Aspirations, interrupted

WordPress has this handy little feature, the Stats page, where you can monitor pretty much any imaginable statistic about your blog. How many times it’s been viewed, how many visitors you’ve had…and how many days it’s been since your last post. And right now, that particular stat is glaring accusatorially up at me. Nineteen. Nineteen days since my last post. When I first started this blog, I told myself that I wanted to publish something at least twice a week, if only to make sure that I was writing consistently (and I’m also discovering that I’m much chattier in a virtual setting than I am in person). I don’t intend for them all to be lengthy, soul-searching dissertations like the last one. I just want to commit something to paper. And I’ve been fairly good about that. But these last three weeks have been my longest dry spell thus far. I’m disappointed in myself, but more than that, I’m frustrated.

See, in my “real” job, this is my busy season. I’m constantly on the move, taking care of things that need taken care of, planning, prepping, bustling, working long days. Which means that when I finally get home, I’m tired. But I’m not only a homeowner, I’m a farm owner, which means that I’ve got a pile of responsibilities waiting for me when I get there too. And the next thing I know, it’s ten o’clock at night and I’m zoning out on the couch, too lazy to even get up and go to bed, so I can start the process all over again the next day. And all the while at the back of my mind, I’m thinking about my laptop, thinking about those blank white pages that need filled.

This is a pretty universal complaint, I know, and I hate joining the chorus of people who bitch about it because I’m well aware that I’m the only one who can change it, but it seems like there’s not enough hours in the day to do the things I need to do, let alone the things I want to do. And even though I haven’t been back in the habit very long, writing is no longer a “want” – it’s a “need”. That unsettled, anxious, angry feeling I get when I don’t have time to sit down and read? It’s like that when it comes to writing now too. The frustration I feel when all I want to do is work on the drafts I’ve started composing but can’t find a spare, quiet minute to do it makes me want to scream.

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I know, I know. You make the time for the things that are important to you. And maybe it’s just that I haven’t come up with a good routine yet. I read somewhere that Kate DiCamillo wrote her Newbery award-winning book Because of Winn-Dixie at 4:30am every day before she went in for her shift at a Barnes and Noble warehouse. And maybe that’s what I need to do (although, my god, I hope not. Anyone who knows me knows that pre-sunrise is not my best time of the day). But like some people fantasize about hitting the lottery so they can retire early and spend their days doing nothing, I fantasize about being able to leave the 9-5 world behind so I can create. There’s a balance out there, I know it. I just need to find it.

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Now, after all that grousing and complaining, I have to tell you that I got a bit of good news recently (although I’m not quite ready to share what it is just yet). I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I’m cautiously optimistic about the possibilities. It’s not quite a foot in the door, but the door has at least been cracked open & I can see a glimmer of what’s behind it. I’m finding that there’s been at least one good thing coming from these unsettled feelings, this gnawing sense of needing to do more, to achieve more, to be more – it’s led me to try for more than I’ve ever dared. And it’s starting to pay off. I might have something to offer to the world after all. Now if only I can find the time to coax it out.

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