A couple of months ago, I sat down with a new professional connection, eager to discuss our goals and visions for the year ahead. It became clear that she had done a little bit of homework on me prior to our meeting, as she said this:
“I saw you used to be a blogger.”
Used to be?! Oh right. My inevitable self-destructive demise as a writer had once again struck. No matter how many times I may promise, internally or externally, that this will not happen again, it does.
How is it that I maintain motivation for other outlets in my life, such as working out or failing to say “no” to requests for participating and engagement, but that when it comes to finding a space to reflect, create, and write, I flounder?
Over the holiday weekend, I started to read Stephen King’s On Writing in hopes of finding inspiration and guidance. There is still a small voice inside of me that sees a future in writing. That picture is unclear as to what that would entail (or, let’s be real, whether that is a viable option). But I so enjoy the craft of stringing words into sentences, evoking images of what is and what could be, and pushing the boundaries of reality and the alternative reality that our imaginations feed and expand.
While I’m still in the front third of King’s book, I have latched on to one of his early pieces of advice: create your space. As a writer, you need to have a physical space that allows you to travel off into the distant realms of your mind; to have a sense of focus but also flexibility. This morning, I’m writing from our kitchen table. I know this can’t be my space as I’m distracted by the coffee pot, the birds dive-bombing the feeders out in the backyard.
For me, it needs to be more than selecting a place in the home (or elsewhere) to write. It’s creating that opportunity in my schedule as well. And how does that work? This is where I turn to my partner-in-crime, who has been telling me from day one to learn how to say “no” more. If I’m engaging in activities that aren’t fulfilling me, especially when there are clear pleasures that I am not taking on (I.E. WRITING), then the simple action is to end the ones that I simply do, not love. For me, this is much easier said than done.
Today, I start here. Writing at the kitchen table. Waiting for my oatmeal to finish cooking in the microwave as another hummingbird defies gravity in its quest for the sweet nectar hanging from its precarious hook.