Permission Not To Act

(weheartit)

There are times when I need to give myself permission to not do things. I need to stop and take the time to realize that hey, maybe I’m going a little bit overboard here with trying to write. Maybe a goal of three posts a week is not ideal. Not because three is a lot. It isn’t. But because striving to write and publish a certain amount of anything in a certain given time is more likely to write to get it done, and not write to say something that I really feel the need to express.

I quit my second job, one that I loved, because I was working too much. I miss scooping ice cream for regulars and concocting perfect, creative sundaes. But that time was needed elsewhere.

So what I needed to realize is that, part of the reason that I feel overwhelmed and stressed out in my post-work “free time” is because writing. is. work. Even if I don’t want it to be. It’s hard work. It takes a lot of time and sometimes research. It’s thought-draining and mind tiring. I need to have something to say, and I need to say it well. I need to remember to edit and rewrite if need be. Blogging is harder. I’m working for an audience that I do not know, but I am aware that there is one as soon as I hit the publish button. I need to look for pictures and keep a consistent voice.

I love writing. I really, really do. I’ve loved it since I was in second grade and there has never been a time when I’ve thought that I didn’t. But I have thought to myself, I’m so tired of working. Of coming home and feeling like I need to work even more. Work for something that isn’t guaranteed. Sit and brainstorm ideas. And then I realized that I am not planning to be a professional blogger. Insert a huge, instant sigh of relief. I don’t HAVE to do this.

And that actually make a huge difference in anything. You may have noticed the lack of posts. I’ve been sick and anxious and extra gross feeling from taking penicillin. That’s not really relevant to this post, though, so moving on… I have been writing. I’ve been filling Moleskines with my own thoughts, I’ve been making lists of my own accord. I’ve been thinking of blog posts and writing them down. Then I start to wonder, what’s the point? Or I start to think that my initial posts are pointless. That no one wants to hear what I have to say. I start drowning in my own thoughts. Who cares about Things I Love, when sometimes I feel like even I don’t even care?

And then Lorelle writes this blog post. About how she goes long stretches without writing anything down. She can’t force herself to write. It just doesn’t make sense to her. I know that sitting down to write, finding the discipline is important. It’s important, at least, if you are getting paid. It’s important if you have deadlines.

She says, “I have found that it doesn’t matter if I become a writer or not. Becoming a writer is no longer my goal in life. ” But Lorelle, you are already a writer, whether or not you are paid for it. You are a writer by why you do, not how often or how well. You are a writer because you put your words out there for someone to read. Even if it’s just me. You are a writer because you write, even if it isn’t your profession.

And this is exactly why I love to blog. Because I’m not a professional blogger, but that doesn’t matter to me. It matters that I am putting words and thoughts out into this universe on a schedule that works with me. It matters that I know that someone out there reads one sentence of mine.

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3 thoughts on “Permission Not To Act

  1. Yes!
    The thing about writing is that it IS work, and the pressure to do the work is internal (unless it’s how you pay your bills all the time).
    Your willingness (others too) to share you life and your words is an amazing gift that you give because you work extra hard. It’s good to know where the pressure comes from because you have to relieve it. By writing and calling something finished, or simply by deciding consciously, “I don’t have to write today, and I will still be happy.”
    Thanks for expressing such an important idea.

  2. Yes, Melanie you speak of harsh truth of the creative process, it demands hard work and discipline, and never is any guarantee that will be a sucess or that someone else will care, but i think more importantly, does the person feel the need to write? If so, then do it no matter what. Of course nobody lives from the air, but that’s the cross a an artist must be ready to bear it, to take chances when, even one shouldn’t go any further, a great artist is always a rebel, i think, because he dares going where most won’t. Like you said writing must be enjoyable process, not just some other work with deadline, it must feel natural to who’s writing, if not why do it?

  3. This has been a good post by you, it makes me feel like I know you better. (Let’s face it, it’s been a long time since we were friends who truly knew about each others lives and so on). I’m sorry that you’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch.

    I look forward to your posts but I understand that life happens and sometimes we just don’t have the motivation to write or blog. Or sometimes we are too lazy, or too busy, or too something. Although I like to blog once or twice a week usually it’s nice knowing that I don’t have to and no one will really even care or notice.

    It takes a huge burden off me when I realize how little my website is in the grand scheme of things.

    I love you Melanie. I’ll never forget the years we spent being very close online friends. You were a huge part of my childhood and I will never forget you.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    -Nynex

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