There is a line that most of us are very bad at holding, it is a line that must be drawn and closely guarded if we are going to succeed in our chosen creative fields. Those of us who have work outside of our own projects are constantly juggling our time. When those day jobs include their own creative work that then bleeds into the weekend, it is our own work that gets nudged aside and often off the road altogether. That’s when we need to become defenders of our own art not only to others but ourselves. We need to believe that our work is important enough to make time for, is worthy enough to deserve our defense of the time it takes.
As one might guess from the two months with no posts here, I didn’t hold my ground. The line broke and my writing was quietly put aside day after day after day. Here’s the hardest part to admit, yes I’m overbooked and yes I’m exhausted but the only person who can be blamed for not reserving even twenty minutes is myself. Why don’t I fight as hard for my own work as I do for others? Why do I have no problem throwing myself into the breach to make someone else’s dream just one step closer to fruition and yet let my own get lost in the rip tides?
I’m not saying every writer must write every day, although that would be nice for all of us. I know there are writers far more busy than I who can only snatch time on their one day off or a few minutes on the train. My point is that we need to be ready to snatch that time when we can and hold fast to it. Whatever scraps of opportunity we get to work on our own creations need to be fiercely defended and to do that we need to silence the parts of us that quietly and slowly convince us that even if we had the time nothing would come of it.
Taking time for yourself and your work is not selfish. There is a balance for everything, drawing boundaries that allow you to do the work you feel you were born to do is healthy. Starving to death because you do nothing else isn’t. Don’t feel guilty for taking time away from your work to live your life, care for your family, or make a living that supports them. But don’t feel guilty for putting that all aside when you can and filling your soul with the joy of creation.
I know when work becomes all consuming and exhaustion becomes insurmountable, I let both things become excuses for losing ground. If my projects were towns, the walls would be falling, enveloped in the battle cries and fires of the enemy. I would be helplessly lifting my hands, letting myself believe there was nothing I could do to save them.
That has to end.
I am proclaiming now to the virtual universe of the internetsphere, that I will hold the line. I will not falter in the defense of the art I am creating.
I hope you will join me, carve out a time for your work and let nothing,especially your own doubts, take it away from you.