I have a confession to make. A haunting one. One scary enough to send chills down someone’s spine, and something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
I can’t remember the last time I sat down to write.
Am I ashamed of myself? Yes. Does that realization make me miserable and question my capabilities, beliefs and my dedication? Yes, to a greater extent. Will that hinder my writing capabilities? Yes, again.
Because the key to writing, like any other skill, is constant practice. And as any writer can tell you, not having time to write will stagnate your writing skill, if not worsen it.
I am always overcome by a twinge of guilt and regret when I refer to, or even think of, myself as a writer. When you take these many breaks and write only when ‘inspiration hits you’, you don’t qualify as one. Writing is only a hobby in that case.
I’ve written about what writing means to me. I’ve even started a journal, slacked off, attacked it again, but I still always seem to stray away from sticking to a proper schedule.
The main reason that I tell myself is: work. As a student, work for me means going to college, studying for tests, completing projects and assignments and every other thing that accompanies college life. Add to that the daily work and tasks of working in a committee on a side, you end up with very less time to complete work itself, let alone find time for yourself.
And yet, how often do I find myself mindlessly surfing through Facebook? Or stalking different people on Instagram? The point here is, no matter how busy you are, how packed your schedule is, there are always pockets of time throughout the day where you pass time in activities that you don’t even remember the next day.
I believe that one should always do something that they can look back on and remember the details of. For instance, I will remember the time at which I wrote every one of my pieces, where I was sitting when I wrote them, and stuff like that. Surfing through social media offers instant gratification, but a few days down the line (or even hours), you forget that experience and it doesn’t give you satisfaction any more. Granted, not every activity one undertakes can command focus (you’ll only end up exhausting yourself), but by god, you need to try.
Even now the idea of waking up earlier than usual to try and get some writing done before the day starts scares me. “You’re never able to get out of bed,” I say to myself, which is true.
But I also know I can wake up early when there is something that compels me to wake up, something that is more rewarding than a few extra minutes of sleep. And it is hard. I must force myself to wake up initially, for the first few days, maybe weeks, maybe even months, but by then it will most likely be ingrained into my daily routine and become an indispensable part of my day. Indeed, that’s what every writer aspires to.
And boy, do I want to start calling myself one again.