If writing is a muscle that needs exercise, then my writing muscle is a lazy flabby thing growing fat on a junk food diet of comedy websites and British tabloids. It occasionally gets up with a grunt to churn out reports, emails, and training documents before slumping back into a sofa, cushions deflating under its weight. On days when I try to coax it into moving, like I am doing today, it is restless and unfocused and I can hardly get anything substantial out of it.
It may not have been a wise idea to give up writing for a career that requires little imagination, I realize too late. I don’t know what I was thinking when I thought that taking a step away from writing/blogging would somehow make me a better writer. I suppose if you trade writing for work that fuels your passion and feeds the imagination, you’d never run out of thoughts and experiences for your writing muscle to run with. But when you face Excel spreadsheets on a daily basis, you gain little insight about the human condition and your imagination grows stale (but at least you can concatenate cells).
Now, every time I am confronted by a blank piece of paper or a new WordPress post, my hand freezes and my vocabulary level drops. It’s a monumental struggle to find the right words to express whatever I’m feeling. My writing muscle strains at the effort, mutters something about a cramp, and drops the work in search for gossip columns to munch on.
My writing muscle desperately needs to get back in shape before it becomes too fat to move and begins to atrophy. I worry that my sabbatical from writing is starting to do irreparable damage; my thoughts are all over the place and I can’t stand to read what I have just written. When my writing muscle was fit and toned from writing on a regular basis, my prose was streamlined and coherent, my notebook free from erasures. You know you’re a struggling writer when you keep ripping pages out to start afresh.
So I’m giving my writing muscle an exercise regimen: this blog (or my horror blog) will see one new blog post each week, no matter how crappy or awkward I think my prose might be, and the frequency of my blog posts will increase as soon as my job gives me more time for myself. These efforts will be complemented by literature from my favorite authors, essays about the art of writing, or any good read that will provoke me to write well. I don’t know how long it will take for me to feel comfortable about my own writing again but one thing’s for sure – my writing muscle can’t get any worse off than when I stopped writing completely.Google+