I have been absent, against the whims of my better self.
My intention upon starting a job at Old Dominion a couple weeks ago to write interesting stuff off of academic beats for the school website was that I would rise extra early and bang out a couple of blogs here per week – or else do them late after I’d gotten home, had some dinner and walked Ollie.
I evidently need more self-discipline – probably true – or like most of us, more time in the day – also probably true.
Having to be some place by a particular morning time for the first time in my life – outside of 8 a.m. college classes – is the culture shock I guessed it would be. I know, call the waaaa-mbulance! The whole world has done that forever. I get that. I’m just saying it’s new for me, that’s all. Which means if I want to get up, drive 10 minutes for a 30-minute swim, shower, eat something, write a bit here – because writers have to write, right? – and walk Ollie before work, well . . . getting up at 3 in the morning on purpose just doesn’t seem proper.
Writing for yourself at night, after writing for someone else all day? Sure, writers all over the place do it. I’m still trying to figure out how.
I HAVE done a bit of it, at nights and on weekends, serving a couple of freelance clients who have been really good to me the last couple of months. But I have lapsed in my own ideas and execution — again, against my will — and it makes me, not sad necessarily, but restless because writing feels so good to me. It feels good to all writers, when it isn’t driving them insane, of course.
So I guess I just say all this more as a pep talk to myself than anything. I created this outlet for a reason, when I needed it most, and I do not want to ignore it now just because my brain is occupied with salary-and-benefits-related responsibilities for many hours each weekday.
I won’t then, despite appearances I won’t. I still vow to use the smart people I am around every day, the brilliant writers and scholars and teachers, as inspiration to be better, to think and learn deeper, to be a more intuitive reader and writer and, in the end, a better person I am certain.
That is the lure, and that is the promise.