I’ve let my readers down this week. My usual Wednesday post, ‘humpdayheidi’ is on a 7 day hiatus and it’s killing me.
Writers aren’t supposed to take breaks, are they? They are the entrepreneurs of words, working 26 hour days and taking out second mortgages so that they can pursue their passion. I thought I was such an artist, sacrificing for my craft.
You see, in March I decided to commit my life to stories. In addition to fiction pursuits, I would write one post a week. Here. On Medium.
“Don’t worry about the book until you’ve gotten 52 posts up,” my friend Ben said. He was a venture capitalist and felt I needed a ‘platform’.
“We are labeling you #humpdayheidi,” my media friend Jackie said. “You need to claim every Wednesday. And you need a hashtag.”
“Now you cannot NOT publish every week. Once you let one week slip, you’ll let them all slip,” said a man I was dating. I cared immensely what he thought and couldn’t let him down. Letting him down would be letting everyone down, right?
So I wrote and I published every week. I gave up weekend excursions and Tuesday evenings. My writing started to take off.
Except this week, life got in the way. I had nothing decent to post. I faced a conundrum. Publish something, anything, to maintain quantity? Or wait until I have quality?
The truth is that I DID have something written and ready. But another publication wanted it first and said they had edits. I assumed the edits to my prose would take 20 minutes and I could keep my cadence. They, er, wanted 6 days. Publications are important, right?
No problem. I’d write something else. But then work needed me. I needed to make my firm money and draft a proposal. Careers are important, right?
No problem, I’d write something quickly on the train. I sent my short post to a friend.
“Um….it’s not very developed,” she said. I should have gone home and fleshed it out. But I had dinner plans with another friend. Friends are important, right?
I showed my friend Dave my short post over sushi. He read it and his face contorted. Perhaps he had swallowed too much wasabi.
“Um….it’s not quality yet,” he said. “And it’s 10pm. What are you going to do?”
No problem. I’d stay up all night. But sleep is important, right? And would more forced hours really make it better?
I started to pull at my hair. Should I keep up my weekly posting even if it’s half assed? Or should I wait until I have something more to say?
I downed more sake, hoping it would provide the answers. After all, Hemingway drank for inspiration.
The room started to spin and I felt as if my life was falling apart. Everywhere else people were making things happen — launching companies, having babies, finishing books and here I was struggling to write a simple story, staring at a page, begging magic to happen. It didn’t.
Sadly, you won’t get a #humpdayheidi post this week. You’ll only get my apology of why I couldn’t commit to quantity. Life called too many times. And this week, I choose to answer each ring. Plus I want to be the type that will always choose quality over quantity. Ask any of the hundred men I’ve dated.
This post first appeared on Medium