Life gets in the way (that’s OK)

I know a lot of artists who hate the idea that life gets in the way of their art. But I have to be honest with you. That whole life thing that’s tearing up your perfectly planned writing time and goals… that’s OK with me.

I’m not saying I don’t get frustrated. There is some sort of energy right now – possibly the end of the year, when I’m trying to look back and make sense of the last twelve months – when I’m hoping it all meant something in the grand scheme of things.

And when I talk about the grand scheme of things, I’m usually talking about the three to four things I wanted from the year.

But if your whole life is angled at shutting yourself away form the world so you can write, I think you’re doing it wrong. I won’t necessarily say it to you but I’m thinking it.

I’m currently trying to convince some younger folk that this writing journey includes time for boring things like earning money or mending relationships or just being boring-old-lost and trying different things to find what’s meaningful and exciting.

Focusing on something other than writing doesn’t mean you’ve given up, it means you’re alive. It’s giving you more experience to write about. I  mean, how can you write about the world you live in if you don’t engage with it? It’s not sexy but it’s true.

So maybe this Christmas and New Year you can give yourself a break. Do morning pages for a week and write absolute dribble or fill the well by visiting museums, colouring-in, watching new movies and reading new books.

Get out in to the world and take a break. Remember why you love stories. Rediscover what sets your heart on fire. Have some damn fun. That’s what being an artist is all about.

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