There is always something else to do. Another project or work that will take priority if I let it. It’s probably the same for everyone. We say we will carve out time for ourselves and that we will highlight, block out, mark as out of office for the time that we dedicate to our soul-touching endeavors, but let’s be honest. There are dishes to do, bills to pay, sometimes children to ferry to and fro and wherever else between wake and sleep.

Think about the person who gets all the books on a hobby. Maybe it’s watercolor. Maybe it’s 3-D printing. Maybe they send away for kits and maybe they even start touching actual parts of the process with real live fingers. I know for many it’s hard to imagine while they type away at their keys every day at work, but so many people do not actually start writing for all their podcast listening and reading about the process. That was almost me.

I became so involved in relearning how to write, and how to reach readers, that I forgot to practice.

Don’t get me wrong. Real life came between me and the actual, intangible outcome of a writing sprint, too. But then I turned on my decompression video game and Steam told me how many hours I had decompressed to date.

The realization and number of hours were staggering. All that time I could have been writing.

I thought about the time I spend doing other, monotonous work while listening to podcasts telling me how to write. And how intently I listen. I listen with such concentration that it’s exhausting. Making plans, deciding on a course forward, perhaps even creating spreadsheets to get myself ready.

Then I have to make dinner and meet real life obligations. When I sat back down to write, I’d decompress to get ready instead of using that butt-in-seat time to make a trial paragraph that will inevitably be thrown away, but which will hone skills and loosen the creative flow.

Practice was what was missing.

So enough of this metaphoric discussion of how I prioritized not writing while convincing myself I was preparing to write.

It’s time to write again.