Alex J. Cavanaugh and equal gratitude to this month's co-hosts C. Lee McKenzie, Tracy Jo, Melanie Schulz, and LG Keltner!
Ok, confession time: I'm not writing. At all. And haven't been for a LONG time. Such a long time, in fact, that I feel as though I shouldn't even be considering myself a member of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I mean, I can offer general support, but can I offer expertise? Can I relate to writing struggles? Can I offer concrete suggestions from my own experience? Nope, sure can't. And if being a writer is defined by the act of writing then I am definitely not a writer. Whew. It honestly does feel a tiny bit better to get that out.
To make matters worse, I'm not really reading, either. I'm not blogging, I'm barely even keeping up with commenting on all the wonderful things you all are posting (as evidenced by the fact that most of you hear from me once in a blue moon). It's not good, to say the least.
Now, normally I would be (and would have been, for some time now) indulging in the most devastating and just plain evil self-criticism imaginable, punishing myself mercilessly for not doing what I know I need to do. But I'm not. Why? Because I'm pushing myself in other ways.
Since January I've been talking more and more about my upcoming 3rd Dan (3rd degree black belt for anyone who didn't read my A to Z posts) test- how hard I'm training for it, how desperately I want to do really well on it, how much is involved in that preparation. And towards that end I joined a gym back in January and have been going with some frequency (read: 5 days a week) since then, ramping up on the weight poundage, pushing myself further in reps and sweating like there's no damned tomorrow. I've never been athletic, I've never been huge on physical fitness and I've never belonged to a gym before so when I tell you that I've been training harder for this test than I have for anything else I've ever done in my entire life you know I'm not lying.
Since the training is such a large time commitment, energy sucker and takes so much effort to force myself to do I've been reserving all of my mental drill-sargent accountability for that, not for writing. Thus why I haven't written a single thing in so long I can't remember the last time. I'm training every single day instead of writing every single day.
And in some ways I'm ok with that- especially now with the test only 16 (AAHHHHHH!) Days away- I know I need to give it literally everything I've got and I'm ok with leaving absolutely nothing left over for writing. But I am concerned- writers write. I'm not doing it, so I can't be it.
It's not that I don't intend to return, certainly not. I'm hoping to significantly cut back on my gym activity and subsequently leave more time in the day to-God forbid- WRITE. But you guys are SO committed to writing, and I'm sure a lot of you juggle more activities than I and still manage to do it. And I wonder, does this mean I'm not a writer anymore- at all- period?
Is it ok to take this long of a break, completely focus on something
else so exclusively, and still consider myself a part of a community
like this? Or still consider myself a writer? I'd love to know what you guys think. Thanks for reading.