The art and drudgery of writing

Writing has been a struggle for me lately, and the flow of blog posts has dried up. It is not an issue of great concern for me, however; inspiration and drive to do something creative tend to be cyclical. Also, there is an art to writing, and sometimes a drudgery to it, as well.

I decided some weeks ago to once again put my second Master’s program on hold, and not take any classes this semester. (I didn’t take any during Spring, either.) The biggest reason for doing that, aside from being convinced that I could not handle the extra workload right now, is that it involves a lot of writing. And the pressure of doing that at this point in time is just too much, too stressful. This makes me feel somewhat guilty and like I’ve failed, but on the other hand, it is simply a reality that I need to accept. I think it is a good decision in a bad time.

Those who are good at writing, and studying, and producing essay after essay seemingly without effort, appear to have an innate confidence that I lack. A willingness to spend the time to do the work of putting pen to paper or more likely, fingers to keyboard. It does not seem to faze them, or overwhelm them. They just get on with it. Over the years, I’ve been told many times that my struggle with writing is because I’m a procrastinator (I am), that I’m a perfectionist (also guilty), and that I do not plan or organize my time well (also probably true).

On the other hand, and in my defense, for many years now, I’ve carried a heavy load of too much responsibility, too many metaphorical balls to constantly juggle. The pandemic and other personal circumstances have forced me to pause, to think more deeply about how and whether to be more balanced in what I do or what I commit to. For perhaps the first time, I’m coming to grips with how finite are my abilities and my time. I need to think much more carefully about what I do. If I choose to do x, I have to be prepared to give up y.

I’ve known all of this for years, but again, it seems like I am at an inflection point where I have to face reality. This is a gift of these times of great uncertainty and disruption: to deeply think through and decide on what is really important, and what is not. And then to begin to change one’s life and orientation to fit around what is truly important.

Writing happens to be on that list of truly important things for me. I may not consistently and daily post something here, but I will continue on as best I can, and when I can. Hopefully those who read this blog or care in some way about my writing will stick with me through this whole journey.

On a visit to a nearby antique store, I immediately was struck by the physicality, design, and meaning of an old manual typewriter I saw displayed on a shelf. I took a photo of it and enjoyed the result, which is shown as the featured photo of this post. I hope you like it, too.

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