The Intractable, Distractable Life

Shakespeare (in The Tempest) tells us:  What’s past is prologue. Given how my blog has been neglected, I appreciate Shakespeare’s observation

Writers Block

Yesterday’s neglect (or more accurately, the last six months of neglect) isn’t necessarily set in stone for all time. It is what was, not what must always be. Today is like a clean plate, the smorgasbord of opportunities set before us! 

When I read about the 31-Day Blogging Challenge, I was intrigued, knowing this worthwhile endeavor would engage my commitment and might actually rebuild my enthusiasm to get back on the [writing] train. And … here I am — at the eleventh hour on the first day — penning a stream-of-consciousness list of excuses to explain my tardiness!

Writers have a million excuses not to write, don’t we? In my case, it’s not a conscious effort (at least I don’t think it is), but at those times when I’m ready and eager to write, often all it takes is some small insignificant thing to grab away my attention, and I’m simply lost to it!

I am a writer. From the age of ten or twelve, I knew the magical nature of words and my affinity to them would constitute a lifelong enchantment. My fascination with words is easily explained:  words equal connection to people. (There’s also a spiritual component, but that discussion will have to wait for another post.)

I am also a reader. Truth be told, I am a voracious reader!

Shouldn’t matter though. These two activities are thoroughly compatible, right? Writers don’t write in a vacuum. While writing invigorates the writer’s soul, reading feeds it. Both are necessary (the breathing out and in, if you will), but balance (for me anyway) has been out of reach.

Balance, yes. Can this writer (“fat and lazy” from too much feeding … reading) achieve the desired equilibrium — feeding less and engaging (exercising) more? Today is the day of the clean plate. Past can be … should be … is … prologue.

One day at a time, I’m looking forward to the next 31 days.

11 thoughts on “The Intractable, Distractable Life

  1. I find it interesting that you are using the challenge as a way to restart your blog/writing. I just restarted my blog after a four month absence and did a few posts in September. So when I saw this challenge, I too, thought it would be a good way to get some support while I got back into the routine of regular writing. Maybe it would also help me break out of that, “I should wait until I make sure I have something significant to say,” and then second-guessing myself into silence. I hope the challenge goes well for you. 🙂

  2. Go Renee! I understand about those distractions. See my blog at for the for once good reasons I will not be joining you on this daily challenge this month. Maybe someday. I’ve been reading “A Year of Writing Dangerously” by Barbara Abercrombie as a writing “devotional” this year. Very encouraging and nice to hear about well-known writers who struggle(d) with the same kinds of distractions, fears and just plain laziness. Hope you have a great month of writing!

    1. Debbie, you’re so generous at offering encouragement. You & I seem to share the same frustrations/blessings. When I catch your posts on FB, I see you lovin’ on grandbabies. Me too but the pics aren’t posted. Burning the midnite oil to grab a minute of writing time … Yeah, me too. Struggling against the confinement of apron strings? Whoa, I’m there, and like you, wondering how life would go on if the connections were severed. Thanks for the book recommendation. One more distraction … but in a good way. BTW, many years ago, I lived for a year in Oak Park (outside Chicago) & loved being there!

  3. There is something to be said for creating a habit of writing on a regular — gasp, even daily — basis. If you write regularly, you do not need to devote as great a portion of any given day writing in order become a prolific writer. Stephen King has published 50 books by writing just 2000 words a day.

    Look at the Challenge as an opportunity to get into the habit of daily writing. You may find that doing so has rewards beyond what you have so far experienced writing sporadically.

    1. Of course, your comment is spot on. I’ve always “written” daily, though more often as a series of mental notes, snatches of poetry, undeveloped plots, etc. The habit of writing daily — that is, making writing my vocation instead of avocation — is my intent with the Challenge. Above all else, it means expunging the word Later from my vocabulary!

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