I saw something a few days ago on Instagram that made me not like myself as a writer. I follow a few writing accounts on Instagram. One of them recently posted a photo with a quote by an unknown source that read, “A real writer doesn’t just want to write; a real writer has to write”.
Ok, let’s psychoanalyze me for a moment here. I’ve been told by several that I’m a good writer. I’ve never published anything yet or won any contests but I haven’t given up. I have this blog. I enjoy writing BUT, I don’t write everyday SO, I’m not a real writer.
Here’s my sob story. I am a nurse. I work in a perioperative unit. My job is to prepare patients for the operating room. I watch the clock all day. It’s busy, there’s always an unexpected task to complete, the surgeons move quickly and I need to be on my toes with what’s going on with my patients. It is mentally and physically exhausting. I spend Monday-Friday in a sleep deprived trance.
I get up at 0430 four days a week during a Monday-Friday week. I have my alarm set for 0351 and I proceed to hit snooze every nine minutes until the very last minute I can get up which is 0436. I sit at the side of my bed and then the toilet feeling sorry for myself because I have to be awake, promising myself I’ll come home and take a nap. I drink coffee and eat a carbohydrate. I’m more awake by the time I’ve hit the shower but now I really have to haul ass out the door because I’ve wasted too much time feeling sorry for myself that I have to get up at the ass crack of dawn and moving like a snail. I begin work at 0600. Once the caffeine has kicked in, while I am working, I write in my head about whatever pops into my head. I say to myself, “If I were home, I’d be doing…..”. Yes ok whatever Jen, if you were home you’d be lying in bed drinking coffee and enjoying morning dog time with your dog”. I get home from work, shower, nap, dinner, get whatever kid to where they need to be and then let myself off the hook with, “I’m too tired to write”, which most of the time is the truth.
So that’s why I don’t write every day, because I don’t have self discipline and I can’t get into a rhythm of when to write and I can’t put my phone down. I tried getting up 30 minutes early but I found myself in even more of a sleep deprived zoombie state than I already exist in. So I need a new gig.
I don’t like myself as a writer because I don’t write everyday. It is a known fact that a writer improves their craft by writing everyday. I’ve seen it on countless websites and books about writing. This tidbit of information is like a nagging voice in my that won’t go away. It follows me wherever I go and says I told you so when I “think about” writing or find something else do waste my time with when I could be writing. It too tells me I am not a writer. It’s like the scene in Animal House when Pinto’s date passes out and he’s deciding whether to take advantage of her or not. It’s that person standing on my shoulder, criticizing me, helping me kick my own ass for my lack of.
I would like just one month to get into a routine of something good for myself on the first of the month and carry it through the entire month. Then it would be a habit. So I did some google searching and remember something that I’d tried a few years ago that’s still in the ibooks section of my phone. It came from debbiehodge.com’s 365 Prompts. Each set of prompts is divided into months and the writer has to answer a different question each day.
My plan is to put my phone down when I go upstairs for bed, answer the prompt and journal after I answer the prompt. If I can do it sooner in the day, great. I know I can do it. I’ll check in and let you know how I’m doing. I’d better get to writing now because I’m getting sleepy and I don’t want to hear that nagging voice.