Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Writing and the Investment of Time and Energy

When you have a limited amount of energy to spend (as I do) you must choose carefully which tasks to prioritize.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately, as I have not spent much time and energy on writing, at least not as much as I would like.  Instead, it has been primarily work and sleep, with any extra strength spent on domestic tasks, such as laundry, food prep, and paying bills.

I have written a few poems throughout this long period of chronic illness, but not with the productivity of just a few years ago.  I miss the days spent this way: a hot cup of chai, a pile of books, notebook, laptop.  The process of completing a bigger project--such a a full manuscript--is really satisfying: the research, writing, assembly, editing, submitting.

It's been a while.

That's okay.

Returning to doing what you love can be a gradual thing, a slow awakening.  It starts with the smallest of projects: a single poem, a single journal submission.

Today I have two poems in a lovely online journal: Masque & Spectacle.

I also have three poems up at one of my favorite online journals: Arsenic Lobster.

I am setting aside a bit of time, not every day--but a couple of days a week--as designated time for writing and submitting work.  If I am unwell that day, I will reschedule, just as I might for any other appointment.  I am making creative time a necessary aspect of self-care.  Larger projects can wait.  It's okay if I don't have a book manuscript.  It's the regular participation in the act that matters.  With time, I believe the bigger projects will emerge.



Kathleen said...

Sounds like you are doing things at just the right pace! Congrats on these new publications.

Susan said...

I think so too, Kathleen.