For the second week in a row, I found myself in the position of feeling an intrinsic need to write as Wednesday rolled over to Thursday. It certainly was not a conscious plan to sit down and write, nor was it an urge that originated from any external locus or impetus; just an internally-driven sense that I had something to say, and that even if I was not sure what that something was that I had to say something.
This push - which in part has produced this very post - made me think about the idea of writing and rhythm and creative outbursts. It is, particularly for those who have journeyed with me for much or even all of Life of Turner (a quick aside: kudos to you who have stuck around for over thirteen years of this blatherskite), a well-worn topic in these parts, though I tend to think that the constant changes in my daily circumstances more than justify my repeated self-indulgence into this topic.
Besides, even though the territory might seem familiar at first, I often find myself encountering something new in these reflective escapades, which in my mind more than justifies the amount of time I spend considering and composing them. (Not that I feel the need to justify myself in most situations anyway, but it's a comfort to think that there is a reason that I should subject my readers to such repeated ramblings. But I digress...)
Finding the beat
It seems that every time that something in my life circumstances changes that I need to find a new rhythm - and I have had no shortage of opportunities to explore this trend in my adult life, which now very slightly supersedes in length (by a few months) the amount of time I spent growing up and living at home.
In my adult years since starting university back in the fall of 2000, I have had only two calendar years in which either me and/or my wife have not experienced some kind of not-insignificant life shift - moving, changing jobs, a change in relationship status; that number lowers to one if you include starting on a church leadership team as a similarly major shift (which I do).
My life, such as it is, has been one of constant adjustment and finding the beat, as it were, only to have those processes often disrupted summarily by the conclusion of a contract or a move. I have had some success in establishing some broader patterns at times, but the goal of a constant beat has been elusive at best.
Perhaps life is actually better this way, but I suppose that I have no "control" to which to compare my experience. All I know is change and adjustment, so I cannot claim to know what it would be like to not be in such a state of flux. After all, the one year in which I did not change jobs or move was my first full year of unemployment in several years, so it was still a period of life marked by transition and instability.
The act of starting a new job makes every day in some way a new creative process, particularly as I am often entering the worlds of people who have things well-established by now, and I am constantly learning how to negotiate within those worlds - and even more so by the collaborative nature of my job position. It is a great challenge with a high reward factor, but it does end up taking a lot of energy as a result.
The man who would be Thursday
All of which brings me to how odd it is to have experienced not only this intrinsic need to write in two consecutive weeks in the first two weeks of September, which are two of the most intensive weeks of the school year in regard to the output required, but also to have actually been able to do it in the midst of this mentally busy season. Moreover, it is especially odd that I have felt the release to be able to incorporate writing as a functional part of my schedule without feeling as though I have had to make much of a sacrifice to do so.
Although my writing on this blog have been a consistent part of my life for most of the past thirteen years, I have rarely imposed any kind of externally derived rhythm on my process when I have blogged. My often erratically spaced method of posting new content has been subject to my desire and my availability, sometimes resulting in very creatively fertile times (like, say, October 2015 through March 2017 or so) and sometimes producing dry spells (like most summers). I wrote when I could and didn't write when I couldn't - either through circumstance or circumspection - but it always seemed as though I was subject to the whims of my writing, rather than the other way around.
But I strangely and suddenly find myself (by the way, I think I have used that phrase more often in this one post than in the past year of posts - but I digress) feeling like I can - and perhaps should and need to - attempt to adhere to some kind of publishing schedule, which is, judging by my nascently emerging circadian writing impulses, on Thursday.
Maybe it is an effective way to be able to channel my creative energy and divert enough time and focus from my other creative enterprises into my writing; or maybe it's just that I really like routine and I naturally gravitate toward it. Either way, there's a comfort in knowing that I have a week to compose my thoughts and to chip away at an idea before making it publishable, without, of course, any external expectation or pressure to do so. And even though it has only been a couple of weeks, Thursday just feels right, so my hope is to continue the trend, even if only to keep my writing chops up and to get some long-gestating ideas out into the world.
I have a backlog of half-baked, sometimes half-composed posts that I can bring forward in the queue to publish, and I think I am looking forward to trying to say something - no matter how trivial it may seem - on a weekly basis. It seems likely that I may have an even greater proportion of posts on inessential topics like pop culture as a product of my writing process and time becoming somewhat more of an entertaining diversion in life rather than a creative necessity, but I think I am okay with that, since that is the season of life in which I find myself (there's that phrase again).
I do, of course, have other creative outlets beyond my job and this blog that I am attempting to pursue - namely my board game designs and my writing about learning about game design sporadically at Regina Game Forge - but I am hoping that standardizing this schedule may, in fact, free me up to be more creative with those other projects that I often neglect. Creativity begets creativity, as it seems.
If I am successful in this publishing endeavour, it would arguably be the first time in my history of blogging that my output would be consistent and reliable from an external perspective, so I think I am really rooting for myself to carry through with this initial momentum. I really do not know what will come of this season and where it may lead in the future, in much the same way I have had little foreknowledge of where my previous seasons of writing might lead, but I am excited to try to post more regularly and to see what comes of this season.
For now, all I can do is do what I can for now to keep the momentum going, and I hope - without making any promises to anyone, especially me - that I have the ability to find something within myself to say and to publish each Thursday, no matter how menial or meaningful it might seem. There are definitely some rhythms to be found in this season, and I'm looking forward to just tapping (the keys) along with the beat.