That blank screen.
That blinking cursor.
I feel like every time I sit down to write lately, that blank screen stares at me, that blinking cursor taunts me.
Three or four times this week I’ve sat down to write and have come up with nothing. Thursday evening I opened my laptop while sitting on my bed and tried to write about writing. I stared at the monitor for a few minutes, wrote a few sentences, got stuck and opened Netflix in a web browser and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Friday afternoon I was at a pizza joint, sitting at the bar and sipping water while waiting for lunch when I tried to write. I got distracted because I was sitting at a bar, there were two old dudes next to me pounding beers and talking about other places they like to drink, and for some reason on the TV above the bar the NFL Network was interviewing Ray Allen (they know he played basketball, right?).
Right now, as I write this, I’m sitting in bed, laptop in my lap, watching the Patriots and Titans in the playoffs.
A big reason I’ve struggled to write lately is I haven’t made it a priority. I sit down to write while watching a Patriots’ game or after dinner on a day off or in the hours before work after I’ve jogged a few miles. I rarely have a plan. A lot of times I’m not even sure what I want to write about.
This was never a problem when writing was my day job. When I was a reporter I had to find something to write about every day. I usually had a plan. I was going to cover a game, or write that feature I’d been working on, or write a column. I didn’t have a choice but to write.
But writing is now longer my day job. I spend most of my working hours reading what other people write.
And now writing is hard. Writing is not a habit. I don’t have a plan.
Part of the reason for creating this project to create every day is the create routines for myself. I figured if I commit myself to create something every day, I’ll make a plan to create something every day. Planning has definitely not been part of my routine. Take today for example. I had no idea what I was going to do creatively all day, and didn’t sit down to start writing this post until about 9:30 p.m.
That’s not going to work.
The one thing I’ve figured out from this project is I need to plan, I need routines, and I need to make creativity a priority. If I want to do this (and I do) I can’t wait for inspiration to strike, I have to go find it.
I have stories I want to write. There is a short story I have been kicking around for more than a year, it’s time to sit down and try to write it.
And not while I’m sitting in bed, watching a Patriots game.