So I haven't been blogging lately. I'd be surprised if one person noticed this fact, but still...I would like to blog more. I'd like to write more, actually. When it comes to writing, I'm simply not disciplined. Not because I can't be, but because I've never had to be.
See, I've always written. I enjoy it immensely and I've always been driven to write. But I've never attempted to write fiction at a serious level. Not until a few years ago. I can knock out a poem or review or editorial in an hour or less; I can do phone interviews in the same amount of time, or spend a week or more going back and forth in e-mail. That always worked in the past. But fiction? Not a chance. I can do what I used to do and bang out a story synopsis or a flash piece, then go about my life again, but being a constant rough-draft writer doesn't cut it anymore. I need to be more disciplined, which is anything but easy when your daily routines—good and bad—take up nearly all your time.
I first got online in the early 90s. Since then, the Internet has become a permanent aspect of my life. But I've come to realize that I waste so much time farting around online, doing very little that has any positive impact on my life. I'm no longer benefiting like I once was because the culture of the Internet has changed drastically. So I've been slowly cutting back on my surfing, deleting forum accounts or consciously not visiting them a hundred times a day. And it's working, I have more time...only I hadn't realized it until yesterday.
I was sitting there at my desk, bored out of my mind, thinking, "Damn...I'm not getting any e-mails anymore." Just sitting there, doing nothing, waiting for contact.
And that illustrates my disease.
Those e-mails—those little things that have so often convinced me that I have no time because I've grown so accustomed to receiving them all day long and have made them a priority over more important things—are reply notifications from all the forums I used to post at. Now I'm no longer posting on those forums, so I'm not getting those notifications. And thus I have more time to write! Funny, though, that I didn't even realize this until yesterday! Maybe that's more sad than funny.
I've read a few interviews with different authors who have suggested that the best time for any writer to start their career is in his or her thirties. The argument being that we're more disciplined at that age, we understand ourselves better, have found our voice. But as the walking contradiction to that theory, I'm obligated to disagree.
Yes, I know myself better now than I did at 20, I've found my voice, but I am not disciplined. Not as a fiction writer. Not yet, anyway.
I have built walls—thick, towering walls—around my habits, even the bad ones. Tearing down those walls is complicated. But I'm getting there, brick by brick.