Finding the patience and practice to write
Over the past several years I’ve battled adopting the identity of a writer. One thing that keeps me from this is the constant tug-of-war between actually writing and not feeling like taking the time. Often nothing seems to be on my mind but even when there is, committing to actually sit down and allow the idea to take shape is a constant struggle.
To be cliché, I’ve found much of the time it being about starting whether I feel up for it or not. One of the major struggles any artist faces as Steve Pressfield names in The War of Art is “turning pro”. In essence it reminds one that a professional doesn’t ask themselves, “do I feel like it today?” They just do it. LeBron James doesn’t take a week off practicing because he’s not feeling it. He just does it.
If I am a writer, I must declare publicly and to myself, "I am a writer and would like to be better at it. I acknowledge that I better express myself when I write things down and typically end up curious details along the way. On some days nothing interesting comes out and that is ok. But what is perhaps most important to remember is some days when I sit down uninspired, interesting stuff ends up appearing, which is a delightful surprise."
Just the other day I was freeflow writing in my front yard when a couple words unexpectedly came out and felt like a pull on the proverbial thread. I was off to the races excited by where it might go. If inspired writing can happen on seemingly uninspired days, the only solution is to write regularly.
It is time to treat myself like a pro.