Write Steady

My favorite desk, to date. Circa 2011

I’ve finished the most steady month of writing in my life. I’ve been jotting down ideas for this blog every day, writing characters traits, copying turns of phrase I’ve read and liked.

For my fifth week of blogging, I found moments of free time to write about my egocentric obsession with personality tests. The piece had it all: Horoscopes! Enneagrams! Myer-Briggs! Harry Potter! Gloria Estefan! Introversion vs. Extroversion! 

It was utter shit. 

I wanted it to work, but I couldn’t get it right. What is more boring than reading about someone else’s personality test results? I was trying to talk about enneagrams because I think they’re having a big moment, but Jesus, those tests are complex to explain. I showed my writing to Max hoping my initial feelings were wrong. He told me he liked my use of vocabulary. If that isn’t the kindest letdown, I don’t know what is.

I spent several hours writing something that won’t see the light of day. It feels wasted, but also not. I learned a little bit along the way. Like how to accept letting go of something you wanted to be good, but just isn’t. And since I’m really committed to posting once a week and had to scrap my initial attempt, I will now give you the laziest but most effective writing form of our time: The Listicle. Probably also not the best, but at least you don’t need to read about how I’m an INTJ.

Five Things I Noticed After Writing Steadily for One Month

  1.  I’m trying new things Exhibit A – my thrown-away piece on personality testing. I’m seeking out new ideas and experiences because my self-induced deadline for weekly posts is tough. Seeing the world through this lens is really fun. I feel more inquisitive than I have in the past.
  2. I spend more time alone with my thoughts It’s taken me a long time to accept that I am pretty evenly extroverted and introverted. I used to believe introversion had a negative connotation, so I fought against it. Now, allowing myself the time to reenergize by being alone, going on a walk with the dog, and examining my ideas more closely has been really cathartic. 
  3. I have more story ideas Best Selling Author Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Big Magic about a transcendent level in our universe where ideas exist as their own living entities. She believes that if you allow yourself to be creatively open to these entities, then they will find you and ask to work with you. That sounds very crazy or very genius, but I’ve found some truth in that belief. I don’t have any more or fewer story ideas than I did before – but now I’m on the lookout and ready for when they pop into my head.
  4. I read more My to-be-read list grew by about thirty books in the month since I’ve started this endeavor. There is a lot to know about the world if I have any hope in writing it down. And I’m working on reading more variety. Do I really want to read the terrible right-wing propaganda my brother sends me every day? Or Ulysses? Or The Second Sex? Not really. But if I don’t, how will I know about them?
  5. I’ve let go of some insecurities I have been the critic of many an article. I dissect other people’s opinions into obliteration, especially if it’s written word. So I know all the ways people can trash me and my writing. And I’m getting over it. I’m sure a troll will find me eventually (most likely said brother with the propaganda). But at least I’m thinking in new ways and learning about myself. I’m acknowledging my insecurities and putting myself on the chopping block anyway.

There you have it: my first listicle. I have to say, I understand why so many writers use it – it’s really easy. Especially if they’re up against a deadline and wrote junk for a week straight.

Until next week! I’ll be on the lookout for something to say.