Input, Output

There's nothing like a 4:30 am wake up call from a snot-nosed toddler to inspire you to write. I have been so preoccupied prepping for baby #3 that I've hardly sat down to write anything at all the past few weeks, paper or internet. I've been feverishly cleaning and organizing the house, I finished our personal and small business taxes, and I've been wrapping up as much as I can at work, which has been no small task. Luckily outside of two year old middle of the night wake ups, I've been feeling really good. For all intents and purposes we are ready for baby, for our lives to be turned upside down in the best way possible yet again.

I've been spending a lot of time the past few months devouring as many books and blogs as I can knowing that my reading schedule will be limited by a nursing newborn. Reading is one of the things I do to relax so I've been sneaking it in wherever I can. I slowed down the past few days and I realized something: I've been taking in too much and putting out too little. I'm on input overload and have been taking no time to actually digest what I'm learning. Remember when I was so excited to make some changes after reading Hands Free Mama? Yeah, those intentions are still waiting in the wings. Or how inspired I was to write out my previous birth stories after reading about Courtney's? I seem to have forgotten my 2014 mantra in one important part of my life: writing.

I love to write. It is an outlet, it helps me make sense of the world, it makes me happy. It's ridiculous of me to spend so much time reading other people's words and not stringing together my own. My biggest problem isn't lack of time. I can always find a little bit of time, whether on the bus writing on my phone or taking a solo lunch break. No. My problem is confidence. I just assume that there is someone out there who can and who is saying what I want to say, but saying it better. That whatever I put out there will just be a watered down, amateur version of something a "real writer" has already published in language I can only dream of someday producing. 

If I sit down and think about that, truly dig deep, I know it's a load of crap. I know it's my way of avoiding my biggest fear: failure. What if I pour my heart into a piece only to have people criticize it harshly? What if I mean for something to inspire and it falls completely flat? What if I submit a piece of writing and it gets rejected? I know none of those things is the end of the world but when I sit down and stare at a blank screen I can't help but think of the end product and freeze. I'm more focused on the product than the process and I have no reason to be. I'm not paid to write. I have no deadlines or expectations. So why put so much pressure on myself?

So here's the deal: my new goal is to spend 10 minutes writing every day. Be it on my phone, in a journal, or on here, I will be writing for 10 minutes each and every day. The writers I admire have spent tens of thousands of hours writing words that have never been seen by others eyes. Writing is an art that takes as much practice as any other. And that practice doesn't need to be consumed by anyone but the writer themselves. 

I have some lofty personal goals this year and writing more is a big one of them. So I'll start with ten minutes and see where that takes me. I also plan on reading Bird by Bird at some point, when I'm ready to consume again. For now, I'm going to work on producing something, anything. And someday that anything really will be something.

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