I’m inspired today. Does that mean I woke up from a dream that gave me a great idea that I just had to jot down? Nope. Did I read something amazing that inspired me to be a better writer? Wrong again. Although both of those things occasionally happen, it’s not the norm. Most mornings I wake up and it’s a marathon to get the kids up and dressed and off to school. Then I come home and there’s a mountain of work for me here too.
Even though I’m home all day, there are a million things that take up my time. Cleaning, cooking, running errands, volunteering for the kids’ endless activities, third grade division homework – it’s a wonder some days that I have time to shower (some days I don’t bother – shh). I could easily go days or even weeks without making time to write. But that is exactly what I have to do. I have to make time to write. I have to sit down at the keyboard and decide to write whether I’m inspired or not. And most of the time it’s not. I might feel like crap, I have my mind on other things, or I might feel self conscious and think I’m wasting my time trying to be a writer.
But a funny thing happens when I sit down and make myself write. My fingers fly across the keyboard and a story begins to flow. Sometimes it’s magical, but most of the time it’s a lot of crap with some good stuff thrown in. But that’s what the delete key is for. And that crap is helpful, it gets you moving and helps fertilize your mind for the brilliant ideas that come next. Amazing things happen when you feed your art. On that note, there is a book you should check out. It’s called The Artist’s Way, and it’s a little cheesy but it’s about feeding your creativity. It can help you to become a better artist or even just to add more creativity to your daily life.
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I’m back. I took a small break from blogging, writing, and pretty much everything last week. My joints were swollen and red, and it hurt to even try to make a fist. It’s part of Crohn’s for me. Three years ago, after my son’s birth, the Crohn’s spread from my intestine into my joints.
I mention this not for sympathy, but to get you into my frame of mind. When I hurt, I shut down. I crawl into myself and close everyone else out. It’s my survival mode. And suddenly, out of nowhere that black cloud of depression descends to hang over my head, threatening to suffocate me. Luckily, I was able to get out from under it quickly this time, and I’m up and moving again.
It’s amazing how quickly I can go from up and moving, happy and active to curled in the fetal position in bed. It’s frustrating and it seems after twenty years I would have better coping skills. But the truth is, shutting down is how I cope. When I hurt, it hurts my family. So, I shut them out of it, best I can. Living in my little bubble I feel somewhat safe. And when the pain recedes, I write. It helps me breath fresh air back into my life and reorient myself as a person. It keeps me sane.
I know a lot of people suffer from daily pain. Whether it be back pain, joint pain, headaches, or stomach, daily pain can drag you down to a bad place. It’s hard to cope with your daily schedule, work – parenting, etc – when you’re fighting a battle against your own body. Even if we retreat to our bubble for a time, we cannot remain there. That’s not life. How do other people cope with pain and illness? What brings you back to normal?
I tend towards depression, always have. It’s not surprising, I have a chronic illness (Crohn’s disease) and a lot of the medication I take causes depression. In addition, when I’m in pain, I’m depressed. But we all deal with depression in some form or fashion in our lives. Whether it’s after a tragedy, during a difficult time in our lives, after a setback or failure, or even simply a blue day because of the weather.
I take medication for depression, but I’ve learned that there is one surefire way for me to deal with the blues – to write. On days where I spend time writing, adding pages and chapters to a current book, or rewriting what I’ve already written, I have a general feeling of well being. I feel balanced and in control. I’m more patient with my children and husband, and I’m more likely to get things done around the house. On the other hand, if I ignored my writing, I’m cranky and short with everyone. I go to bed feeling like I got nothing accomplished, even if I cleaned the house or finished a to do list.
Writing has become necessary to me. It’s my lifeblood, it’s my passion. It lifts me up and makes me a better person. This seems to ring true for a lot of creative people I know. What is your passion? Do you feel better after an afternoon creating? Do you feel like you’ve accomplished something? If so, we may have discovered a way to get us through the cold months of winter, when tempers are short and moods are low.
Comment and tell me how you fight the blues. Or about a time when you fought depression and won. Are you fighting depression now? Message me, I’ve been there.
So, new year, new you? I never understood that concept. For some reason, January 1st doesn’t seem like a momentous day to make changes. It’s not really any different than December 31st. We have to remember to write a new date on our checks (if you actually still write checks – I do) and we pay taxes yet again. But why do we always save our resolutions and changes for this particular date? What magically changes at midnight?
To be clear, I don’t disagree with the idea of bettering oneself. But why must it only be once a year? Why not make resolutions all year long? With that in mind, it’s time to get back to my writing schedule. Between a hectic move, a nasty virus that made the rounds at our house (twice), and Christmas, I’m a little behind. But with the kids back in school and the decorations down, it’s time to get back to work. So, perhaps there is something to the first of the year. A time of renewal and reorganization. Or maybe most of us are just so happy the kids and hubs are out of the house that we feel like singing.
What are your goals this year?
I don’t like books or characters, I obsess. I search them out on the web, pin pictures, read articles, and generally drive everyone nuts! Muggle.net was the greatest invention ever at the height of my Harry Potter obsession (still obsessed -always). My pinterest boards are full of Outlander
“You have your mother’s eyes.
and Mortal Instruments pins. Don’t even get me started on Game of Thrones!
I tend to read or watch a movie in order to lose myself in a world. Once lost, I like to stay awhile and hang with the natives. I have found this to be a common theme with true nerds like myself. Especially those of us who are fans of fantasy. It’s much more fun to spend the day as a wizard, shadowhunter, or elf instead of plain old me.
My current obsessions are Magnus Bane from the Bane Chronicles, “Supernatural”, and my own moody Victorian world from my book WITHIN. What are you obsessed with and how to you feed your obsession?