Writing takes time. What I really mean to say is that writing takes an ample amount of time spent doing nothing. For being accountable to no one. For long walks or sitting quietly on the back porch with a cat on your lap. Time for ambling around the house in your pajamas early in the morning, looking at that basket of laundry and thinking (hello, colorful mountain!) And letting it stand there as a someday adventure. A bucket list for chores. (Before I die, I will conquer you!!!) So far, it looms like K2.
Most of all, writing takes time to listen. To listen to the internal bubbles, the little prompts that go unnoticed in a busy day.
I know that writing takes time for nothing-ness because I’m currently taking a writing class in the middle of my busy work season and the busiest activity season for my son. This year we’re doing three sports and two handmade shops. We’re also making breakfast lunch and dinner every day. We also are busy socially, attending fun things with friends like Renaissance Faires and hosting big play dates with seven kids.
I need time for nothing, to do nothing, and lots of it. My writing needs it, and I need it.
Two books arrived just for me at the library. I’m discovering Mark Nepo.
Last night, exhausted from a marathon day of entertaining, I filled a hot bath and sank into that bliss. Then I realized I was so fried that I could not decide which book to start. I couldn’t even read without distracting myself with brain chatter. My dual core processor kept sending me pop-ups, clips of the busy day that wore me out.
Overwhelmed, I couldn’t take anything in. Not even gentle, encouraging words on a page.
I know I’m over my limit of tolerance when I can no longer enjoy the simple pleasure of a good book (Let’s not talk about ebola, okay? It scares and overwhelms me and makes me never want to leave the house again.)
The rest of the week isn’t getting easier: today is Tae Kwon Do and First Lego League and a soccer game. Tomorrow is a soccer game and a Lego League event. Saturday is a birthday party. Sunday looks free. An island of nothing and no plans and maybe some leaves for raking. I love that kind of nothing.
I’m not complaining really…this full life is absolutely the best life. Elliot is having an outstanding experience with all of his new and old friends. I’m so happy to see him growing up and participating fully with life, with people. Engaging wholeheartedly in learning.
I know what blocks my writing. It’s wrapped up in this complicated situation of being an introvert who is learning how to be an extrovert, but not knowing how to deal with the draining of energy part of socialization.
So, how do I expect myself to write with clarity and purpose? With perception and truth?
I need time for nothingness. For a walk in misty rain that kisses my face all over.