Today I’m linking up with Danielle of Sometimes Sweet for her Journal Day feature. I missed last week’s link up because I kept waiting and waiting for inspiration to strike and then before I knew it, it was Saturday and I’d completely missed the party.
I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to write more. I would really love for writing to be my life, rather than just something I do every now and then on a train, on a rainy day, in a diary before bed. I know lots of people feel the same and I know I’m being as silly and idealistic as the tone deaf pre-teen who prances about in front of her mirror, singing into a hairbrush who thinks that one day she’ll be Britney Spears…but you don’t know until you try, do you? You can’t be a writer until you write something.
I’ve just come out of a job that had an extremely prescribed writing style. I was working to that house style every single day for almost four years. Now when I try to write it’s hard to find my own voice underneath all those rules and standards that no longer apply. It has been a bit disheartening. I used to think I had an individual style and a little bit of flair (I hate myself for writing that, and yet I’m not deleting it, only intensifying my self-hatred) and now I’m not at all sure of that. Long story short, I want to write more than anything, I know that I need to write and write and write until I shake off this false voice and unearth my own again – but it is overwhelming and so I keep putting little writing exercises (like Journal Day) off. I’ll stop blabbing now you know everything about my monstrous self-doubt.
This week’s prompt is:
They say hindsight is 20/20, and with good reason- looking back at something always gives us a better view. We’re often able to really see how our choices and decisions then shaped our today, and examine what we would have done differently given the chance. When looking back though, we often look way back, but for this exercise stay a little closer to present time and look back just 12 months. If you could go back just one year, what would you tell yourself? What advice would you offer about everything you’ve experienced?
If I could go back one year, I would say to myself: do not put off to tomorrow what you could do today.
In fact, I said that to myself this morning and then I watched seven episodes of Nip/Tuck in the time I had allotted myself for writing. I only opened Word and started typing away about forty minutes ago and because of the late start I had to cancel my Yoga class.
Yesterday I woke up and said the same thing to myself but then I spent so long doing all the tasks I was meant to complete the day before yesterday that I had to reschedule my spinning class to fit in some writing time. But in my writing time I didn’t write. Paralysed by self-doubt and overwhelmed by the vastness of the task, the massiveness of beginning, I just refreshed my Bloglovin’ feed, my Twitter feed, looked at all my Instagram photos and noticed how much weight I had gained, lost, regained, lost and finally, regained. And repeated, and repeated, and repeated until bedtime. At bedtime I put off sleeping to watch World Trade Centre which is perhaps one of the worst films I have ever seen. As I was finally dozing off I realised I had forgotten to attend my meditation class.
How long will this go on for? How many times will I say I’m going to change, that things will be different until they are?
I have brief periods of success where I manage to gather enough momentum to make real change: I moved house, I got healthy (and promptly go unhealthy again), I joined a WI, I started Pilates, and I attended a few meditation classes.
Sooner or later though, everything just stops.
I feel like I spend all my time just staring into space, willing things to be other than they are yet doing nothing to put the wheels in motion. I make silly excuses for myself: things will be better when I move house, lose weight, have a haircut, clean the house, paint my nails, reach enlightenment through meditation, read more books, take a holiday, change jobs.
The only thing that needs to change is my attitude.
When I look back over the twelve months leading up to now I see 365 missed opportunities to do meaningful things, to eat right, be fit, write, and generally move closer to the life I dream of having. When I look forward twelve months into the future, I see the possibility that I am still sat here paralysed and overwhelmed, but I also see the potential for this to be the time I followed through on my intentions.
If today is the day I actually do myself a favour and stop wallowing in my own self-pity and laziness then this time next year everything could be completely different.