Writing is art, and art is messy. When I realized this, my inner drill sergeant, who fears disorganization, freaked out. Then there is the side of me that yearns for the freedom that comes with creating art, to not have to worry about meeting arbitrary deadlines I’ve set for myself, to not fear the loose ends of my creative process. In short, order and chaos are at war in my brain.
Further frustrating my creative writing process is the fact that I stopped reading to devote time to my writing. Funny thing: the writing dried up.
I’ve heard it said more than once that to be a good writer you must read. That shouldn’t have been a problem for me since I own a private library and consume books the way a starving person attacks food. When I read, everything else fades into the background.
What I need to do is apply my love for books and the way I approach reading to my writing life. The problem is that I’m so structured in everything I do, my attitudes toward books and/or reading isn’t going to help my writing very much if I don’t learn to cut loose just a little.
Here’s my list of things I need to do:
- Read outside my favorite genre, historical fiction
- Quit lining up my books on shelves like obedient soldiers, take them with me everywhere
- Travel with a notebook to capture anything and everything that pops into my head because it may prove to be beneficial to my writing
- Quit deluding myself that I’ll ever have everything done all at once
And now I’m laughing at myself because my list is perfectly numbered and ordered. The important thing is that I recognize my need to lighten up, enjoy my writing, and live a peaceful life.