A Few Current Writing Thoughts (aka, When the Pump Dries)

Last week, I participated in Laura Tremaine’s #10thingstotellyou hashtag on Instagram. I did it entirely for fun, because the topics seemed fun and because I didn’t really have anything else on the horizon I wanted to specifically post there.

Turns out, it was just the thing I needed to remember how much I love writing. Who knew?

I call myself a writer. When someone asks what I do, I say, “I’m a writer” — not a podcaster, not a course creator, not even an entrepreneur or business owner. My first career-themed identity involves my books, not the thing I actually spend most of my working hours focused on.

I’ve been thinking about this for several months, actually; I’ve been “working on a novel” for most of this year, yet I’ve hardly gotten any writing done. By the time I spend my week getting out podcast episodes, sharing bonus secret episodes with my patrons, prepping for the class I teach, and generally Doing What One Does via a screen (social media, email, etc.)… come Friday, I’m too spent to have any time working on my book.

This is the thing I want to accomplish most right now, yet it’s the thing that gets the least amount of my work-related attention. Interesting.

I work full-time, and it’s almost exclusively on non-writing things these days. The slide into this rhythm was entirely unintentional, and this recent otherwise-silly Instagram challenge helped me see why: because I’ve gotten out of the habit of regular writing.

I’ve mentioned before here on the blog that I’d gotten burned-out on blogging. I decided to take a blogging break, which turned into a year off. I’ve almost exclusively shared only contributing writers’ and guest writers’ posts since last summer, and have personally mostly published podcast episodes.

The break was refreshing at first. At about six months ago, I confessed privately to colleagues that I missed blogging, but I still didn’t do anything about it. But add another six months, and here’s what I am: my lack of regular writing has officially affected my book writing, the thing I care about most.

It’s like the pump to my well has gotten dry from lack of use. Blogging keeps my pump primed.

So, it’s for this main reason that I plan to start blogging here again. That, and I also miss interacting here on the site directly — Instagram is great for community, but it’s not the same as keeping it in-house (I’ve got a piece on this specific thing I’m working on; I’ll share it soon).

I still won’t publish a ton (I don’t want to burn out again), but I am ready to be more regular here. From what you’ve told me in your emails, social media comments, and in-person, you miss me writing here, too.

We’ve got some fun changes on the horizon, and I can’t wait to share them with you! We’ve actually added another staff member on board with AoS, and she’s fantastic. More on her soon, but fingers crossed, her presence will help us respond better to your submissions and requests. She’ll also help us publish stuff I’m genuinely excited about!

In the meantime… hooray for regular writing again! I look forward to getting back to this habit.

Is there a beloved habit of yours you’ve let grow dusty, too? I’d love to hear.

Top photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

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