Ahead of writing...developing a plot and dreaming up characters and searching for just the right word...were so many DISTRACTIONS:
--keeping the house from imploding
--getting meals on the table
--staying ahead of the laundry
--maintaining the flower beds
--running to the bank, grocery store, post-office, dry cleaner, etc., etc.
--keeping dirty dishes from overflowing the sink
--getting a little exercise
--staying in touch with family and friends
...all of which are honorable and necessary expressions of a civilized life, but really…how much can one person do—and do well—in one day? And notice that indulgences such as enjoying a manicure or massage, meeting with friends for lunch, and slowing down long enough for an afternoon nap are nowhere on the list...
I have learned that many of the little self-imposed tasks and obligations, the DISTRACTIONS that we take such pride in, can be organized and dispatched in a heartbeat. I know now that before we tend to anything else, we must, first of all, write…or paint or compose or whatever it is we do to free the soul, to sustain momentum, to nourish and energize ourselves, to satisfy and fulfill our longings. In other words, to be CREATIVE and connected and fulfilled.
Instead of barreling through the day at time-warp speed in order to earn ourselves a few free minutes before we collapse into bed at night…we must learn to celebrate the virtues of idleness, day-dreaming, playfulness, silence, solitude, and rest. As the mind wanders, so does the imagination. And out of the imagination, who knows what will emerge?
"We are traditionally rather proud of ourselves
for having slipped creative work in there
between the domestic chores and obligations.
I'm not sure we deserve such big A-pluses for that."
In my next post, I’ll share ten ways to know if you have what it takes to become a writer…or an artist, composer, dancer, singer or actor.