In the past couple of months I have gone through a change.
No. Not that change, thank you very much.
I introduced my writer self to my human self, and they made friends. That kind of change.
For too long I fought with myself over how to fit writing into my busy life. Even though I had my time to write daily, I felt guilty about taking that time. I should be sleeping or exercising, not writing, not having fun.
Our creative selves (or dreaming selves) are rarely anything like our human selves. To keep them limiting or interfering with each other, we need to bridge them, help them work together.
My human self is all about my family, housework, friends, freelance jobs, health. My writer self is all about imagining, creating, writing, reading, social networking.
How can writers be writers among all the other duties, challenges, joys, and sorrows of our human selves? How can we ensure that we don’t lose our dreams to the frenzy of Life?
Acknowledge and accept.
If we’re not willing to call ourselves writers, then it’s easy to lose our writer identities. My son reminded me of that last summer when he told me, ”And You’re a Writer.”
Co-existing means to know when to let life take center stage, and when it’s writing’s turn. Don’t overstuff your life so that you can’t write when you want. And don’t write when you should be doing laundry. I used to flit from the mop to my book to the stove to my blog, and by the end of the day not one chore or freelance assignment had been completed.
Now, I try to arrange my days in blocks of time where I accomplish a particular task. For instance, I don’t write and/or blog in the late afternoon when my kids need help with homework or when dinner needs to be made.
I don’t necessarily accomplish many tasks in an average day, but I do see the few tasks I assign myself through to completion. This way I don’t feel guilty, chores get accomplished (even if it is just a handful of chores), and my Muse isn’t feeling pressured to perform in an inappropriate environment.
Just. Do. It.
After a while it’s not enough to believe. You need to put your dreams into action–writer, artist, musician, gardener, baker – don’t just sit there and dream you can do it. Get out there and make it happen. Talk about your dreams to your friends, give them a purpose that is more than a fanciful thought. Start small, start big, it doesn’t matter. But start now.
What are you doing to keep your creative center flourishing?