So I took a break writing. Broke that streak of about four months of posting something every day. Figured hey, it was a good idea to see what happens if I don’t write for a while.
And now I know.
What I learned is this:
I must never, ever again go a few days without writing.
Look, I guess for some people, not writing for a while rests the engines. Yes, I know that for these same people, there are times that writing can feel like running on a sprained ankle.
And now I know that I am not one of these people.
For me, going some time without writing is akin to a shark not swimming. It immediately leads to the feeling that my writing muscles are slackening, and within a few days, after not writing, getting back to it feels as if I have been paralyzed and bedridden, and now must get up and walk.
It is a horrible, horrible feeling. A miserable downward spiral presents itself, in which writing is difficult, which then makes it difficult to write. So I don’t write, and feel miserable that I haven’t written. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to write.
And so it goes.
I’ve no doubt that there is other writing that I need to do besides these daily essays, and I certainly have no doubt that there is other writing that I need to do besides the self indulgent ruminations that I put in my journal. I want to write stories, and I know that I need to be patient with myself and have faith in those stories coming to the surface.
I have learned, however, that I simply cannot go a day without writing something of substance. Already, even now, writing the three hundred words that I have written seems like a trial. Before I stopped writing, this was effortless.
It’s quite frankly a bit chilling to feel such a complete and utter emotional meltdown from something as simple as just not putting together a couple of words for a week or two. Yet there it is: I simply cannot do this.
Fortunately, this makes me think about the other side of this, which is that the more that I write, the better I shall feel. I cannot think of a time that posting an essay has not given me some sort of good feeling. Even when it has been one of the essays in which I’ve written about not having much to write about, it has always felt good to get it out there.
Yes, it does feel like a chore, getting these essays out here each day, and sometimes, if I have nothing in the morning, I feel a particular strain that just isn’t that enjoyable. Yet at the same time, when I write a few essays and have them ready for posting that morning, there is a wonderful little ritual in the morning of posting the essay, checking out how many folks read my stuff, and then writing a few hundred words, if not a few thousand.
So I have learned my lesson. No, I will not expect too much of myself in these daily essays that I post. There will be days in which I write just to get the words up here, and what will be here will not always be the most exciting stuff in the whole wide world.
But I suppose that for me, to not write is to not live. For better or for worse, it is something that I need to do, every day. And I shall never, ever, go a day without writing again.