pen and paper

Old habits die hard

For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing that thing where I procrastinate on writing. That thing you might do with any creative project or larger effort. Something I did for, uh… almost five years.

To be fair, life has been a little hectic this summer. Since June, I:

  • Looked for and bought a house
  • Packed
  • Closed and moved into the new house on the same day
  • Dealt with an absolutely difficult landlord
  • Went camping?
  • Got engaged??
  • Unpacked because a lot of that wasn’t done when we left for camping
  • Bought a fridge and a lawn mower + other yard equipment
  • Used the lawn mower + other yard equipment several times
  • Battled a broken air conditioner
  • Spent time with family
  • Did some more camping
  • Drove 15 hours round trip to see the moon eclipse the sun

… plus a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff that adds up in time and energy lost.

(Of course, when I say “I,” my SO was involved in much of this. I personally did not battle an A/C unit.)

All of this is exciting–it’s been a full summer. But now it’s time to recommit to writing.

Because it’s easy to allow distractions to take up more time than necessary when writing isn’t urgent–even with impending submission deadlines. The time spent looking on Pinterest for brown couch/blue color scheme living room decor ideas and dairy-free zoodle recipes, or Googling skin-clearing nutritional supplements and the Portland-area traffic predictions in the time immediately before and after the solar eclipse wasn’t completely wasted. But I certainly could have stopped, stepped away from my phone, and put in some work when instead I continued to find gluten-free meal plans (because that’s my life now, too: regretfully free of gluten).

The upside of realizing the slipping creative discipline is that there’s an opportunity recommit. To take a moment and reflect on what’s been keeping you from practicing your craft (for me: lots of exciting life events and, as always, fear). To realize what you had been doing well in terms of habit and what you can do to improve. And, to tie a nice bow on that period of reflection and then to whatever creative work it is that you do.

So this is my acknowledgement of my bonkers summer, and my recommitment to writing.

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