A Knot to Untangle

A Knot to Untangle

I read an article the other week called the “The Uncompromising Power of Daily Habits” and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.

It’s not the first time I’ve been exposed to this concept. Many have preached about the value of daily practice, or daily habits. It’s easy to see the logic in it.

What made the article such an inspiration to me is the way he wrote about it. His argument is concise and logical and he provides his real life example as evidently, and he does it with a clear voice. But it’s his real life experience that stuck with me.

For the last few months, I’ve been teaching myself web development. It’s been my ongoing goal to spend some amount about time, no matter how small on my coding studies. And I don’t want to jinx it, but I’ve been doing a really good job of working a little every day.

It wasn’t a smooth route. I wasn’t always consistent in the beginning, but I’ve come a long way. I’ve even learned to recognize when I need a break and take a day off.

I understand the power of daily habits. I’ve been doing daily work. But it was the writer’s specific experience that stuck with me. He started to blog daily to get better at writing.

With so much going on in the world recently, there has been a lot going on in my mind lately. I have so many ideas jumbled in my brain that I can’t see where one ends and another starts. I need to sort them out. It’s a knotted mess. Somehow, I have to untangle this knot. Writing is how I sort through and process ideas.

These are two separate experiences of mine. One, the¬†experience of feeling inspired by this article. The second of my internal conflict that I’ve been facing in light of a reality that has changed suddenly and dramatically. Two separate experiences, but they exist together.

For weeks, all of these thoughts have been stewing in my head. I knew I needed to get them out, to write them down. For so long I hadn’t wanted to split my focus, but now the need to write kept bubbling. I just didn’t know where to begin. I was so overwhelmed.

So here is where I try to sort it all out by keeping a daily blog.

My goal: to write something, anything, whether 50 words or 500, every day and publish it here, with as little disruption to my web development studies as possible. Good, bad or bizarre.

I don’t expect it to go smoothly, at first. I’m sure I won’t be very consistent to start. But no pressure. For now, this is just for me. Because I have a knot to untangle and writing is how I do that.

photo credit: http://www.ilkkajukarainen.fi IMG_0018 via photopin (license)

Working My Way Out

Working My Way Out

I’ve been working my way out of a writing slump.

Lately, it has been difficult for me to find the energy and motivation to write or practice lettering, which has left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It is especially difficult not writing. I always feel a little off when I haven’t been writing enough.

Besides feeling like everyday life is seeming to take a lot more energy than usual, I recently applied for a pretty big promotion at work. I just had my second interview this past week and am waiting to hear back. Between applying for the position, preparing for the interviews, and now the anxiety of waiting to hear the decision, this has been taking up most of my mental energy and focus for the last couple of weeks, along with a few other things that have had me stressed out.

In my head I know better. I know that more emotionally off I’m feeling, whether angry, sad, anxious, or stressed, the more I should be writing. But that’s often when it’s the hardest to write.

I haven’t neglected writing entirely, but finding it difficult to focus, have been writing much less. The less I write, the less easily the words come out. The way I’m feeling reminds me of a fountain pen left too long without being used. The way the ink refuses flow through the nib, I’ve been struggling to form words. Last weekend I plotted some of a story I’ve been working on for several months, but the words only trickled out. I did not feel the catharsis I feel after a great writing session.

I keep trying, though, and slowly it’s getting better. I know that’s way out.To keep writing. And this is what I’ve been trying to do. Just the way the ink in a fountain pen writes flows more freely and writes more smoothly the more you write with it, I know the words will come more easily and more freely the more I write.

I’m learning to accept that there will be times like this where I find it hard to write. And sometimes things come up, and life truly can interfere, but going through periods like this doesn’t mean I’m a bad writer or am doom to be unsuccessful. I have to be willing to actively work through these times, finding ways to motivate myself and get the words flowing, which I am learning to do. I may never be able to avoid these times completely, but I do think that learning to work through blocks is a skill that be improved with practice and perseverance. I keep trying, and I do think my periods of total non-writing are shorter and fewer than historically. And continuous improvement is the best I can ask for.