Committing

stanley-dai-242205

Photo by Stanley Dai on Unsplash

Our days are all about routines. We wake up and go about our morning routines. We arrive at work and go about our job routines. When we’re let off for the evening, we go about our nightly routines–cooking dinner or ordering take out, going to the gym, relaxing, and finally resting for the night. Then we do it all over again the next day with only slight variances to what has happened previously.

Some days might offer more spontaneity than others, like on weekends or normal days turned into sort-of-adventure days that lead us astray, somehow, from what’s familiar to us–when we have a doctor appointment, get sick, or if something unexpected happens. No matter what though, those core, daily routines are always there as a backbone for our lives as humans. Perhaps they evolve over time, morph into something different, but our lives are structured and, well, routine.

A new year is upon us and I’m calling on myself to change up my daily routines. Not by any drastic measures, but to forge new ones while keeping the current structure to my day in tact. I’m talking, mostly, about reorganizing how I spend my time.

In 2018, I’m going to try to write more seriously. Not in subject matter necessarily, but in fervor.

I started this blog going on a year ago but haven’t written or posted nearly as much as I intended to. When this blog first became just another url on the internet, I had quite a bit of time on my hands. That’s ultimately what got me motivated to do something like blogging. I could continue doing something I loved (writing) while getting better at it (hopefully). Maybe I could engage in some sort of meager following, people who read my blog when I posted something new, but this was a long-shot and not something I expected to get right away (or ever). I was writing (am writing) for myself. It helps me process my thoughts and feelings, and I believe it makes me a better person.

Around the same time I started blogging, I got a second job at a local climbing gym. Time began slipping away from me and the routine I wish I would have committed to. A new routine formed in its place–one of nearly constant exhaustion and busy-ness. My focus became learning as much as I could about this new job (and there was a lot since peoples’ lives literally depended on me knowing how to do everything correctly) while maintaining my focus on job #1. Physically, job #2 was a lot. Both of them were mentally taxing. Writing became one of the lowest priorities on my list.

Now? I’m still working two jobs. I’m still tired at the end of the day. And I still find that I want to write. For several years, I haven’t been wholly committed to finding the time or mustering up the motivation to write. Even when I was in college and was forced to write for school assignments, it felt only like an obligation, a chore. I didn’t get enjoyment from it (probably because it was for school) or feel any sort of release from my thoughts and stress–not like I do now. In college, I had semi-interesting ideas for stories which led to semi-interesting first drafts. It’s time to flush them out, make them a true priority, and get back into the routine of writing.

It’s the routine that has always been the hardest part for me. I’ve never been consistent with when I’ve felt motivated to write; it comes and goes with no rhyme or reason. And maybe that’s the problem–I’ve followed that pattern too closely, only writing when I’ve wanted to and not writing when it’s been necessary to keep the story developing. There are lots of times I feel unmotivated, and in a lot of circumstances I have to fight through it because it’s my job. I don’t have a choice. Sometimes I don’t feel motivated to go to work, but I must because I need a paycheck and other people are counting on me to get that job done.

Writers write for themselves, first and foremost. People do not count on you to be a writer like they count on you to be a doctor. The only thing that counts on you to be a writer is yourself. Your words do not make the world spin and, more than likely, they don’t pay the bills either. Most of us do not treat writing as a job. It’s a hobby. But that’s something I want to change for myself.

In 2018, I’m going to try to write more seriously. Not in subject matter necessarily, but in fervor.

A few years ago while on break from school, I created a canvas painting with “Quotes to Live By” on it. The project was fueled by boredom and the need to create (this need, as I’m discovering, never goes away in me). A sentiment from one of the quotes has stuck with me, even though I threw the canvas away: “Find time to write every day.” Every. Day. That’s a big feat for anybody. While I don’t know if I’ll truly be able to write every gosh darn day (those 16-hour work days just won’t allow it), when I’m tired, I’m going to try to get out of the slump to write. When I just don’t plain want to, I’m going to force myself to write. When the busy days pile up around me, I’m going to write in those spare ten minutes between outings. I’m going to make the most of my time. I’m going to commit to writing.

So, here’s to 2018–the year for creativity. My year for creativity. I guess this is when I’m supposed to tell you that you should hit that follow button, so you can watch as I flail about these webpages trying to organize my thoughts and words into coherent sentences and paragraphs.

But do what you want, because I write for myself.

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