I started My Alaskan Odyssey in 2012, when I moved to Anchorage to start graduate school. Since then, I’ve posted sporadically, sometimes going weeks or months at time without posting squat, and occasionally, when things got lonely on the Last Frontier, writing three or four very manic posts in a week.
In the last year and change, though, I’ve made a real effort to post every week. I put something up every Wednesday, because it’s good for me to make myself write something every week. I have made a lot of words here. I’ve put more thought into some posts than others, though my rule of thumb, really, is to answer the question “Will I someday regret putting this into the Internet Netherworld?” in the negative before I hit Publish.
This week, Tuesday night rolled around and I said to myself, Oh, shit. I didn’t write a blog post this week. I thought about throwing something together, but then I watched a documentary about Norwegian birds instead.
Then came Wednesday morning. Huh, I thought, I guess I still didn’t write anything, did I?
I didn’t have a personal tragedy or a bunch of deadlines. I wasn’t traveling internationally. It wasn’t even an especially busy week. I just didn’t feel like it.
Consider this list, in no particular order, of things I’d rather do than write this week’s blog post:
Taxes (someone else’s)
Sing any song karaoke in front of my middle school crush (present day or in middle school)
Go without coffee for any significant period
Have someone point out a coffee stain on my clothes
Watch The Notebook again
Fly internationally (seat directly in front of kicking toddler)
Attend any high school reunion, but especially my own
High-water river crossing in remote wilderness with group of pre-teens
Get a phone call from a number I don’t know (no voicemail)
Discover that the text I meant to send my mom complaining about a coworker was actually sent to that coworker and it was a week ago and they haven’t said anything
Make a dentist appointment
Actually go to a dentist appointment
Relive any part of the 2016 presidential election
Sometimes inspiration strikes in time, and sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time, I remember a high school English teacher who told me to write what I knew, and I can squeeze a few drops of a story out of some experience or another.
I usually come up with my best ideas when it’s really inconvenient, like when I shower for the first time in three days or wake up in the middle of the night. I try to write them down as quickly as possible, but often they don’t seem as brilliant on paper as they did in my head. By the time I get around to drafting them, my ideas are generally fair-to-middlin’. I guess this is entropy, or something.
Here is one thing I have learned: If I wait for inspiration to hit, to really, truly hit, whatever that looks like, I will never actually do anything. I don’t have time to not do anything, so this week, I am doing another thing I’ve learned: I’m faking it. Another week down.