Last week, a friend of mine asked me - in a tone of desperation - why he can’t prioritize his writing. He's tried everything: writing in short bursts at lunch time (he has a full-time, demanding job), waking up early to write, trying to write after dinner, writing on the weekends, writing in groups… and he's struggling. Quite honestly, I’ve been having a similar challenge with one of my creative writing projects. Since hearing this question, I’ve been formulating my answer to share in this post.
Interestingly enough, as I’m writing this a huge storm is raging outside and our power is flickering on and off. I lost the first version of my draft, since I hadn’t saved it quickly enough, and now I’m starting again. Isn’t this a great metaphor for outside life influencing our creative endeavors?
Back to the question: “Why do we put writing last?”
Upon reflection, my response to my friend is that our creative projects need space and nurturing to flourish. It's not enough to jam it between "real life" stuff like accounting, client calls, looking after household chores, and dealing with technical glitches. Or, as in my case, power outages, staff hiring, and emergency room visits.
How about we stop and take a collective breath. Pause and acknowledge how difficult it can be to hop in and out of real life. Then I invite you to ask yourself, “How can I expect creativity to easily enter my distracted, stressed-out mind?” The short answer is: “There isn’t much room for creativity if I’m preoccupied with all the things.” Our creative selves feel unsatisfied, since we’ve been working in fits and starts.
I also want to say to my friend: I’ve designed a five-day online writing retreat in January 2021, designed to give you an abundance of space, time, and support away from daily life. You will be given guidance for creating your home retreat space, a place where creativity can truly show up! It’s all about unplugging from daily routines and demands; a time for letting your creative self be the focus of attention. Each day, tension will release from your body with daily meditation practice and uninterrupted time for your writing. It’s also a time for connecting with others who have said yes to their writing goals and exploring within a circle of trust.
To learn more and save your spot in the Writing From the Heart retreat, January 27 – 31, 2021, click below.
I was recently interviewed by Yvonne Basten regarding my retreat – if you want to hear more about my work and Writing from the Heart, have a listen.