I spent a chunk of this morning reading Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, even though it's not my designated Book For February. Cloud Atlas, which I started on the 1st of the month and picked up again exactly zero times thereafter, keeps sitting there staring at me accusingly, but I got so annoyed that the first chapter ended in the middle of a sentence that I just haven't been able to bring myself to continue it. Yet. I will! Probably. But first I'm going to finish Bird by Bird.
A huge part of Lamott's advice is, not surprisingly, that if you want to write (or "be a writer" or whatever), you just have to suck it up and write. Even if it's crap. Especially if it's crap, I guess, because you have to get through the crap to get to the good stuff. The same is obviously true for any type of creative endeavor; piles of shitty drawings and hours of painful-sounding attempts at music are the gateways to actual eventual proficiency. None of this is groundbreaking or anything. In fact, it's the most basic thing to remember. It's probably rule #1.
It's why I tried to set my 3-posts-per-week blogging goal. It's why I wanted to take a photo a day. It's why I've been trying to work on my own writing and help my writing buddy with hers. It's why, in a perfect world, in which I had unlimited levels of discipline and self-control, I would make time every day for continuing to learn to code or practice a language or do some drawing, regimented little blocks of time to work on stuff. Maybe not everything every day. That's probably insane. But "Photography Day!" or "Spanish Hour!" or things like that. If...and this is a huge IF, here...I could ever make myself actually stick to anything.
This is hardly a unique problem or personality flaw or whatever you want to call it. And I don't know, hyper-scheduling my life probably isn't the right answer either. I'm not even fishing for advice or trying to make this some sort of big confessional post or anything. Mostly I'm just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I haven't written anything here in a week, and I missed my 3-posts-by-Tuesday quota, and my tendency is to get all frustrated and avoid the blog and stuff but NO. Instead I'm going to finish this post and hit Publish even though I know it's kind of meandering and self-indulgent and pointless. Because there's no other way to get it done.