I did not discover the joy of writing until my early 20s. It was while I was in the Army that I began to journal. I bought a large sketchbook at the PX and began putting in my random words and thoughts. It began as poetry or an attempt at poetry then slipped into just rambling. Venting. Whining. A place to purge the poison and pain in my mind. The habit grew and was daily.
This was daily.
This was before the internet was really a thing. I just did it. I didn’t read about journaling. I didn’t listen to podcasts about journaling. No one on social media was telling me I should do it. I just did it because I enjoyed doing it. I actually really enjoy the act of putting pen to paper. Of watching the ink flow and change from glossy to matte as it dries. I enjoy that so much more than this. Typing. Pushing buttons. It lacks the pleasure that writing with a pen does. But it is faster.
Today I am writing this as an attempt to begin a new writing habit. Not just a writing habit but a blogging habit. A creating habit. Looking back on my life the best years had a foundation of creation. At the very basic there was a habit of journaling. Day in and day out I wrote. The habit faded though I do not know why. Now I attempt to bring it back and it feels like the first days in the gym.
Writing is familiar. Comfortable. But as of today not natural. Not a reflex. The muscles have forgotten. This blog, these ramblings are my dojo. “A hall or place for immersive learning or meditation or learning,” according to Wikipedia. A place to practice. To move. To learn about myself.
Today it feels awkward. Clunky. I don’t know what to write. I don’t know how to move or why I even should. This is resistance talking. I am too much in a place of comfort right now and that is why this is awkward for me. Thinking. Typing. Expressing. All feel foreign to me. Maybe even a bit silly.
Regret. Here I am weeks away from 51 years of age and I have yet to publish a novel. There was a time in my life that is all I could think about but never seemed to have the guts to pull it off. Today my head is still filled with those same dreams though now they swim in the back of tank in the murky water. This. This writing. This habit. This is the way back to them. Never too late. That is what the stories teach us. Maybe I can test that theory.
It is not just writing though. I have many other creative desires. To be a better video creator. To actually make a feature-length film. To create art. Art of my own. Art about art like I did back with ZAF622. All these desires are still there but the days keep falling away. One by one. Drip by drip. Like blood ever dripping from a wound. Okay, I am being a bit dramatic but that is how it feels sometimes.
Life is moving and I am just sitting on the shore. I need to get in the water and move with it. Create. “Live to Create.” That was once my motto. How I signed emails. These days I live to consume. So here I am back in the dojo as a new student struggling to find the motions again. Feeling silly. Full of regret. Too much time wasted. Knowing that does not matter now.
Let go of the past.
Enjoy this process of getting back into things. Enjoy the pain. Enjoy the experience. Be excited for what is to come. This time around I am bringing more wisdom to the realm. More experience.
When I turned 50 I developed the notion that I have about 25 solid years left. 25 years to truly go hard at life. To learn. To grow. To create. Sure there is life beyond 75 but we all know nature starts to win the fight. I could have done more in my 50th year and now I am left with only 24. This reality needs to be clear in my head. I’ve wasted too much time already.
Now I will attempt to make the most of the rest of this day and plan to do better tomorrow.