Back to Work

Hollywood Hole

I hate that I am so quick to turn off my creative self. I have been creatively "AWOL" since early November, when the rush of the holidays took me hostage for awhile. Like a miniature tornado, the Christmas season whooshed in and swept me up and away from my novel -- which was coming along splendidly, by the way, thank you very much -- and sucked me in to a swirling blur of play practice, family, youth retreats, wrapping paper, and dishes. And then, just as suddenly as they began, the holidays abruptly fizzled and dissipated, and on January 2, I was left standing in my living room looking around at the mess and wondering where to start trying to get back to doing whatever I was doing. What was that? I forgot.

And then I entered the January vacuum. The "shoulds" attacked: "You really should start thinking about getting back to the gym, fatty." "You should mail those packages." "You should start paying attention to the presidential election and be informed." "You really should be more organized." "You should work out a new budget." "You should be investing in your retirement or you will die poor and angry." All of the "shoulds" hung around my head like shiny trinkets, their sparkle and glitter distracting me, calling to me, teasing me with their pleading little voices. They all demanded my immediate attention. I became restless, wanting change but not knowing where to start.

I finally settled on the organization thing, because, well, that is what one does in January after taking down the Christmas tree, right? It's pretty easy... unlike solving the 2008 housing crisis and figuring out my retirement. The next several weeks involved much sorting, cleaning, dumping, donating, and exploring boxes I forgot existed. I got lost in my garage one day, my closet the next, and I found myself obsessing about shelving and space bags and wanting to spend all my Christmas money at the Container Store.

I wish that Writer Me was as loud and obnoxious as Manic Me. Writer Me is entirely too passive. Writer Me just shrugs, sighs, and retreats when Manic Me starts crazymaking. Every now and then, Writer Me will try to get a word in -- it happened when I was madly cleaning out the garage, going through boxes, and happened upon a large box. I opened it to see if it was a "keep" or a "donate" box, and found that it contained all of my best books. Writer Me came out of hiding briefly, just to give a look of tacit disapproval, and I felt a twinge of combined guilt and epiphany wash over me. It was a reminder. Oh, yes, that's what I'm supposed to be doing. Something with books and words and... oh, yes... writing them. Hmm.

Then I closed the box again and went back to my task. Must....clean...the....garage.

Long story short, we finished the garage and I cleaned my closet and I'm over it now.

So now I think I'm ready to let Writer Me back out and get back to work.

Julia Cameron inspired me today. I picked up my copy of "The Right to Write" and was thumbing through it, and she says of the writing life, "I like writing to be...portable and flexible. I like writing to be something that fits into cracks and crannies. I don't like it to dominate my life. I like it to fill my life."


I get overwhelmed sometimes by the feeling that I must quarantine myself for hours without interruption in order to be effective as a writer. When I slip into this mindset, though, it paralyzes me, because I know I'll never be able to find that time without sacrificing family time or time that should be spent doing something more practical, like cleaning my house. I can't fit it all in, so the writing stops. When the writing stops, I get antsy and detached because I feel like I'm not being a good steward of the gift God has given me.

I like the idea of it filling my life instead of dominating. I can do that.

So this year, my resolution for Writer Me is to shift the thinking. Find nooks and crannies to fill with this glorious gift that God has given me, and let Him glorify Himself through me in this way. I'll take care of the quantity and trust God to take care of the quality. Manic Me may not like it much, but she can get over it. Charles Hummel called it "the tyranny of the urgent," and I'm tired of being ruled by it.

"I myself do nothing. The Holy Spirit Himself accomplishes all through me." -- William Blake


Sandra said...

Hello, I found you via a random search for writer's blogs at Technorati. I was tagged by a fellow for a tagging game, and have tagged you since I found your blog to be very interesting and to look like you might enjoy getting tagged for this.

If you want to play the rules are posted in an entry at my blog The Daily Writing Prompt. I have made a small change, instead of 7 weird things about me, I listed 7 websites of interest to writers, feel free to revert it back to the original weird things or even to the first change someone made of 7 famous people you know.

Have a good day and happy writing!

The Daily Writing Prompt

Providence Church Podcasts said...

Sometimes, in the busier times, Writer Sarah can find an outlet in her blog, no? Might not be a bad idea to grab a writing prompt book and go for it right here!


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