she loved to write read by someone else was what that ten year old most wanted.
It’s up to me to make that happen.