Once upon a time

When last we saw our heroine, she ambitiously committed to writing three pages of stream of consciousness every morning, and then was never seen or heard from again.

Here's what happened. She set her alarm 30 minutes early and diligently wrote those morning pages…for two days. And on the third day, when she awoke to her iPhone buzzing, she could think of almost nothing she wanted to do less than write down her innermost thoughts. Or anything at all, for that matter. And so she didn't. And she didn't write the next day, either. Instead, she slept that extra 30 minutes, and then she went to work, and then she came home. Some days she exercised, some days she watched television, some days she read, some days she planned her wedding, and every day she took a picture. What she didn't do, not once, was write.

Adept as she usually is at compartmentalizing, she nevertheless had difficulty quieting the voices in her head: the one comparing her to all the more talented, more prolific bloggers; and the one calling her lazy for not accomplishing anything; and most especially the one telling her that she would never have a chance of becoming a real writer if she couldn't stick to a schedule for even one week. The voices were so loud and so numerous that they easily drowned out any writing ideas, and before she knew it, a week without writing had turned into two, had turned into three.

Finally, one day, out of the blue, she decided to forgive herself. She told herself calmly and reasonably that, while enjoyable, writing took a certain amount of energy and focus. Work also took quite a bit of both. For the time being, she explained to herself, it was okay if she chose to devote her limited resources of energy and focus to the thing that paid her a salary. That didn't make her less of a writer, or less of a person; it made her better at her job.

And so, she waited. She waited until her show opened. She waited until she had taken a restful trip to visit her parents. She waited until her wedding invitations were all addressed, stamped, and sealed. She waited until her mind was quiet and clear.

And then, only then, she began to write again.


  1. Okay, I admit it: I´m kind of (cough) addictive to your blog. But still: Writing should first and foremost be fun for you, not an ordeal. Take a sabbatical whenever you feel you need one and do not apologize for taking it. I for one will patiently check and re-check your blog and will have a happy day when I will finally find a new entry.

  2. My dear Louisa - You wrote because you really had something you wanted to express! And you did that very well and to your readers' enjoyment and benefit. And so, thank you for sharing. . . . .
    It is a profound and delicate act of giving and we are all blessed - giver and receiver. Love you.

  3. Compassion is a good thing! Especially when it comes to the morning pages...they are a pain sometimes, and a necessary relief at others. Great running into the other night - even if it was only for a split second! Congrats on a great show!

  4. On Sunday I declared that my one week resolution was going to be to post to my blog every day for the week. The next post I managed was on Wednesday. I'm also two weeks behind in my 52 weeks project. And I have to let myself be ok with these things because they are supposed to be about helping me with activities I enjoy, not turning into obligations.


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