The longer I go between blog posts, the harder it gets to start back up again.
A lapse in blogging starts with family. A welcome visit from one of my brothers and my maternal grandmother,who came bearing gifts and three days of love for our little girls.
Then, when things were settling back into our normal rhythm, this adorable little strawberry followed their departure with a night or two of not sleeping long stretches on her own, instead needing to be cuddled in our bed during hours I might have otherwise been writing. As much as I love, love, love having a baby in my bed, I’ve also gotten quite used to have a few hours of writing time to myself each night so any shifts in sleep can be a challenge.
Next, when the baby sleep routine returned to “normal,” a new website project consumed my late-night hours; I lost a night trying to catch up on Pinterest and my RSS reader; and finally abandoned all hope of writing with the arrival of a much-missed college friend who was much more fun to hang out with than it would have been to stare at a computer screen’s blue glow.
(Even if that first post-baby outing only lasted 40 minutes and one beer, due to a frantic SOS from Chris.)
As a blogger, I write in the uniquely immediate medium that is online self-publishing. I have the ability to make my life, thoughts, and experiences globally available within seconds. When I go days without writing, event after event and story after story keep getting added to my mental list of “blog posts in waiting,” and eventually that list is so long it becomes overwhelming, making it “easier” to put off writing for another day.
In my ideal world, I would write here every day. I would always have beautiful photography and engaging words to share. I would find time to post no matter what else was happening, and if I was really on top of things I would actually schedule posts in advance. Putting that ideal into practice is no easy task, though, and thus I often find myself on the other side of a week with little to show for it.
As a wife, a mother, a freelancer and an individual, I like to think this is a good thing. It means I am doing what I need to get done, spending time with my kids and husband, and allowing myself breaks rather than spending every possible moment “building my brand” (or something like that). But as a writer, I know this is a very bad thing. I know that the most important thing I could be doing for myself and my writing is actually sitting down to write. Making time to put words on paper, albeit virtual paper, even when I don’t want to, think I can or know what to say.
I once attended a writing workshop and had the opportunity to hear Ron Carlson speak. The thing he said that most stuck with me is that
[t]he writer is the person who stays in the room.
A writer is a person who doesn’t walk away when words refuse to come or when life beckons from the other side of the door. Who makes an appointment with his typewriter and keeps it. Who realizes that there is no such thing as bad writing, even if it is writing that will be scrapped tomorrow.
When I wait days to publish and begin to feel procrastination or doubt creep up on me, this is what I remember. I can be a mom and blogger, a wife and blogger, a freelancer and blogger. It’s possible to be all of those things if I put my mind to it, all I have to do is decide that’s what I want to do. No matter how much I might think it, life doesn’t have to get in the way of writing, if only I’m willing to stay in the room.