writing as a constant

The thing about writing is that it isn’t constant. I say that to mean both it is and it isn’t. Constantly, we are in the process of writing. Writers are observing the world around us in great detail, documenting it in notebooks or on receipts or napkins or in blogs or on Twitter.

We are gathering all the time, collecting anecdotes and images for our future writing. But we are not always writing.

Sometimes we are sending out our completed writing, scouring reading periods and maximum word counts and submission fees for exactly where to send our work.

Sometimes we are reading books or writing about the books we read and turning over the ideas they had in them, sifting them through our own life experience, finding our own truths.

But we are not always writing.

I do not sit down for hours a day and write stuff that will be published some day, although it’d be nice if I did.

Some days I sip my coffee in silence, thinking. Some days I spend two hours cleaning this small space, wondering how it gets so messy so quickly, wishing I was writing. Some days I run to the post office and the bank and the library and the grocery store and collapse into my bed at the end of the day and think, ‘fuck, I didn’t write again.’

We are not always writing. The actual act of writing isn’t constant. My pen is not always striking a page, my fingers are not always typing on this keyboard.

But also, writing is constant.

Always it is in me, even when it isn’t flowing out of me. I am collecting, observing, thinking and sifting and one day, when I don’t have errands and I read just the thing that inspires me, I will sit down and write it out and maybe it is constant after all, the life cycle is just longer than a pen on paper.

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