I Don’t Feel Like Writing

I’ve not conducted an internal study on the matter, but I think there’s a decent chance that more often than not, I don’t feel like starting my writing.

Obviously, I usually change my mind on this, or this blog, my short story collection I’m working on, my two novels, and my freelance articles wouldn’t exist. But do I leap at the chance to start work on something? Is the production of words like a refreshing drink of pure cold water after passing through a desert? Is writing the deep, life affirming first breath of a newborn as it screams its way into our world?

Actually, once in a while it is. I get into a groove, or a certain idea is ripe for exploring/continuing.

But the truth is, usually not, and at times I marvel at those writers who feel asleep or dead unless they are writing something.

For me, inertia is everything. The path of least resistance is always easiest, and to an extent a human’s default position. Last month in Rio we saw the Olympics, the ultimate testimonial to people who refused to accept the default of stillness of which I speak. Though I don’t know any Olympians personally, I’m willing to guess that even to some of them, sitting, and staying still is easier than say, running 26 miles.

In other words, swimming a 200 meter freestyle, hurling a javelin, flipping on a balance beam are not automatic things to do. You don’t roll out of bed doing them. not even poorly. The default position of a human being is to not be doing any of that stuff.

Yet Olympians eventually choose to do it. It is a choice to train, a choice to reject the default position. A choice to compete.

I think we admire that choice as much as anything else in our athletes, whether they medal or not. That’s even more so for the upcoming Paralympics.

But we cheer no less knowing that being human, most of them, for the first few hours they are awake each day just didn’t feel like doing any of it.

Nor should we beat up other writers nor ourselves if we don’t feel like writing. Even if you’re like me and usually don’t feel like starting, it’s nothing to be guilty about. And the good thing is, once the inertia is broken, it works the other way; if you’re writing, it’s easier to keep writing.

But most of us have to make it a choice, even if we choose to take a break for a few days.

Will you choose to write today?

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