Ok, so the rules have been bent since I first started. Every day is hard, way harder than I thought it would be. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, and squeezing a few minutes to write on a porch chair in between classes and chaos isn’t easy. But it wasn’t this. It wasn’t super duper hard. With the end of my first quarter of grad school so close I can smell the stress even after a shower, the time to justify anything other than work is hard to come by. And when it does peak out it’s head, I feel guilty to be doing anything other than exercising me, exercising the dog, or giving overdue attention to and spending quality time with my beau.
So bend the rules I have. First, I allowed myself to be exempt from writing when I spent a full day without access to the internet. If escaping into the woods ever becomes a guilty pleasure, than this exercise in diligence has gone too far. Escaping should be guilt free escaping. Second, I gave myself holidays off, if I want them. Sometimes the best inspiration for writing, holidays also deserve to be pure pleasure without so much as a trace of anything that resembles obligation – self imposed or otherwise. But now, yesterday, yesterday I just failed at my promise to myself. I had no excuse, except that the day got away from me. At one point when we were out celebrating Hanukkah with newly befriended friends, I actually caught myself questioning whether I really should be at home writing. Now that’s just ridiculous. Shut up me! Get out of my own end! The truth of the matter is no one else is watching and the score doesn’t matter for squat. If I slip up, so be it, I will write more tomorrow, perhaps with more vigor than before. But this challenge certainly can’t get in the way of my living my life, it needs to just slip into being a part of it.
And a challenge that is. Taking the time out for writing is only as hard as thinking of what to write about. I don’t want to divulge the doings of my day, they just aren’t that exciting. But if I can look at my day and filter out the adventure, the insight, the inspiration from what is often routine, then the task will have been well worth it. Finding the sweetness of stolen moments for walking and kissing and dancing in the rain and the romance of Chinese food in our pajamas on the couch on Sunday nights, stretching the limits of empty bank accounts and finding justification for the guilty pleasure of sleeping late, all of this makes writing from the vantage of every day life well worth the challenge.
So it won’t be 365 consecutive days. So what. With my international ambitions and my disgust for technology, that goal never stood a chance. So here’s to a new revised goal. Writing almost every day. More often than not. With good reason for the days off and just a few innocent slips here and there. No guilt, just good honest effort. Surely that will be good enough.