It has been months since I sat down to write anything of significance. Other than the occasional email, to-do lists, lesson planning and weekly updates to families , I’ve consciously not been writing.
Until I stopped writing, I had been trying to live what I thought was the correct version of a writerly life. I was ticking off all the boxes that everyone around me was saying I needed to do to call myself a writer. Now I realize that I was playing at being a writer without feeling like a writer. The truth is that I’ve been feeling like a fake. Making a conscious decision not to write was my response to feeling inauthentic as a writer. As I religiously followed my own carefully planned writing routines, they began to feel ordinary and forced. Someone else’s idea of what it means to be a writer.
I needed a break. So, as another Tuesday rolled around – my day to blog – I’d give it a passing nod and substituted it with reading, resting or sleeping. Clearly, it was a time to shutter my blog, put down my pen and let other things take up space until I found my inspiration again. Because I knew I would find myself in my writing again.
I write today, not because I feel inspired to get my thoughts out to the world, although there’s that, but because I needed an outlet. It was time to let my words flow. It was time to figure out what practices define my writing life. It was time to understand myself as a writer by living my version of a writerly life.
I don’t know if I’ve fully explored the reasons for this self-imposed writing moratorium in this post. There might be more to uncover still, but the realization that this was a choice rather than the usual reasons – lack of time, lack of ideas – and that I need to be more authentic for myself is a big aha moment for me.
I am not here to live the life of other writers. I am here to ruminate and discover myself so I can be a better person through writing. Writing allows me to see what previously lay hidden until words made them come alive.
And, that is why I write.
Cross posted to the Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge.