Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Million Little Ways to be Inspired

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

Columbus Day weekend is upon us, and not only do I get a kick out of all the stories my elementary school-aged kids come home with about how and why Christopher Columbus discovered America (“Mom, did you know that By 1492 most educated people knew the planet was not shaped like a pancake—but Christopher Columbus really liked breakfast so he wanted to prove it?”) but it also marks a pivotal point in the calendar year for me—we have less than three months remaining in the year—by golly—how are those “writing goals” coming along?

I’m coming clean here and now—as of October 10, 2013 I’m not anywhere close to completing the novel I’ve been working on for the past 18 months, and I know exactly why—I got lazy!
Not the kind of lazy where I haven’t sat down with my journal or laptop and worked on bringing my characters to life or fleshed out the plot 20 times or so—I’m talking “not honoring the pact I made with myself during my New Year’s Writing Goals” kind of lazy.  The only resolution I made in early 2013 in regards to my writing was to WRITE EVERY DAY—no matter what!

Of course I knew that things would come up—occasional sick days for myself or my kids, family or work commitments that would take precedence over my writing or other important things like making time to exercise or even take a hot bath, and even unexpected setbacks like car trouble or appliances that would go kaput—but what I didn’t count on was that I would get complacent during so many “ordinary days” thinking that my writing time would just “happen” on a whim whenever I could fit it in around “life”. 

As I write this post, I am chiding myself a wee bit for slacking off on something that is so important to me—making time to write on a daily basis.  I’ve been down this road several times before, but this time it feels different.  There is a subtle change in the air—perfect as I watch the luminous auburn, crimson and buttery yellow leaves begin to flutter across my yard as autumn works her magic.  But it’s not just the change in seasons, or the calendar announcing that the end of the year is on its way—it’s the way my inner voice and I have been connecting lately—about my writing and all kinds of other important things.

My next birthday will be a milestone one—I’ll be 50!  I’ve got two kids in college and another one graduating this spring.  Many of my friends are already grandparents, one is even taking an early retirement next year because he’s decided he needs to “live life” for a change and not “do life” as so many of us do.  My inner voice has been trying to get my attention for quite some time now, and it’s not that I don’t want or think I need to listen, it’s that I’ve become too accepting of the fact that busy people always seem to get it done, and somehow, I always get things done.  But my “writing” has casually fallen into the category of “getting a task done”—instead of being treated like a sacred ritual that is so important to me that I deserve to spend the time enjoying the process, not treating it like another item on my “to do” agenda.

I recently stumbled upon a book called A Million Little Ways written by Emily P. Freeman.  This book has reenergized my passion for writing as well as helped me stay excited about the little things in life that make up our ordinary, everyday lives.  I enjoyed it so much that I picked up two copies for my daughters for their Christmas stockings.  If they both walk away with one thought that will make them see how important it is to take the time to nurture their creative soul on a regular basis, I will be thrilled.
We all have 24 hours in a day, so how do you find the time to feed your creativity on a regular basis?

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