“Make your bed. Change your life.”
One of my favorite instructors in culinary school said this regularly. (I attended Manhattan’s Institute of Culinary Education a thousand years ago. Mostly to make and eat cake.) While I don’t recall how it pertained to knife skills or butterflying a chicken, the notion stuck with me. Could the introduction of one small act of self-discipline improve your life?
I’m reasonably good about making my bed, but I’m terrible at writing. Not the cobbling together of sentences (that I can do to some degree), but the actual process of writing–the sitting down and putting pen to paper, or facing a blank Word document.
Even now, while attempting to write about writing, I’m itching to do something–anything!–else, including chew on already tattered fingernails and reheat my coffee a third time. Indeed, I find writing a painstaking endeavor, which begs the question: Am I in the wrong field? Maybe.
Writer Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing; I love having written.” I hear you, D.
I don’t think writing has to be so hard. When I’m working on deadline, the pressure to generate words for someone else means I focus less on the process and more on getting the writing done. I push aside self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy to focus on the work, because I must. Being accountable to someone else forces me to produce.
This is where “Bad Yellow Duck” and blogging (the “making the bed,” if you will) comes in. In an effort to be a more productive, self-disciplined writer, I’m challenging myself to blog and blog regularly. Though I know it’s against every how-to-not-suck-at-blogging blog post ever written, I’m not creating a fixed schedule or committing to a certain number of posts per week because, well, life. But I know the goal and what it will take to get there.
My biggest fear? Not having enough to say along the way. Spending giant chunks of time with toddlers does not a glamorous life make. But it does provide unique moments–like the time I licked a tear off Ben’s face only to find it was pee. Disgusting pee.
Hopefully, most posts will provide more substantive content. One thing I know no post will be is perfect. For better or worse, and in the name writing practice, I’m aiming for quantity over quality–to publish draft #1 or 2 (instead of draft #27). And then to move on.
Whether you loathe or love what I write, thanks for reading–and for helping to keep me accountable.