Sometimes the world gets a little crazy. School starts back up. The kids want one last vacation. You have six birthdays and two anniversaries and a recital to attend. Dad is retiring. The family is coming into town. Next week is the annual retreat. The elections are in full swing. And the fair. And the meeting. And the other meeting.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and let your writing projects take a backseat. We often feel that with so much happening around us, we just don’t have the peace and calm within ourselves to focus our thoughts onto paper.
“I have too much to work on in real life. My make-believe world just has to wait. I’m too stressed. I’m too scattered and frazzled.”
But what if we used our writing time to un-frazzle? What if we pour our stresses out into our writing? What if we took the frustration we are feeling over the botched cakes and back-to-school shopping and express it through our writing? Wouldn’t that improve the authenticity of our character’s voice? Wouldn’t that clear the negative thoughts from our minds and free it to concentrate on other things?
I’m preaching to myself as much as to anyone else. I have to make time to write every day. I have to take a few minutes, or an hour, or an afternoon, and pour my heart out onto a page. If I don’t, it will just become more clutter in my brain that has to be sorted with the laundry and bills and dishes and emails. I find that when I write a little every day, the creativity flows more easily.
Writing time isn’t really selfish. It’s a therapeutic method of taking care of yourself, so that you can take care of all the other stuff. Even if your work-in-progress doesn’t get the attention it deserves, at least take a minute or two and make notes in a journal. Cleaning out your brain is just as important as cleaning out the closet. Being busy isn’t a bad thing. Being overwhelmed is.