My blog is one way by which I measure time. April marks two years since I began blogging. The earth spins on its axis as it revolves round the sun. The moon pulls the oceans and lets them go. If I did not write, the earth, sun, and moon, would not have stopped for me and I cannot imagine what else could have filled my days so.
Self-discipline is the hallmark of my journey. It is the ability to make yourself do what must be done.
When I’m in the zone, I could write forever. Ideas ooze from me and words tumble out faster than I can type them—I abandon current thought and scroll down the page to type perfect sentences and beautiful dialogue, falling from heaven like gold dust.
Many times, I’m out of sorts. Experiences burn me and disappointment visits nearly every day. My head hurts and my emotions are pink like cut salmon. I sing, tired oh so tired, and I’m too tired to compose a new song. I question which direction to take my blog or if I should quit. And most of all, I don’t feel like writing. Not writer’s block, but an insidious lethargy, which is akin to living with a low-grade fever.
I’m not unique in this regard. This is how we sometimes feel about our jobs and responsibilities. When did the things we love become a prison that we long to escape? But we show up at our jobs and dance on the stage of our lives anyway.
One Friday evening I’m moaning about how I don’t feel like writing.
My friend nods in understanding, “No, you don’t have to, it’s your blog. Not like anyone is paying you to. I’m sure people would understand.”
She is right. However, I can’t miss a Sunday post. Maybe it’s because growing up, my mum pushed me to outdo myself. Or it’s the result of my school principal repeating at assembly, “What is worth doing is worth doing well.”
“Yeah, but I have to,” I say.
So, that night, I discipline myself to write about an incident involving a friend and then launch into a broader conversation about what we value as a society. Disciplining myself to write means that I turn down many invitations, adjust my sleeping habits, watch less soaps, and read more stuff.
I muster all my skills and still feel as though the article could be better. Bloodshot eyes and new streaks of grey; five hours later, I know I have nothing more to give.
Eventually the article resonates with readers as reflected in the comments and shares. In a sense, this is the reward of diligence—pushing past inner and outer turmoil and insisting on excellence from myself. The discipline of writing weekly provides momentum for those times when I’m flat. Still, I shake my head. I know this, and in fact all I’ve achieved, isn’t my doing. A wise man said:
The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant
or favour to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.
If this is my time, then my blog has been my chance. And self-discipline would mean nothing if I didn’t have readers like you encouraging me week after week.
© Timi Yeseibo 2015
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