My friend Britt started this thing called Write Every Day in May. I joined partly in support but mostly with the goal of making a dint in some projects. With one exception (last Sunday) I have managed to stick with it. Having said that, I’m not trying to write 1,000 words like Britt and some others are. My definition of “write” has been broad, and on days when I am busy with other work, I’m letting just myself write and post a letter.
So far the project has been really fascinating for the way it’s made me examine my own writing practice. Because, without even really thinking about it, I do write every day. Writing is so entwined in my life and work now that I do it without really thinking and it’s been surprisingly rewarding to stop and take stock. At the very least, I diligently keep a daily journal. And on most days I write much more than that. At the moment, I’m working on freelance writing two or three days a week and work part-time (in a job that includes all kinds of writing) another two.
I don’t always want to come home after work and write. And I don’t always want to write on weekends. But instead of feeling disheartened about this, it’s been an inspiring realisation. Writing feels like a job now. It is work. Because I’m a writer.
Writer has always felt like a slippery title. I’ve been trying it on for most of my life but it’s hard to really own it, without feeling like a fraud. After all, what is a writer? How much work or success or recognition do I need before I can properly claim to be one?
I’ve been feeling pretty conflicted about my own writing lately. I’ve spent the last few years working too hard on other projects (projects that largely support the work of others) to have time for my own work. My output hasn’t been huge in the last couple of years. And can you call yourself a writer, when you aren’t really writing.

But this project has made me realise that I never stopped. More than that, now that I have time again, writing is quickly seeping into the free spaces – it takes up any and all the room I have for it. Even when I doubt the place writing plays in my life – professional and personal – I only have to stop for a moment and look, to find it lurking beneath almost everything I do.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year