I couldn't finish an essay this week (this was started in March). Why? Because I couldn't just sit down and write one, basically. I had time to finish reading the mediocre book (Murder at Rough Point) that I'd gotten as an Advanced Readers' Copy at a Conference; a mystery/romance about a young woman who wants to be a newspaper reporter, when her parents want her to just get married to the right man. I had time to do that, but I didn't enjoy it.
I couldn't finish an essay because most of what I'm writing feel more like journal entries than essays. They feel like I'm writing down what I want to tell myself, not what I necessarily want anyone else to hear. I'm writing into the void and I'm not sure why anyone would care about the details, and I can't come up with anything meaningful (socially relevant, or historical) enough that's worth pushing on anyone else.
Why would I think that this essay is pushing ANYTHING onto somebody else? No one is forced to read my blog. The only way somebody knows it's there is if I mention it to them personally or they see it on Facebook at 52essays2017. Anyone else who finds it somehow went looking for it.
But I'm cautious, because what I ate for breakfast isn't meaningful. I want to write an essay comparing Why I am not a feminist by Jenna Crispin (don't yell at me, I'm copying her capitalization, and I think she did it that way on purpose) and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie but I don't think that's a personal essay and isn't that what this exercise is for? Or is it just to keep writing? To make sure we are working on something while our lives toddle away?
I started THIS essay a few weeks ago, and vacation ensured that I was 2 weeks behind schedule when I returned; so I wrote an essay for the week I got back, and decided that I would post 2 essays the 2 following weeks, rather than try to write 3 essays in one week when I was still suffering jet lag.
This sounds more and more like it's a journal entry, but many of them do. And we are told not to worry, to just keep writing. So OK.
What I have to do this week is different than what I had to do the week I started this particular entry (whenever THAT was) but it's not too different. I have a different book I'm trying to read, and it's not grabbing me (yet) as much as writing will, so perhaps this essay will have better luck than it did whenever I started it.
And now I have returned from the vacation I was anticipating when I started this essay last month. I have returned from the vacation and have written an essay about it. The essay is not quite the essay the friend I was visiting wanted me to write, but it's a start for that essay. My friend wants me to write an essay to help promote the festival she has developed. I'm not sure if the essay I wrote is exactly what she wants.
I don't think there's anything wrong pointing out that I am doing the best I can; that I missed two weeks because I was on the other side of the world, going to a New Age Festival that I might have scorned in the past, but am looking forward to going to again next year (if Julia schedules it for the two weeks that I have off. Please! Please!)
And fortunately I return from vacation to learn that I have to order new travel guides. This is fun and an enjoyable way of prolonging an experience, I think. I get to continue to look at books that might spark interest of new places I could go, things to do.
And the point of this essay and this whole exercise is to keep writing. So what I have to do is remind myself that this process, like NaNoWriMo, is about quantity more than quality, because perhaps if I keep at it, the quality will improve on its own. I'm not sure if that works, but we're giving it a try.
So I have to finish writing this essay, finish updating the travel section, get myself to the gym and MAYBE I'll be able to make the movie this evening. Either way, I will continue reading Viking Economics, How the Scandinavians Got It Right-And How We Can To by George Lakey. And then, once Lakey has educated me, I can start writing letters to 45, the rug in the White House, telling him all about what we're doing wrong in great detail, and nothing will ever come of THAT, but I'll feel better about doing something (like I did in January).