I think writers all need a bit of isolation to finish a project. Or at least to finish a project worth reading. I’ve met many authors who are borderline introverts, and even though I wouldn’t consider myself one, I find it easy to slip into my own little bubble at times. Surely we all do this – writer or not – when our personal lives get busy, or work, family and children demand our constant attention. It’s called Life. We all have one, even writers.
The problem I’m having lately is that I can create an entire fantasy world on my computer, and develop characters and roller coaster plot lines, but I can’t get my four-year old to pick up his toys, or my nine-year old to finish reading the same book she’s had in her room for three weeks now. Parenting is tough, being a writer with children (especially homeschooled children) is not only hard but it’s exhausting! And my writing is suffering. There simply aren’t enough pieces of me to keep the ball rolling smoothly without help from my family and organization from myself. Writing from the seat of my pants whenever I feel like it doesn’t work anymore. I do have a schedule, and I try my best to follow it but children aren’t predictable! Being bogged down with work and home responsibilities has pulled me into my own shell and I’ve become, shockingly to me, an introvert! Weeks have passed since I’ve spoken to or seen some of my best friends, and the other day, I sat down and tried to think of when I had all of my girlfriends over for the evening. I couldn’t remember. There was a black spot in my brain where entertainment and socializing used to be. There might be cobwebs in there. It’s way dark too, and the black-out curtains definitely need to go.
So my point of this mini-rant is for those of you that write – don’t forget to live. In fact, DO live and live well, because without life propelling us along and holding our hand through the ups and downs, our stories have no substance. A true introvert is not experiencing life in color – but black and white, losing the details along the way. The creative streams in our brains will run dry and then all the time we’ve spent pushing life aside will come flooding back in and we’ll realize our children have grown and our friends get together often – to talk about us. Who we used to be. Who we wanted to be. Not the empty shell we’ve created by allowing so much time to pass before running through life with joy – like a naked person in the rain.
If you don’t think running through the rain naked is freeing, perhaps you should try it. Just be warned, I take no responsibility for your actions and no, I will not bail you out of jail. If you’d rather keep your clothes on and stay dry – then start with baby steps, and schedule your writing time this week, ALSO scheduling in at least one meeting with a friend and two other phone calls to people who are important to you. Don’t forget to hug your kids, take them to the park even though the wood chips ALWAYS get stuck in their socks, cave and grab them an ice cream at the end of the week, read them a book or watch one of their favorite movies together. Maybe I’m being nostalgic because my ‘baby’ is turning ten years old next month, I don’t know. But I want to remember her being nine, right this moment.
So while she works on math practice sheets and grumbles about how word problems ‘suck’, I’ll crank out what I can on my WIP, and then explain to her again, that math word problems matter when you are an adult. They become Life Problems. See the cycle we are a part of? Everything comes back to us, if only we let ourselves see it.
Happy Thursday, Everyone!