Tonight it’s a challenge to write anything. I’ve been working with students since 2:30 this afternoon and it’s 9 pm now. I also woke up early this morning – at 5:15 am – to finish a letter for Story Circle Network, the all-women writing non-profit for which I am currently serving as president. So, please bear with me as I just get some lines on the page to honor my 20 minutes a day writing commitment to myself.
When I’m tired, every idea I have for writing feels just too hard. Or like a bad idea. Or too personal. Or just plain boring. I struggle to come up with anything at all to say, which could tell me a simple truth: don’t write when you’re tired. However, most of the time, I do better when I write in the evenings rather than in the mornings. While I understand that I write easier in the mornings, my life is not usually conducive to making space for writing first thing. We work at home everyday on our eBay business in the mornings, so that time is reserved for specific tasks related to antiques and collectibles. So, at least for now, evenings are usually my writing time.
I have also discovered something unexpected about writing when I’m tired. While I have more trouble coming up with ideas of what to write, once I get going, my writing is often looser, freer, less guarded. My brain is dragging a bit, so my critic may be less alert. That has been a surprise to discover. My big bad ole critic may be an early-to-bed person and her absence helps me to breathe (and write) a little easier.
Also, in the evening, I have a lovely expanse of time that is just mine. I don’t have any other pulls on my attention, which is really quite a treat. I do occasionally have a television show I’m eager to watch with Ray, but he is usually quite patient and doesn’t mind if I arrive at 9 or 9:30. So, that’s yet another reason evenings are good for my writing.
And now here we are and I’ve written enough to justify wrapping this blog piece up for tonight. I always surprise myself with these rambling blogs. I never know what I’m going to write and often learn something I hadn’t expected. I guess I need to trust myself a bit more and recognize that if I simply start with a statement of where I am and what’s been happening that day, then the rest will follow.
I suppose that could be translated into a mantra for writing: “Stay in the present and the rest will follow.”
Come to think of it, that might be an excellent mantra for life in general.
Here’s to staying in the present.
Now I’ll bide you adieu. I am ready to take this tired body to bed.
I’ll be checking back in again tomorrow.