Updated: May 20, 2021
"Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up." Jane Yolen
This is my new motto, my motivation, to keep writing. Because without this what do I feel in the passion of my mind? In my soul? I have taken too long of a break, I have waited on my work to come through cyberspace and into my fingertips. But it is too slow...I have to just work on new things, whether it a new character I dreamt of, or a totally new scene to emerge in my second book..just have to go forth.
If this last year and a half taught me anything, it’s that very little goes according to plan during a global pandemic or a sick editor. And personally, I have had to constantly postpone, scrap, and redo a lot of my writing and other plans lately. It’s easy to feel resentful and dejected when this happens, especially for those of us planning nerds.
So instead of creating yet another elaborate writing plan that will need to be adjusted due to upcoming events, I am considering embracing the inevitability of that change. How I write and work this month will probably not be how I do it next month, the practices I have energy for today may not be those I have energy for tomorrow, and the writing I am working on this summer could very well need to be retooled come fall. Committing to that change ahead of time can make it more bearable, especially if it is accompanied by present self-compassion for how my future will navigate that inevitable change.
Committing to generosity, inspiration, and change in my work means I can let myself off the hook for not writing in the ways I think I should or the ways I worry others are expecting me to. In any era, but especially one with so much changing by the hour, focusing on writing commitments instead of elaborate goals or plans gives me the space to remember what I love about writing—and why I do it in the first place.