Working for a living, actually having somewhat of a life and the social obligations that come with that are all things that interfere with my writing time. It’s something I find frustrating, but it’s the way it is. I don’t make money writing, and living costs money, so I need to work. My introvert nature makes my need for social interacting low, but I still need it, occasionally.
Even when I don’t need it, friends and family might and I don’t have the right to dictate how and when we see each other, I have to adapt to their schedule as much as they to mine. Most of the times other people asking for my presence in their life is healthy for me, and for my writing.
When I don’t have work or friends and family pulling at me, I sometimes tend to hibernate in my own apartment. I want my time for writing so badly that, when I get the opportunity, like on vacation or national holidays, I’ll stay inside my apartment for a week and don’t talk to anyone.
As far as writing, it’s a recipe for disaster and the worst thing I can do to myself, I know this, but sometimes it’s hard for me to break it. When I lock myself away from the world like that, I never get any writing done. I end-up sitting for twelve hours in front of my computer, but instead of writing I’ll do nothing or play video games.
This stress I feel not to get enough time to write takes over and becomes this monster that eats every ounce of creativity, and I become lethargic and unfocused. The best piece of writing I ever did, happened when I created a routine. Sundays I would meal plan and prep food for the following week.
During the week I’d go to work and come home around five. Cooking dinner would take me maybe ten-fifteen minutes at most because I’d prepared food for the whole week. Then I’d eat my dinner while watching an episode of a random show I was following, as we established in THIS POST, I follow quite a few. That way I could clear my head from all work related thoughts and get dinner out of the way. By six, six-thirty at the latest, I was done, dishes put away and then the evening was mine. I’d write to maybe nine or ten, sometimes later if I had a flow going.
During the weekend I’d make time to see my friends and family, it was frustrating when they called me in the middle of writing a scene; they don’t know about my writing, but that’s the subject for another day; I closed the computer, and I prioritized them. In doing so, I also gave myself time to recharge. Writing is fun, but I tend to forget it takes a lot out of me. I need to recharge my batteries.
I had a week’s vacation last week; I spent some of it in Stockholm with a friend and her son, kid germs are evil, and I got sick. I’ve had a cold off and on now for almost two weeks, and because of it, I went into my hibernation state. There are pros and cons of being able to work from home when you’re not feeling well.
I could finally pull myself out of it today. No matter how much of an introvert you are, shutting yourself away from the world for too long is not healthy. So, today I took a walk through the beautiful city I live in. I stopped for lunch and read Volume 3 of Lady Mechanika.
I continued on down to the water, it’s the Baltic Sea for those of you wondering, and walked along the promenade. I stopped for a little rest to look out on the ocean and up into the crown of a tree.
To put your heart and soul into what you write, it needs nourishment. What we feed our soul is different for each of us, but we need to give it something back for what we take out.
For me that means, reading something I didn’t write, it means walking along a pebbled shoreline, kicking my off my shoes and using one to hold the treasures I find.
I walked through our Botanical garden on my way back through the city. I’ll never be able to describe the scent of all those roses.
For me, recharging my soul and my creativity means walking along this beautiful old city wall that holds so much history, almost a thousand years of life have echoed against it. It’s the sun against my face as I lie down on a bench and watch the sky and one of the towers against it.
For five days I’ve been closed off from the world in my apartment, I’ve written two hundred words, maybe. I’ve started three blog posts and then discarded them all, unhappy with their outcome and unsure what to write. Four hours out of my apartment and I know where I want to take the scene I’ve been struggling with, I’ve written this in less than an hour, and I have ideas for at least three more posts.
Sometimes, I am my own creativity’s worst enemy, and I have to make myself remember that locking myself away will not make me write more or faster, it will make me write less.
So, if you’re an introvert like me, if you’re struggling with writing, studying, anything that demands a lot of thought and/or emotional investment, maybe what you need is a change of scenery, a day off. A few hours to shut off your head and breath while you look at beautiful things. Don’t forget to invest in yourself.
Credits: All images are mine and may not be used without my permission.