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It’s nighttime here, yet night has not entirely fallen. It’s this kind of eerie twilight where day desperately tries to linger.
Here’s a graph from timeanddate.com showing the daylight times for my hometown here in Alaska. As you can see, we’re getting ready to receive the most amount of daylight we will get all year on 21 June. I think it’s safe to say that this extreme influx of daylight has been messing with my sleep schedule. For example, it’s 11:35 PM and every damn human in this house is awake and alive. My husband and I live with two roommates who are basically family to us.
My husband is a few feet away from me playing some kind of first person shooter game. I have Lana Del Rey in my ears and so I can’t hear what he or his friends in his ears are saying. I’m caffeinated up and ready to rumble on my own projects.
My cousin said that she admired how I could set my mind on things and just do them. I released the first full length Candy For Trees album and shared with the news with her. I would argue that I’m the opposite of what she said. Everything creative just happens to me and the hardest work I do is assemble the miscellany I have created, sometimes from over the course of years. I lack discipline, and I’m not fond of that about myself. This blog is one of my greatest feats of consistency I have ever accomplished, and even then I am not perfect at it.
My biggest feat of consistency is the time I wrote 365 poems in a year. I wrote every day for the act of writing, and my work SUCKED. But because I put myself through those paces, my work got so much better. I was able to look back on the project and see that I honestly didn’t like the schmaltzy rhyming poetry I had written and that breaking free of the rhyme was essential to progressing in my craft. This honesty with myself allowed me to continue and get better, honing my own style rather than imitating the Romantic poets I so admired. In disassembling what I had made simply for the act of doing it, I was able to get farther than I would have otherwise.
I also think that Byzantines and Button Downs has made me a better writer, and being semi-consistent with it has been beneficial beyond measure, both with regards to practicing my craft and in terms of self discovery. I try to write something – anything – every day, whether it is poetry, one of my many stories, or blog posts.
Why don’t I write every day consistently, you may ask?
I think it’s because I’m afraid of failing, writing something that -gasp- sucks. I forget so easily how writing just for the act of doing it improved my skills and how I can always revisit the crappy writing later and build on it.
Here is an example of one such reconstruction:
The theme remains the same, but they are quite different stylistically. There are pros and cons to each, but in the end it’s up to personal preference.
In the end, it comes down to self improvement, dedication, and perseverance. I don’t have those down yet and I was a lot better at them when I was younger, but that doesn’t mean that I am a failure. I just have stuff to work on.
So if you feel like you are stuck in the first assembly phase, you aren’t alone. I think we all should take it one day at a time (seriously, that’s some of the best advice I have ever heard) and do what we can today, in this time. In my limited experience, I’ve found that it’s about making time for consistency, not necessarily having it already on hand.
What are you working on? Let me know in the comments!