I haven’t written in a while. And I’m not sure anymore whether I’m supposed to, or not. I’ve been reading two books. One is The Tao of Writing, and the other is If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. They are both enjoyable books, and they seem to be melding together, such that I can’t tell what I read from which book. (One is my nightstand and bathroom book, and the other travels with me in my purse for downtime situations.)
But, anyway, they both insist that writing is about inspiration, and that forcing oneself to deadlines does not enable authentic writing. It is forced and cheap. Of course, I don’t want this.
But they do suggest that you should open yourself up to writing. You should be “in the moment” and allow inspiration to flow through you. One suggested that you might sit for hours at a desk, writing nothing or little, and that this was great! And another talked about taking 7-8 mile walks to let the mind wander freely — and NOT walking for the purpose of exercise in a rushed, purposeful sort of way. Because that inhibits your creative flow. (But, who has time for that?!?)
So, then I began to think. I am a big fan of “in the moment.” I love the writing of Eckart Tolle and believe he has truly found peace. My last year’s resolution was to be “in the moment” — it failed mostly — and I’ve had that desire ever since I’ve read Tolle’s books.
But I am about the worst “in the moment” person I can think of. I can’t meditate. I am sometimes even distracted during yoga. As a teacher, my mind is constantly at work, reflecting on the last lesson, thinking about the next lesson, and then planning for the next day. I am hardly ever IN THE MOMENT. Can I find a job, a situation, that helps me find this peace?
And it doesn’t stop with my job. My extracurriculars are ridiculous. I have involved myself in weekly yoga, orchestra, and band, and am now struggling with possibly cancelling them all so that I can make room for my theater rehearsals and volunteering (which will hopefully guide me toward my next profession. . .)
I do not know the meaning of downtime. I only indulge in it when my mind and body rebel in the errands and “to do”s that I have continually forced upon myself, and then when I abstain, I feel guilty, like a lazy, procrastinating student, who fails to finish her work and yet knows she will never really be able to finish. But, if she actually WERE able to finish — if she actually had NOTHING ELSE TO POSSIBLY DO . . . she would be lost.
This is what I have become. I’d like to take a step back and start over, but I’m afraid to get off the merry-go-round. I hope that recognition is the first step toward health. . .