On writing as something enjoyable

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(c) Matryosha on Flickr

I used to keep a diary when I was a kid, documenting the happenings of everyday life, interspersed with frequent emotional vents about how I felt about it all, and I usually wrote as though I was writing to a person. I didn’t say ‘Dear Diary’ necessarily, but that was the unspoken idea. More often than not, my introductions to entries were an apology to my inanimate diary (but also, to my future self who apparently was incredibly judgemental) for not having written in so long.

I’m tempted to begin this post the same way.

It’s been more than a month since being able to sit down and write, due to moving and being generally exhausted. Today is the first Friday I’ve had in a long time where I’ve had space to sit down and breathe, write in my ‘grown up journal’ (which is basically no different than the one above, except my handwriting is worse) and think about what I’d like to share on the blog.

I’d like to get back into the full swing of writing, so I’ve taken time to brainstorm and I’m excited about what I’m planning. At the same time, though, I’m completely intimidated. What intimidates me is figuring out how to find the time to write, and write as often as I’d like to, without writing becoming an ominous “to-do” that stands between me and fun.

I have to frequently remind myself that writing is a joy and a privilege in and of itself; it’s something that I love to do, not something that I have to get over with. It feels downright luxurious to look at my day and think here’s the time that I’m going to spend just writing. But this mindset is something I have to remind myself of. For whatever reason, it doesn’t come naturally.

The ‘work before play’ mantra that I’ve always lived by has trained me to think of anything worthwhile and profitable and productive (aka, work) as something that I have to do before I can have fun – not something that can be fun and joyful and fulfilling in itself.

I’m working to correct this mantra in my own life – to see work and play as equally profitable sides of the same coin, with equal potential for enjoyment. Even though work (be that my day job, or writing) is often hard, hard isn’t antithetical to fun.

Seeing life slightly more holistically takes the intimidation out of something like writing. Yes it will be hard, and yes I will probably write and re-write and scratch things out and beat my head against the wall trying to figure out how to communicate my thoughts; but it will also be relaxing, a refreshing outlet for all the thoughts I spill over with and normally wear my husband’s ears out with, and rewarding to complete.

I also may need reminding of this next week.

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2 comments

  1. Walter Lewanowicz · · Reply

    How wonderful for you mom and me to see how your life — and with that your writing — has grown over the years. Proud of you and grateful for how your thoughts help provide others with some important perspective.

  2. I love when you say, “…hard isn’t antithetical to fun.” I can totally relate to that.

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