If it hadn’t been for this challenge, I probably wouldn’t have written today.
I have a lot of work to do. I lost most of yesterday afternoon at the doctor’s, including going back again when the x-ray technician called to tell me she hadn’t realized she was supposed to take additional images.
Plus, I spent time going around and around with a client who had filed a motion that was not only peculiar, but not well done—very unusual for him—which meant that it took some work for me to pin him down on precisely what it is he wants the judge to do. So today, I need to work on the brief he needs in support of this motion, as well as a post-trial brief from another client whose client thought his divorce was over, only to find the ex resurfacing with new demands.
All of which means that my responsible mind wanted me to get to my desk and work on these nice billable projects. If not for this challenge, I’d likely have done exactly that.
But I committed to it, to this idea of writing even when it’s inconvenient. I could have done as I did on Sunday, namely, say I’m too tired and let it ride. After all, nobody’s going to come after me if I finish three days late instead of two. I need to work, I kept thinking. I have deadlines, client responsibilities, bills. I need to do my work.
Except that writing is also my work. Not that it’s paying the mortgage, or even keeping the cats in treats. But it’s one of my jobs. Just as I need to show up for my legal job, I need to show up for this job.
The purpose of this challenge is to develop a writing practice, one that helps to get a person to her desk on days when she legitimately has other things she needs to be doing. I know I won’t always make it; I’ve already missed two days since this challenge began. But the more I push myself to show up and put words on a page, the closer I come to remembering that writing is also my job. I need to balance my jobs, dividing my time and energy as necessary to serve each. When I say I need to go to work, that may mean briefs and motions, but it may also mean my novel-in-progress.
Today, it means both.