Whenever I re-enter a writing routine after some time away, it requires a little bit of “clearing the cobwebs.”
When I haven’t been writing regularly, things build up. There’s so much in my mind that it’s hard to focus – difficult to know exactly what I want and need to write about.
I have never been able to go directly from “not writing regularly” to “productive fiction writing.” Never. And that’s where this blog comes in!
I have big goals about the kind of writing I want to do. But this blog? It’s public, yes – but it’s also my own little safe space. I use my blog as a way to process the world around me and the world inside my mind. They are both complex, chaotic, and extraordinary.
Today is my first day of two unexpected weeks free from school. There’s a lot happening in the world. I don’t think of these two weeks as a vacation. I’m not sure what’s going to be expected of me from my job – I work at a public middle school – and Tamara and I have been looking for any opportunities out there to provide able-bodied service to people who need it. I feel extremely grateful that I have a job that’s paying me during this coronavirus crisis, and I feel grateful that my kids are little enough not to feel the fear and anxiety that are vibrating through the world right now.
Yet, it’s still two weeks off. It’s a mandated slowdown. It’s a chance, for lucky people like me, to tackle things around the house, to be of service to others, and to be the best version of ourselves at a time that demands the best of us.
I have a tendency to get anxious and/or depressed. For me, this typically shows up more in everyday life than during a crisis. I can rise to the occasion during a crisis – I have to do it at my job almost every day. But during regular ol’ everyday life, I can get stuck in a rut or down in the dumps easily and periodically.
So, at a time like this, I try to check in with myself. What do I need, to keep myself calm, healthy, and productive? There are a lot of things – but writing is front and center.
I’ve been a bit burnt out at work lately. I’ve also been off my blogging schedule. Those two things nearly always coincide. So if I want to feel healthy and strong during this crazy and unpredictable time, I need to BE WRITING. Period. End of story.
My plan for the next two weeks is to get back into my 4 a.m. writing routine, which has slipped recently thanks to some sleep regression for Jonas and some tiredness for me. The gift of being off work is that those first two early morning hours can be devoted entirely to writing if I want. (Usually, I exercise and get myself ready for the day during that time, but since I’m off work, those things can happen a little later in the morning.) I wish I could utilize nap time or post-bedtime for writing, but they’re not reliable. Edgar sometimes doesn’t nap; he’ll have quiet time every day, but it involves him popping out of his room periodically, which doesn’t really allow me to get into a writing flow. And the evenings – I’ve been staying up a little later recently, but I am often just wiped. My evenings tend to be a time for reading (input) not writing (output)!
This blog post was written during a fairly successful episode of Quiet Time for Edgar. More to come. Stay safe and stay home (if you can), everyone!