You have a dream you’re chasing? Me too. So many of us do. What’s the formula? Have you figured it out yet? There’s only one thing I’m certain of. It requires movement.
Here’s what I’m not certain of; what the motivation for that movement feels like. You see, it feels different at different times for me. I imagine it doesn’t feel the same for everyone. There’s always someone telling you how you should feel about your craft and what should motivate you to do something about it. Should motivation look the same on everyone? I don’t know about you, but when I hear these rules of engagement I end up in a grudge match with my self-doubt.
I’m a writer. I’m not an aspiring writer, but a writer. I write. I may be an aspiring novelist or screenwriter or paid entertainer, but there is no doubt that I’m a writer. It seems simple but you have no idea how many years it took me to own that. Still, there’s always someone to tell you that you’re not truly what you say you are because you don’t pursue the career as enthusiastically as one would imagine.
Listen, when it’s time for me to write, that is when I am the sleepiest, hungriest, and the most worrisome about all the chores I’ve left undone. I want to nap, eat, wash clothes, wash dishes, call Grandma, check the next day’s weather and even pay bills. There was a time when I agreed that it all meant that I was unfocused. But maybe just maybe it’s what happens when I wind down. I need to be relaxed to write. My mind needs to be clear to roam the lives of those I want to tell stories about. So I think the random thoughts are like a checklist before you go on vacation. My mind is getting rid of clutter. “Don’t forget to do this before you get lost for a few hours!” Sort of like reminding everyone to go to the bathroom before you leave the house.
What about the naps? Well, you ever get tired just thinking of what it is you have to do? I think my imagination does too. You see when I start envisioning, it’s a lot of work to embark on such a long journey into the depths of fictional worlds. The details of how things, smell, look, how people react, what they think; the brain has to create that. Not to mention, in so many case you’re thinking for more than one person with distinct personalities. Your mind is pulling from life and life not yet lived. Don’t you think that could be exhausting?
So writers, take your naps. Wash your clothes, cook your food, eat your snacks, take your walks then come back and write. You’re no less of a writer than the wonderfully disciplined one who writes at the same time for the same length of time each day. You’re just a different kind of writer as you should be. You have different stories to tell.