A good friend of mine recently took a week off and rented a cabin out in the woods entirely by herself. She realized she hadn’t been taking much time for herself, and decided to take the week to give her some time to do the things she wants to do more of and doesn’t have time in real life. One of those is writing.
This really resonated with me. When I was younger, back in the days before widespread home computers (I think about this on occasion, and my mind is boggled, but that’s a side issue), I used to write recreationally. I had spiral bound notebooks full of stories. My hand writing was actually legible. I continued this into college. While I did work my tail off when I was in college, I still had the free time a child has, and I took advantage of that to write. After my sophomore year, that happened on my own personal computer that I bought with that summer’s earnings. I dabbled in fan fiction. (Not sure if it’s still available online – that particular fandom is pretty dormant.) I had a couple different ideas for novels that I have chunks of written. (For fiction, I’m not a very linear writer – I come up with scenes, write them out, and figure out the joins later.) I got a faculty nomination to be a tutor in our writing center, which I’ll be honest, was one of the most flattering awards I got in college. But the point is, I wrote all the time.
I miss it. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that my writing dropped off, but it wasn’t that far into my working career. I’ve always had office jobs, so I’m on a computer all day. I pretty much never write longhand anymore, and my handwriting has definitely suffered for it. I have moments where I get into a bit more – when I first started this blog, I used to write more detailed posts, especially around travel. But I’m more likely just to post pictures from my travel days now.
So what can I do about it? First thing – I need to make my home computer desk more ergonomic. I’m typing this today during a break at work, because I have a desk here that has been perfectly customized for all my ergonomic needs, and I can sit here and type for hours (I’d really prefer not to, of course, but I could). My desk at home is a little too high for long term typing. It’s fine for formatting pictures and paying the bills, but I can really feel it after I’ve even just composed a longer than average email. It’s not an automatic desk, but it can be adjusted. I need to do that.
I also need to commit to writing more at home. I need to get back to doing at least one longer form entry about a trip, even if I then do several separate posts that are mostly pictures. I also need to commit to figuring out something I can write about longer form at least once a week. I’ve got two blogs going – I should be able to accomplish that between the two of them. This seems like baby steps, but it should at least get me back into a habit, and if I can do that, we’ll see where I can go from there.