The discipline of writing

Today we are trying a new thing. Ana has graciously agreed to be in charge of the pups during this day and has told me I am not to do chores or go on errands. Today is my writing day.

A few weeks ago I “attended (over zoom thus the quotes)” a writing conference for queer spiritual writers. It is a niche. There were only seven of us in attendance at this conference over zoom and a handful of presenters. It was really great because it was so small, we really got to interact with these amazing presenters including a few publishers.

Since we signed up and paid for this conference, not a ton but some, the man who organized the conference offered as a perk his services to us for two months after the conference. He is an agent for spiritual writers.

This means, I have a deadline to produce some of my work towards my book idea to submit a few book proposals with a short term agent. Hot dog! Here we go…but what this means is that I am committed to some designated writing time. It takes time to write substantially. True, I can write a blog here or there with much less time but to get into the writing and the muse that may appear, it takes substantial time that is not interrupted. And with that time comes substantial discipline to not get distracted. True, in order to keep the blood and ideas flowing, you must get up here and there, get another mug of warm beverage and take a lunch break but it takes commitment to allow the day to become a “writing day.”

Here are the dilemmas to such a thing….

  • There is so much to do! If I sit here for long enough I can talk myself away from the page and directly into laundry, dishes, vacuuming and such. This morning I went upstairs to a neighbors place where I am watering plants for a few weeks to get a change of scenery. It helped for about an hour and a half. It got the juices flowing until it didn’t and I was longing for the perfect sunspot on my couch.
  • Writing is rarely a paying gig and therefore feels easy to set aside and give it less value to things that feel far more productive. This is the constant tension in a writer’s life I am discovering. How can I possibly justify giving alllll this time to something that could give little fruit. It is a lie that we tell ourselves but also a constant struggle. I hear this from other writer friends.
  • What if I am not really a writer? This has been a large subject of my leave of absence. A huge part of me deciding to take a leave of absence was to pursue being a writer. I have discovered that if you dream of writing, have lots of ideas of what to write, and can’t help but write things down at some point….you are a writer. Its true and impossible to ignore. It’s there. But a life of a writer is one where rejection is plentiful and patience is needed. AND the constant back and forth about this process is par for the course.
  • There are distractions everywhere! The latest and final WandaVision is on Disney+ right now and the sun is shining and the pups are asking for attention and there is new music on spotify to discover and things to bake and just about anything other than writing can easily distract this process. Today, I have some set goals which will help me not get sucked in but the struggle is real.

So today we begin writing day days. I don’t have to justify them and I have a partner who sees their value. I have the time. I have the space. I have the ideas. Now, to just get off this blog to write some more….;)

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