There was a time when I posted something to this site every day. That daily challenge I set for myself added a little tension to each day, but it was also invigorating and rewarding. I would wake up each morning knowing I expected to capture an idea and put it out into the world. I would be on a daily hunt for a spark, for a thought worth exploring and worth sharing.
Some nights I would scramble before I went to bed to post a quote, a photo, a link, anything just to keep the streak going. And I had no shame in doing just barely enough to take credit for writing something every day. Just keep going. Just keep posting. Long streaks of forgettable or cringeworthy posts would be interrupted occasionally by something pretty good, something I was actually proud of. And I wouldn’t have gotten to the few good ones without all the mediocre attempts.
Committing to posting something daily put my antennae up throughout the day in a way that’s been missing since I’ve stopped writing regularly.
What can I ever write, though, that would be of lasting value? Who am I to write with any sense of authority? What do I know anyway? And who even cares? Eventually, those questions derailed me. It was just easier not to make the attempt.
Well, I do know that just the act of writing something down helps me to better understand myself. And writing, as frustratingly difficult as it is, can lead to rare, refreshing moments of clarity and the occasional deep satisfaction of crafting a phrase or illuminating a thought that delights me. Plus, there’s the double bonus of possibly writing something that might be meaningful to someone else, even if only by accident.
How can I know what I think until I see what I say?
The best way to understand something is to try to express it.
I know all this is true, but I have been resisting for years now the hard work and messy self-examination regular writing requires of me.
But I’m going to get back at it, even when—especially when—I just don’t feel like it. (Writing the first sentence is the hardest part. Once I put something down, no matter how embarrassingly bad it is, I tend to keep going. And it tends to get better.) I just know that being intentional about writing regularly has been good for my soul. “Not feeling like it” is a puny excuse that prevents an infinity of possible good things from ever happening.
I’m not promising daily posts. I’m not trying to start a new streak, knowing that the pressure of keeping a streak alive just adds to the resistance to even start. I’ll aim for dailyish.
It’s been too easy to default to consuming rather than creating. But I won’t look back some day and wish that I had scrolled Twitter more often or watched more YouTube videos. But I already regret not writing more. I regret not regularly attempting to make something meaningful or delightful, something that helps me make a little more sense of the world and might help someone else, too.
So, I’ll be back at it. Right here. Dailyish.