SOLC22 day 4: writing is a willful child

I had planned to get home early to write, so I could read. You see I’m a creature of habit. But my writing is proving to be problematic.

I have my way of being. A structure I run by.
I swim or run at an ungodly hour. It won’t happen any other way.
I have the same breakfast and lunch. Only the flavor or yogurt changes.
My classroom structure is set, like a clock.
After school I plan and then
home,
dinner,
read.

This is my way. The way I keep my mental house in order. I have if-this-then-that thinking ready for variations in expectations, aka reality. But I try to anticipate the surprises. Breaking things down into three-part steps or a sequence that builds on itself is something I do for fun. It’s the nerdy teacher in me.

This is to say, that slicing has taken a toll on my reading life, and I can’t figure out a way to right myself. I’ve considered setting a timer and just powering out the slice, but that is not my way. While I am systems driven in the structure of my day, writing is a process that resists. It meanders. Gets distracted by other ideas. Wanders off into definitions. Consistently fights with the order of a piece. Endings become beginnings and then the whole piece has to shift. This writing thing will not bend to my need for control and order. It has a mind of its own and will not listen to reason. I’ve laid out lists. Attempted to restrictions and incentives. But writing is a noncompliant, willful child. Out doing me at every turn.

Meanwhile, my reading life sits on my bedside table, quietly worrying where I’ve gone.


This slice was inspired by Elisabeth Ellington’s words — my way. Wander on over to her blog for a bit of distraction.

10 thoughts on “SOLC22 day 4: writing is a willful child

  1. I am also a creature of habit, and when things get out of order in my life, it’s hard to function. That mental order is a thing I know – – I am out of the order right now, and I need it back. I want the blueberry yogurt and I want to read more. We were in a restaurant with a menu several pages long with every option of types of food and I had to mentally check out. I can’t handle all of those choices. I’m with you. I find security in structure.

  2. Totally with you on the “order of the days” and how this month messes with this. My reading life takes a hit in March, but I do read so many amazing slices, thanks for yours today!

  3. I so feel you! I am in the middle of a really great book that is whispering to me to come back to it, but my slicing and commenting takes up all of my evening bandwidth. I’m looking forward to the weekend when I can do both.

  4. I love how you describe the writing process, how it meanders. How endings become beginnings and so on. That is so true. Perhaps that is why I like it so much – it defies order. While I do not live a structured, orderly life, I do eat yogurt with granola and fruit every day for lunch. I also find reading does take a back seat this month. Love your slice.

  5. I love how you personified writing. Interrupting your reading life is a big deal for you. I hope you find a way to balance cause this is a long month.

  6. I really appreciate these lines: β€œ It meanders. Gets distracted by other ideas. Wanders off into definitions. Consistently fights with the order of a piece. Endings become beginnings and then the whole piece has to shift.” The use of fragments, the contrast to predictable patterns, perfect and so relatable!

  7. Amazing slice! It so clearly depicts how you like to run your life, I am organised but not that organised! I really love your description of writing and how it resists conforming to your schedule! Absolutely!

  8. I meant to circle back and comment earlier in the week. So much of this resonated with me. How I would love to be the writer who sets the timer and powerwrites. But that will never be me. Even after I press publish, I sometimes have to go back and change a phrase or move a sentence as I’m still thinking about the piece. Writing takes its own time. Writing most definitely is a willful child! And my poor reading life! Where has it gone this week??

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