Composing in the Editor

For me, writing has always come and gone in massive, mercurial cycles. I never know when I’m going to be jolted with the urge to write, and I never know when that urge will disappear, and I never know how long the time between will be. This time, it’s been maybe seven years? Seven or so since the last time I’ve viscerally needed to get my thoughts out. I’ve certainly tried to force it from time to time since then, and I’ve gotten by at least OK where I’ve needed to write, but friends: I think it’s back.

The realization came when I was trying, desperately, to come up with a 250-word proposal for an academic poster. I knew what the topic was, I knew how it would be a relevant and worthwhile poster, but when I opened the text editor, it was worse than pulling teeth. Pulling fingernails maybe. Even here, I’m already at 150 words and the content of this post is less important. Maybe more meaningful? Digressions pad out the word count nicely. Anyway.

I’m in a phase of my career where writing is huge. I lucked into a couple publications in 2020, but moving forward, I will need to be able to sit down and write. Having a kid, a family, a house, a life during COVID-era quarantining, I can’t necessarily wait for the tides to shift in my mind. There are moments when I have time to write, and I need to be able to use them. So, I’ve been taking the little gaps throughout my day to journal, and it’s started working.

Used to be, I would spend the bulk of my day in a coffee shop–shoutout to Pablo’s on 6th–getting dangerously caffeinated and spilling ink. Used to be, I’d have a book or two with me, and when my hand or mind got tired, I’d spend an hour or so reading. Used to be, I would do this every day. Of course, I didn’t have major demands on my time like “work” or “child,” so this bohemian lifestyle wouldn’t exactly be practical today, but I can take some things from it.

For one, just general daily journaling (ideally in a journal with a Pablo’s sticker on it) has helped to keep the gears oiled. If I know I’m spending at least a little bit of time working on ~my craft~ it’ll be significantly easier when I need to make 250 words happen on demand. For two, reading & writing are better hobbies than some of those others I’ve taken up during quarantine, like drinking & watching junk TV. For three, it’s probably a bit better behavior to model for the aforementioned child than the aforementioned quar hobbies.

If I can remember to, I suppose I can post some of those things I write here. A lot of it has been pretty standard D&D fare so far, and I guess that’s something I’ve written about before. I know I’m prone to big promises and disappointment when it comes to blogging and goals and creativity, so for now the only promise I make is that I’ll hit publish on this entry as soon as it’s done.