30 Minutes

 Photo Credit:  Sonja Langford

Photo Credit: Sonja Langford

I've been struggling to write and I don't know why. Usually, I know why I can't string words together. Sometimes, I'm distracted or tired. Sometimes, I have a great idea but don't trust that I can do it justice. Sometimes, I'm just fighting with myself. But the current struggle is a mystery and I find myself staring at my screen and reading things I've already written or going through unpublished essays and changing a few words here and there before getting frustrated and closing them out.

Not writing takes a lot of time. 

Then, I find myself bumping up against the external confines of time and I think, "I only have 30 minutes!" Thirty minutes before the kids come home or dinner has to be made or reading has to be done. I tell myself that I can't possibly accomplish anything in 30 minutes. I'm like a jumbo jet that needs a long runway for takeoff before I can fly and I convince myself I can't fly in 30 minutes. I know that's not true, however. Before the summer, I was writing in 30 minute increments every day and could lose myself in it for those blocks of time so I know I'm just making excuses. 

So, I'm writing this right now because I have 30 minutes before the kids get home. This is not an essay. It is not literary. It is not something that will last. It is something just for me, an exercise - yawn and a stretch and maybe the cracking of knuckles. 

But then I think of the people who will end up with this post in their inbox and I want to say, "I'm so sorry that you are reading my exercise! I'm sorry I yawned on you!" And maybe that's the problem right there - I'm putting too much pressure on myself. I'm worrying about wasting other people's time while wasting plenty of my own as I wander through the house eating cookies and complaining that I can't write. 

I don't believe in writer's block but I know that I'm a pro at blocking myself and the past 30 minutes helped me remember that. Tomorrow I'll try again - one 30 minute block at a time.