How to be a Writer- I’ve Been Doing it Wrong

I haven’t been writing a lot lately.  Anyone who follows this blog (Hi Dad) has probably already noticed that.  I haven’t even been doing any off-the-blog, just-for-myself writing.  I know, sad.  There are a lot of little things that have contributed- bad mood, vacation, needy kids, work, fatigue, lack of ideas.  You know…stuff.  So, whatever, I didn’t do it.  I decided to not feel guilty in March, so I’m not going to do it now.

 

It all comes down to the fact that I wasn’t inspired, at all.  And what do people tell you to do to be inspired to write?  That’s right- read, read, read!  Read things written by people whose writing you admire.  So that’s what I did.  I read articles, I read blogs, I read short stories.  I spent the little bit of free time I had between job & kids (& messy house & destructive dog…) READING.  That’s right…I was reading when I should have writing.

 

I was figuratively slapped across the face yesterday by Tsh Oxenreider in her ‘Dsh with Tsh’ blog at Babble.  (Note: I don’t know Tsh, I actually just discovered her yesterday, but I have a massive girl-crush on her and I think we’d be really good friends.  More on that later…..).  In her July 18 post, ‘Create before You Consume’, Tsh introduced this concept of *gasp* getting your OWN thing done before you dive into checking everybody else’s stuff out.  When I finished reading, I slapped myself in the forehead because it’s SO OBVIOUS…but it’s not my instinct…it had never even crossed my mind.  If the flight attendant didn’t remind me before every flight, I would surely perish trying to put the oxygen masks on my children without getting my own mask on first….I’m one of those people.

 

My normal routine, first thing in the morning, is this:  I grab my phone (before I even get out of bed) and check my email, my Facebook & my Twitter.  Before I get out of bed!  How gross is that?  How important do I think I am?  I am NOT that important.  Then, if I have time after my reading/replying/posting, I look at a quality news outlet like TMZ.  (In my defense, by that time I’ve usually gotten the big news headlines from reading my colleagues Tweets.)  By this time, because I’ve wasted so many extra minutes lazily cuddling with the internet, I’m running late.  So, then I jump up and run around with my hair on fire getting ready for work, getting the kids out the door and cursing the fact that my house is so gross because I NEVER HAVE TIME TO DO ANYTHING.  Then I drive to work thinking about how much I could accomplish if only I didn’t have to work.

 

This morning, on Tsh’s advice, I got up and fought the urge to check my phone.  Instead, I immediately got up, got dressed and made coffee.  By the time the kids woke up, I’d accomplished more than I had all day yesterday.  By the time I left for work, I had dinner cooking in the crock-pot, a grocery list made & had 3 more ideas for blog posts.  Success!

 

So, there you go.  Tsh should be my friend (the friend who makes you a better person).  She shares my love of simplifying life (she’s @simplemom on Twitter), she’s my age and has 3 kids.  She has long, slightly grown out bangs & she muses about whether she’s too old to get a nosering.

 

In fact, I’m thinking about changing my name to Jss.