I’m continuing to join in with Kate Motaung’s online discussion group On Being a Writer, which is based on Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig’s book On being a writer: 12 simple steps for a writing life that lasts.
Today’s prompt asks us to think about planning and asks us to share some of our writing goals and the dreams we have for our writing life.
As for many, it’s not so easy for me to find time to write but I do find the time to do so (early mornings before my littles are awake). It’s important for me to write and so I made it a priority to carve this daily habit from my unrelenting schedule.
As a result of the On Being series, I’ve now made the commitment to use some of that writing time to dedicate to ‘promotion’: finding potential markets for shorter articles and making the connections necessary to try to market my writing.
For me that’s a big step and one that’s taken me years to arrive at.
I realise, as I’ve been joining in this series, that as much as I need to plan to write and to promote, I also need to plan to introduce texture in to my life.
It’s only when my life has texture, colour, stimulation that I feel ready to get in the zone and only then that I feel that my writing flows.
If I’m feeling yuck my writing will most likely be yuck.
When I’m running on half mast, starved of visual, aesthetic, stimulation, my writing just doesn’t work, doesn’t come freely, doesn’t sound good. It’s not authentic. Its forced.
So, as much as I need to plan to do the writing, and to set goals for my writing, it’s important for me, due to my particular circumstances, to ensure that I’m doing the work on myself, for myself, so that the words come free, come freely, uninhibited.
I can’t create if I’m not in a place of plenty on a personal level.
So what does this mean in practice? It means planning to take a whole lot more care of myself and my mental state, to stimulate my mind as much as possible, to keep my body active [I was shocked the other day to realise that on the days I run, my Luminosity score increases by around 35%! How’s that for proof that exercise really does feed the mind?!]
It means considering me, making time to be my best me, as I take this journey, with myself, to realising the things I want to realise.
And what might those things be? I definitely feel called to share my personal story in book format. I’d like to give talks. [Part of my planning to be my best me also needs to deal with pushing through the vulnerability that comes with openly discussing my dreams, addressing the awkwardness that comes with sharing my (very private) hopes].
But I think that’s been the wonder and joy of this group: finding connection, finding community, finding people who understand each other, who we’re willing to be vulnerable in front of, so that we can find the support, accountability, we need.
If we don’t have that, we’re boats afloat but adrift, destination uncertain.
With a truly heartfelt thanks for your support,
P.S. As I was on my walk this morning, a Nina Simone song came on shuffle, encapsulating so many emotions I’ve been feeling throughout this On Being series. I couldn’t find a version of it online but did come across Emeli Sande’s version….(I’ve a sense it’s going to become an anthem for the writer part of me)…hope you like it too!