After yesterday's post about just saying that I want to be more writerly and that being enough to make it so, I had a few comments asking if it really was that easy. The answer is, yes! And it's also no.
I took the section of yesterday's post listing titles and ideas to write and ran with a few of them. I drafted three poems and the first six pages of a short story. One of the poems was good enough to publish on my poetry site. All this is great news for a guy who had just said that he wasn't composing anything. I declared that I wanted to write more and, bam, I wrote more. Deciding to do it was enough to make it happen.
The other side of this is that writing is still difficult. I'm applying for a job and got great advice about the application letter from a friend who is both smart and a good writer. His email was a thing of beauty. I read and reread it, marveling both at the quality of advice and level of writing. Then I sat to write the letter I need to write and that didn't go well at all.
I can blame it on the sixty degree day here in Syracuse, the people stopping to talk as I sat on the front steps, that I had to go to Wegmans for groceries, and that I needed to prepare dinner. I produced a page of really awful prose. I should burn that page and, just to be safe, bury the ashes. It was that bad.
The lesson for me is that writing doesn't always go well but that it does only take deciding to do it. Later today I'll take another crack at the application. I'll decide to write and words will come. It might take a couple dozen tries, but words will come.
The friends who asked if it is as easy as simply deciding to write are wise to wonder about my conclusions. I made it sound easy yesterday, only to run into a bit of hard reality. But then I came to the computer moments ago thinking I had nothing to write here. Pushing that thought away, I decided that I still wanted to write and that something would come.
Something did. Isn't that a kick in the pants?
Since this works in writing, I'm going to try it with other things. I want my life to change. Things are stale inside me. So I'm working on changing jobs. I've been thinking about it for years. I'm curious to see if getting a new job can happen simply by deciding to get one. I wonder if I can find a new job by living life looking for what's next. The crazy thing is that right now, typing these words, I believe I can. Call me after a few job rejections come in and I may have changed my tune. Then again, maybe I won't.
I don't mean to be flip about job searches. There are people looking for work who don't have the luxury I do of having a job already. They aren't out of work simply because they haven't decided to change that. I'm thinking about myself here, not labeling others. I want to train myself to believe in possibility.
Every day is a new opportunity. I've been letting most of those slide just as I have passed up endless writing inspirations. For at least a day I grabbed on to the inspirations. I like imagining what happens when I stop passing up the opportunities.