Writing through it

One of my goals for 2023 is to write more.

I used to write a lot – hundreds of thousands of words, literally. I could sit down and crank out a few thousand words like it was nothing. Like all unused muscles, that skill has atrophied over years. I can crank out an email – I can bullshit my way through a grant application – I can do some quick hit paragraphs for an object label. All of those I’ve been doing consistently in the last few years.

The deeper stuff, the ability to start going and keep on going, that’s faded away. I still spin stories in my head. I still write out articles, blog posts, short stories, all of it. I just freeze up when I sit down at a keyboard to translate it out.

Some of it’s attention span. I have so many things in my life, and so many things to cram into a day, that I too often prioritize things that can be done quickly. I hit the bottom of my email inbox and I feel like I’ve accomplished something, when I haven’t really. I wander around my house and put things away quickly rather than dig in on longer projects. There’s just always so much of it to do, and the short little things guarantee a dopamine hit. Little things that take me away from putting words down.

(case in point – while typing this post out, I checked Instagram and liked a whole bunch of posts about opening day in the Vermont Legislature, because my life is weird now and I have a lot of friends serving. it’s fun to hit like on those posts but it’s not writing!)

I’ve seen more than a few people in the horse blogging world lament that it’s not what it used to be. There’s a lot of reasons for that. I went through the first blogs -> Livejournal -> blogs cycle. (I still miss Livejournal…) The internet goes through its eras.

For me, though, blogging was never as much about commenting or getting comments. It was about writing through it. Writing through my bad days, my good days, my ongoing challenges, the things I was trying to puzzle out or figure out. It used to be that writing was a way of processing; summarizing the complicated weirdness of a recent vet visit helped me fix it in my mind. Building the narrative helped me cope. Without that exterior processing, I’ve lost the thread.

Here’s to getting it back in 2023.

One thought on “Writing through it

  1. Writing about riding used to be one of my major ways of processing my rides. So often I would be part-way through recapping a ride and describing a struggle or frustration when a solution or better approach would come to me (which was sometimes rather deflating, as it made the post itself feel less necessary and a bit silly). But it was such an excellent way to make connections in my mind!

    My life has changed so much since I used blogging as a learning strategy. In some ways it’s just a time thing, and I really wish I had more hours in my day to keep writing. In other ways, I’m in more weekly lessons than ever before, and I don’t *need* to use my writing as a way to figure out training solutions. But I would also like to do more writing this year, as I find it so valuable to scroll back through old posts and re-learn those old discoveries (or help me find old solutions to “new” problems).


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