I have often thought that what really stands between me and serious writing is time and the self-discipline to write whether I feel like it or not. Or maybe those are just my excuses because I’m a wee bit afraid of rejection, too, but that is neither here nor there.
I think my two week experimentation with Julia Cameron’s web based subscription service, The Artist’s Toolkit, may have confirmed that. But it may have taught me a few other things as well.
1. Writing every day is hard. Wrting three pages long hand every morning is almost impossible.
Cattle don’t care about creativity when it is time to move them out to pasture. My children don’t particularly care about it unless it involves little fruit smiley faces on morning pancakes. And apparently I don’t care enough about it to set my alarm a little earlier.
2. Getting away by myself is hard.
As fun as it sounds to go explore a new part of town, I am a mother of many young children who cannot be left alone for long. And when my husband gets home after working on the railroad for three days, the last thing he wants to do is watch the children while I go buy myself some candies I loved as a child.
3. Stillness is hard to find.
Even out here, my mind is almost always occupied with what I need to do next.
4. If the goal is nurturing creativity, maybe I shouldn’t worry so much about following what works for someone else.
Morning pages sounds like a great idea. I can see the value. But if all they are for me is one more obligation I stress over but never get to, perhaps I should rethink its value. Afternoons while Mookie naps are nice. And evenings when everyone is asleep are when I normally write.
5. If I need a little inspiration, why can’t I bring my children along?
Cameron warns that bringing others along changes your focus outward, but is there no compromise between bringing my children and not going at all? My children enjoyed the stories I told them along the way. Like how my brother and I walked a mile to the shops to buy Nestle Crunch bars because they only cost a quarter (everything else was thirty three cents) and one in five wrappers had a coupon for a free bar. Plus we were trying to save all the letters to win a trip to Hawaii. Or some place. And watching them reminded me of other stories.
Creativity is not always a personal journey. Sometimes inspiration comes from those we are with.
6. There are different kinds of noise, but it is the internal noise that drowns everything else out.
I have been trying a little every day to just sit and watch the children play without thinking about everything I could be doing. To listen to their noise and watch their games and simply be present. As I do chores, I have been trying to think about the chore that I am doing rather than everything else I need to get done for the day.
What do you do to nurture your writing?
This is a paid review for BlogHer but all opinions expressed are my own.