Under pressure

“Are you typing?” he asks from the road. “You won’t have a lot of time to finish if you’re not already. It’s a bit slippery out today, and you’ll need extra time to drive in.”

“I’m not, and I don’t want to,” I pout into the phone, yanking the covers up the bed. Who the hell cares if I make the bed, anyway? Who’s going to see it before we hop back into it tonight?

“Well, I’m just sayin’ you might want to get going, cause if you’re going to get it written, there’s isn’t much time.”

“Now I don’t even feel like writing it, cause you’re in my head from this morning!”

As I have the last few mornings, I fumbled around with my thoughts on what to write about in the blog today. A brainstorming session that generally spews out a rhetorical question or two into my coffee cup.

He’d said: perhaps you don’t have to write one everyday. 365 is a lot of pressure.

I was frustrated. Hadn’t I just gotten through two years of significant writer’s block that prohibited me from going pen to paper? Or at the very least, key stroke to key stroke? At one time in my career, I wrote endlessly. Mercilessly. I tasked myself with infinite interviews, and spun yarns about bands and musicians, and life and love and all that was there in it. I had novels on the go, and short stories, and poems. I danced with adjectives, and cheated with verbs, and tangoed with consonants as I flirted with vowels. I bargained with time for an extra paragraph, and refused to concede to the boundaries of punctuation. I loved to write.

Until I didn’t.

Until every time I opened up my laptop, I was met with a task. A deadline. I was reminded that this needed to be edited, or that wasn’t finished. Or this headline wasn’t written, or there was a grammatical error in that column and which “letters to the editor” should I print this week? The ones that tell me I’m awful, or the ones that tell me I should give up? Both? Sure. Both.

Writing became the enemy. A reminder that even hobbies can fall victim to capitalism. That art can become depreciated and devalued, if suddenly they’re hung out to dry with the rest of the paycheques. I took what I loved to do, and I tried to make it lucrative. And instead of carefully curating my objectives – instead of protecting the one thing I loved the most – I exploited it myself. I tried desperately to eat off it. I sold my writing, piece by piece for far less than it was worth. And then hated writing, because I squandered the opportunity to put my art into the world to be enjoyed; instead I tried to profit.

With all things, if your heart isn’t in it, it’s not really there, anyway.

So who was he to suggest that now that I wanted to write again, that maybe I didn’t have to?!

Back to the call.

“Don’t tell me I don’t need to write the blogs,” I challenged him. “I don’t want to go back to the writer’s block.”

“You never had writer’s block. You lost your passion, and your flair. And all I’m saying is don’t put too much pressure onto yourself to write three hundred blogs. Don’t force it. Maybe later today, maybe tonight it will come to you what you should write about. That’s all I’m saying.”

“Fine, I gotta go.”

“What? Well, I love you. Drive safe.”

“I love you, too,” I mumbled. God, what does he know? A blog could strike at any time, I scoff in my mind. Pfft.

— c ☆

p.s. a gentle reminder to always, always search for a mate who can call you on your shit, motivate you when you’re weary, and have endless patience when you’re the creative type – lord knows those partners need to be the most patient of all. thank you, jan, for loving me.

One Comment Add yours

  1. brendaratcliffe says:

    Could not agree more Jan is amazing from reading your blogs. Totally a keeper and not that you are not the best got to love a soulmate that bring the besttest not a word but love it . You two are the besttest and so happy you found each other, wishing you both a long happy life ❤️🌹❤️

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