Photo courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/91897382
post by Lynn
In order to get some fresh ideas for blog posts, I asked my writing buddies to send questions. I got this one:
I know I have enough hours in my day to write, but I also find that by the time I get to those hours, I am often exhausted – more mentally than physically. I feel blank and mentally fried. Writing a grocery list feels like it would take more creativity than I have. How do I get past this and get something done?
Me, out of it sometimes
Oh my, that’s frustrating. I appreciate that you don’t just complain about not having the time to write, but own up to lacking the energy.
First off, I suggest you establish that you are not out to write a novel, short story, memoir, essay, or poem. Your goal is to develop a writing life. A life, with writing, customized to your routines, available time, and personal quirks. Plus, you are going to make it fun. Why else would you write?
And while you’re at it, broaden your definition of “writing time.” Stretch it wide to include such things as eavesdropping, jotting down a description of that weird thing your coworker does with her nose when she’s pissed off, and looking up “trichotillomania.” It’s all part of the creative process. Just be sure to keep your notes.
Now, let’s experiment:
1. After work today, go buy some color-drenched pens and paper so silky that you want to rub your hands all over it.
2.Tomorrow morning get up ten minutes early and, using your new pen and paper, do a free write, with a prompt you select before you go to bed tonight.
3. Lunch time: what’s available in additional to eating? Another quick free write? Re-read a chapter of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird? Write an old-fashioned letter to your favorite sibling and let loose the hounds of your humor? It’s all good. It’s all part of your writing life.
4. The weekend: decide what time of day your reserve of energy is highest and schedule an hour during that period to write. Extend one of your free writes, maybe? Pen a page of dialogue? Whatever calls to you in the moment, do it. Lightly, irreverently.
5. This last one is very important: when you have written, something/anything, celebrate. I’m talking a goal-line victory dance, complete with fist pumping. Woohoo! Yesssss!
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 as necessary.
The key here is not simply making time to write, but making the writing time pleasurable. Because I don’t know about you, but my muses won’t come for anything but a party.
My prediction: the more you write, and the more you enjoy your writing time, the more energy you’ll have for writing.
What say you, writer folks out there? Help our gal out. How do you find the energy to write?