Hello. My name is Dale. Or maybe I should say, Hello, again.
If you’re among our newer readers, you probably don’t know me. And if you’re one of those readers who’s been with us a while, you’ll be forgiven if you’ve forgotten who I am. Although I’m one of the founders of this site, I’ve all but disappeared over the last two years.
I’d like nothing more than to tell you that I haven’t been writing because of some grand event, like traveling the world, or that I’ve been so busy on some life-changing project at work that you’ll all be able to see on the news in the near future. It would assuage my writer’s guilt greatly if I could point to a bout with cancer, or wax poetic about caring for a loved one who made a remarkable recovery. But I can’t.
I’d like nothing more than to tell you that I have good reasons for my absence. But all I have is excuses. Or more accurately, one excuse. It’s the same excuse I always have.
For the past two years I just didn’t feel like writing—and I didn’t force myself to do it.
I’ve never been good at making myself write–at least not when I lack the motivation to write. If I have a story in my head, but lack the time, I can usually make myself sit down to take a few notes, and can often parlay that into a productive hour or two. But in the last couple of years the ideas and the desire have been lacking.
I’d love to tell myself that I have reasons not to write.
I’ve been suffering from a form of chronic pain. That’s a reason, right? Well…I’ve known people with chronic pain who find a way.
What about my legitimate lack of time to write? Hmmm…I seem to have found the time to watch TV and surf the web. So even though I haven’t had a lot of free time, it seems like I could have carved out an hour here and there.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
When it comes to not writing there are few reasons and there are many, many creative variations on the same, familiar excuse.
So what can I do? The way I see it there are two choices. I can give up and stop calling myself a writer (even with qualification) and give up my partial stake in this site I helped start. Or I can stop accepting my own excuses, and make myself write.
In the past month I’ve started to make myself journal every day most days. I’ve taken some notes on a couple of creative ideas that have been living in my head for far too long. I’ve started to get my office into shape (this is a common stalling tactic, but in this case I’ve just bought a house and I can’t use my new office until it’s painted and unpacked).
And I’ve started writing again. For now it’s less creative stuff, like a few blog posts, and some technical writing. But I’m using those to get back in the swing of putting thoughts on paper in a coherent way, so those muscles don’t cramp up as bad when I start to tackle something more creative and narrative.
So to sum up. I’m Dale, and I have no excuses.