Doing What Writers Do

by | Mar 12, 2019 | Essays

As I walked to the gym this morning, the thought occurred to me that maybe I am an idiot for thinking I can be successful as a writer or artist, or creative person.

Then I gave myself permission to quit writing and art altogether.  I told myself I could walk away and never have to write for the rest of my life.  I don’t ever have to pick up my guitar, either.  Or get dressed to go to the gym.  Or play with the dog.  Or draw pictures.  Or go volunteer as a tutor tonight.   I gave myself permission to cancel all the things I signed up to do – all the things I believed in.
Then I thought about what I would do instead.  There was nothing.  I don’t want my day to look any different than it does right now.  If I couldn’t do any of the things I am scheduled to do today, it would be a shitty day.  I want to do all of them.
Giving yourself permission not to do what you don’t want is scary if you aren’t happy with your life.  It can feel like you’re letting go of everything.  Your job.  Your bad habits.  Your bad relationships.  Your whole identity.  But today, it wasn’t scary.  I didn’t have to quit anything.  I didn’t want to.  I couldn’t wait to write today.  Why would I want to quit that?  If I couldn’t write right now, I’d be doing something else and wishing I was writing.  There’s just nothing else I should be doing right now.
This is where I am meant to be at this moment.  Sometimes I start my journals with a line like, “Here I am again, doing what writers do.”  So here I am again, doing what writers do.

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