Do you know the world goes on, even when you sleep? That the soft light of the morning will come without any help from you? That the fog rolls in and rolls out without any word from you? Do you know?
I write for a living. It’s my job. My career path. My life. I love it. Like – I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it. Like crazy, goofy, hearts and flowers – I love it.
Writing is also what I do for fun. There is nothing I love more in the world than the amazing rush of landing on an idea – the right idea – for a story and running with it. I blog. I write letters to friends. I write my blog as a letter for friends I haven’t even met yet (hello!) I write songs. Poems. I write my own tv pilots and feature scripts. (I have a dream of winning the Booker Prize or a Pulitzer one day – but I guess I’ll probably have to write a novel at some point if it’s ever going to happen. I should get on that.) I write funny post-it notes that I leave for Luke in the most random places. I dream in stories. I buy fun pens and brightly colored paper. Sometimes I write with skinny crayola markers because at the end of the day – even if I have absolutely nothing storywise, at least it looks pretty.
I heart words.
But somehow – it turns out that I am not Superwoman. (*sniff*) For whatever reason – we’re fragile little human creatures, and we have to rest and recharge otherwise we will fritz out and not be able to think straight. And that is never a pretty sight. Trust me on that one.
When I get there, it becomes this horrible spiral of diminishing returns where the longer I go without actually letting my brain chill out for a second, the worse my work gets. Boo.
I always say i’m going to rest, and then I never do.
There’s a whole world out there to explore! But apparently – the world goes on – even when I take an afternoon to dream and be with friends and family. And in a very general sense, just be. It’s humbling.
I am not as important to the world as a whole as I’d like to imagine that I am. 🙂
Rest is a gift.
I also have a tendency to “rest” by reading a new novel for research or by watching a new tv show and taking notes to learn from the best writers in the biz. In theory – I’m not writing. But my brain is still in ‘input’ mode, spinning off into new story ideas and new paths. All good things – until I walk in my front door and can’t remember which direction my kitchen is because my brain is so bedraggled that I can barely recite my ABC’s.
It’s like Bilbo Baggins says in Lord of the Rings. ”I feel old. Thin. Like butter scraped across too much bread.”
I so get that.
So I have to find time in my day to do things that have nothing to do with writing and stories. Sounds simple enough. But it’s taken me forever and a day to realize that it’s actually necessary. Trying to live my life in a way that proclaims to the world – I DO NOT NEED REST! – is actually a really horrific way to live. My soul will die. My body will get exhausted. And I stop creating space for others to rest as well. (Well, if I don’t need rest, surely you don’t either… It’s an ugly spiral, arrogance at its very worst. Sigh. That sucks.)
Rest is allowed.
I know. It’s like a miracle. But – in my head, it also sounds like someone’s trying to convince me that the sky is green and that the earth actually has six moons. Say what now? That can’t actually be true.
And so – my amazing blogging people, help me out here.
What do I do with the other hours in my day?
What do you do with the other hours in your day? What refreshes your soul? What recharges you? What do you love to do? How do you rest?
I want to be inspired by your awesomeness.
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