At first, it doesn’t seem to matter or have a real effect.
Because there are short spans of time where nothing much is possible anyway. It’s hard to feel guilty about not writing or revising or brainstorming or reading more deeply into a favorite author when you’re running around all day, working, getting groceries, cleaning up after your cats, etc., etc.
Days when I end up working my part time jobs for twelve hours, there isn’t much I do when I get home. Days when I travel a couple hours down and a couple hours back to visit family, aren’t exactly days I end up finishing that book or starting a new project. Sometimes, I just need to binge watch super-hero movies until I get a decent glaze over my eyes.
Sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. And that’s okay.
But it does add up.
One day becomes two. Then three. Then it’s video games I’ve already finished and that movie I’ve already watched a hundred times, and those instead of writing a little, sketching out an idea or two, or even organizing a file folder.
Once things start to fill up the empty space where writing and reading used to be is when I start to feel like something is amiss. I start to get cranky and agitated. I think about practical things way more than I should and lose touch with imaginative things I need to keep myself going. I start to day dream about financial stability instead of creating new and interesting silly things.
There was a period after graduating when I did next to no writing or creative adventuring. I spent entire days, weeks looking for and applying to jobs I knew I would never want to sustain or progress in. I scanned job postings to the point of wondering if I would actually make a good big-rig mechanic if I really put my mind to it. I basically wasted away.
My heart was a mess. No poems exited my person.
Then I started to write every morning. I had to. I woke up early enough that no one else was awake, even the cats were sleepy eyed and mostly delirious. I made myself pots of coffee, turned on something instrumental music and got to writing.
Even though it was prosy (not the poems I had been hoping for) at the time, it felt like I was accomplishing something actively creative every morning.
Whatever came to mind went on the page. Page after page of my wandering and wondering mind, just there. And it felt great for what it was.
I’ve looked over that robust-ish document a number of times but haven’t seen much in it. Really reading into it, it felt like my first green, pocket sized notebook more than anything else.
I was, just, writing.