Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In shape

OK, yeah, we all know we need to write every day.  If we want to write well, or really to write at all..  Butt in the chair, the maxim goes, and it's a good one.  But how many of us allow life, with its pesky divagations and diversions and many delightful iterations of online Scrabble, to get in the way.

My hand would be raised high about now if I weren't, you know, typing.

It's not so much the dailiness that's the problem.  I do stuff daily.  The easy stuff: eating and sleeping.  But also stuff that is, for some folks, harder: exercising and practicing.  Unless I am vomiting or febrile, I exercise.  Unless I am vomiting or febrile or spending the whole day on an airplane, I practice.  I also give myself Christmas Day and Thanksgiving off (from practicing, not exercising), and, every year, it feels weird.

That's really the secret: I NEED to practice.  I NEED to exercise.  There are no ifs, as there are in writing.  If you want to write well,  you need to do it every day.   Practicing and exercising come not with ifs, but with or elses.   Exercise, or else feel like a constipated squirrel.   Practice, or else torpedo the performing career.

Writing, with its measly ifs, often goes by the wayside.  There have been periods when I've written five days a week and actually blocked out time to do so, but even that level of commitment has come and gone. I haven't needed to write.

Lately, though, I've wanted to.

Want is a different animal.  A more docile animal, with fewer teeth and softer fur.  This summer, I let writing slide -really slide.  May and June were taken up with when-careers-collide insanity, and July and August were devoted to a to-the-death battle with fleas (DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE).  I was busy, so writing was what I dropped.  But I found I missed it.  It was hard to take so much in and never put anything out.

I want to write daily.  It doesn't mean I have to, or need to, or else.  It just means I like it.  I like how, when I write daily, I write faster and more fluidly. I like how the sentences come more easily, as if I've enlarged my verbal lungs.  I like the feeling of having written, the butterfly-fluttering of words under my skin.  Every day, I want to write.

We'll see how long this lasts.  I predict until October-the-month-of-CRAZY-MONSTER.  Ah well.


Andrew said...

So does that mean the fleas are gone?

Anne said...

Oh, Andrew. Almost. ALMOST. We're down to a few in the basement. And I am still wearing socks out of robust paranoia.

Mara said...

Hey, congrats! I felt so bad for you. (About the fleas I mean.) Anyway, I'm pretty sure this post is a rerun of another post--I distinctly remember feeling bad before because I don't practice OR exercise anywhere near daily. (Well, really, I don't care about the exercising, but the practicing...) About the only thing I do daily is stare into space while absentmindedly keeping my baby from hurting himself.

Anne said...

Mara, I think if I had a baby or two, I might be operating differently! I do remember talking about practicing before, in a post on practicing. Practicing is endlessly fascinating to me. Why the heck do we do it. Also, I saw your sister got married. WOW!

Mara said...

Yes, she's moving to London. So I guess we'll be kind of close (for a little while anyway).