We deal with extremes on a daily basis even though the sound of the word makes it seem like it’s only so if it stands out in some bizarre way, almost knocking you down, or slapping you in the face. The fact is, as a writer, extremes can be those things that pull you away from actually doing what it is you love to do… write. You need to remind yourself often, even though you know… it is impossible to be everything to everybody all the time. Try being everywhere at once? I think not. The balance lies in somewhere down the middle if only you could pull yourself there, grounded between the extremes of never and always.
Life is a series of roles: as loving, sharing participants in the lives of your family, friends and lovers; as employees or employers with jobs and work and stress enough to stretch forever and a day; as social beings with divest interests constantly trying to entice you to be an active participant… is it any wonder you try to find sanctuary ~ time to be alone with your thoughts, a place to simply put words on paper ~ is it any wonder that during this quest you come up against these apparent road blocks to your success? The fight often leaves you feeling like a broken knight, battle raging all around with no hope… you get to that point where all you can do is stand, arms at your sides, rapier fallen at your feet and you wait. You wait to be discovered. You wait for someone else to give you what is requested. You wait to take the hit and be taken out of your misery. You wait for the next command. Needless to say, the next command must come from within.
Take back what you have in your own control… time. Not time as in the big picture the “now to the end of eternity time” but time as in the little chunks you call your life, time. Start small. Select daily… seconds, minutes, hours.
If you have time for others and want to meet their needs, you must also allow yourself to take time for just you. Keep the promises you make to yourself because… are you not important too? You constantly give to others without framing in some private perimeters of non-negotiable moments of your own.
It’s no great phenomenon but we hear it called the “writers life”… the very essence of it can pull you from the very task that makes you a writer. There are things you must do and it is necessary to hone your craft, involve yourself with others, who share like passion, learn what you need to learn, hear what others have to say, and share what you know. It might make you feel important to be in the “loop” so to speak but if you have no time for the actual craft how is it possible to call yourself a writer? You need to practice all the time. Whatever time you can pull from the every day. You need to jettison waste from your mind in order to clear obstacles that may block your way to your writing destination. Take those obstacles as if small hills… climb slowly step by step and soon the distant mountain range is under foot. Take every avenue and explore all the possibilities. It is not impossible to cross to that other side, for somewhere there is a bridge, and the size of the gap matters not, for it stretches from here and there to where you want to be.
And speaking of extremes: just think of how it was for those before us… their lives were just as hectic and they had half the conveniences you do. Interference is not a new concept, nor is commitment, necessity, or need.
Words fell to paper either by ink or typewriter; there would not be such a wealth literature as we know today if life were a permanent writer’s block. So with all that goes on, filling your life to keep you busy, it is necessary to claim back some time, just a daily ration, here and there. You can make yourself scarce and hide away. It might be better though, to just say “no” – once in a while. Claim the time for spending it with someone who knows your passion, enjoys your hard work, and not only listens but hears the words… you.
Go on now.
What are you waiting for?