It’s no secret that I’ve barely written anything over the last year. I had a lot of really good reasons for that (see my last blog post for a recap). But things have settled down by now–I’m healthy, I’m settled into a job I love doing, and I think I’ve (finally) figured out this whole grad school thing. On top of that, I’ve cut way back on freelancing (but I’m still taking on selected projects, so don’t hesitate to contact me) and on other obligations. I’ve been reading like crazy. And I’ve realized that I miss writing. I miss Charlie and Amelia, and Kit and Julius, and the other characters waiting not-so-patiently to have their stories told. I miss sitting down with a blank page and letting my imagination run wild. I miss writing because I love writing.
(come on, you knew there was a but coming, didn’t you?)
I’ve been really good at making excuses as to why I can’t write. I’m tired. I should try to get ahead on my readings for school. There’s a mountain of laundry on the floor. Ellen’s on TV!
I’ve also been really hard on myself. Every time I do sit down to write, I hate it every sentence that comes out. Nothing, it seems, is good enough or funny enough or scary enough or swoony enough. So instead of pouring out my heart, I’m agonizing over every turn of phrase. I’m rusty. I’m out of practice.
And for the first time, I’m starting to realize that it’s okay.
It’s okay that the words aren’t perfect yet. Ugly words can be fixed. Non-existent words can’t. I have to let myself learn how to write again. And the only way to do that is to…yep, you guessed it. Write.
Once upon a time, a writing professor told my class to aim to write for 20 minutes a day. Don’t set a word count. Don’t expect to clear out an hour of your schedule. Just 20 minutes! Everyone has 20 minutes. I have 20 minutes. And so do you.
So for the month of February, I’m challenging myself to carve out 20 minutes of writing time every day, and I’d love to have you join me. If I want to write more, I will. If I’m in the middle of midterms and have to do 10 school visits in a week? I can still take 20 minutes to sit down and write…and I will. I have two books to finish before 2016 is over, and they’re not going to write themselves.
I’ll be tweeting my progress under the hashtag #Write20. Feel free to join me! I’d love the company.