I have felt run into the ground lately.
I thought at first it was just a season of busy, which it is, in part, but more than that it’s being out of balance.
That happens to me when I am focused on one aspect of my brain over the other for long periods. The last five months my brain has been stuck in analytical mode. Which means my creative side has been stalled in idle. Which is fine for a bit, but then I come crashing down.
When I crash I find myself being crabby, edgy, unsettled. And that’s where I have been sitting for a bit. I just didn’t realize it. You would think after years of this, I would recognize the pattern, but sometimes it takes me a while.
I caught on after a friend shared a podcast with me.
Annie F. Downs is a Christian author who has a great podcast called “That Sounds Fun.” Last week she had a guest who is a new author and apparently was a known personality (though I had never heard of her), Laura Tremaine.
Laura was talking about all the things…all the things that go into writing a book, but not even writing a book — getting published — and I felt the overwhelm just listening to her words. Almost like a panic set in. Anxiety.
I have a story to tell, a book in me, at least one, for sure, but I joined a handful of “how to get published” sites and groups and hearing all the things that one needs to do to publish these days, be it self-publishing or the traditional route (I didn’t even know there was a choice once upon a time) I got disenchanted, and quite frankly scared. That’s not great for creativity. Worse yet, I lost my focus. My focus became all these things (building a platform, getting my story out there, blogging, building a new “author” website – which leads to needing a “give-away” so people will join your mailing list) and this is before you’ve even written the book. I let the business of this list creep in, overwhelm me, and stop me dead in my tracks. And then to put the cherry on top, I got a new job.
Not exactly a recipe for creativity.
I recently began reading a book by Jeff Manion titled, “Dream Big and Think Small.” It’s been a good reminder that steps don’t have to be grand. That grace and patience and small steps forward leads to the realization of big dreams.
So that’s where I am, back at the beginning so to speak. Just carving time out to do what I love in the first place — write.
And I took a small step besides reviving this here blog…
I rejoined one of my writing communities. Hope*Writers.
It’s a membership site with a vast library of helpful and inspiring information. A community of over 4,000 writers from all walks of life and all stages of writing coming together to encourage one another in our pursuits of creativity. It’s a place to connect with others who feel like I feel and want support to move forward, even if it’s just a little step at a time. Signing back in felt like I had come home.
I really have no idea what my writing will look like in the coming days, weeks and months. What I do know is that I am making time for it going forward. I have no agenda right now – no specific goal or outcome in mind – I’m just giving myself permission to write, and explore and see where it goes from there. It’s a new approach for me – my Enneagram 8 self is usually more of a bulldozer wanting to push through to achieve big things fast. But for now, I’m trying to apply the grace I so embrace towards my self.
One thing is certain — I’m looking forward to filling my creativity tank as I move ahead…