Don’t get me wrong: I know my lack of creative juices is small potatoes compared to what others are going through with COVID-19. Life is so scary and unpredictable in 2020 and we’re all struggling to make it through the day. Some days seem to be easier than others, don’t they?
So when I was looking through the 600+ drafts of blog post ideas I have saved, desperately trying to find something, anything, to write about, I came across a conversation I had with my writer friend Laura.
Coincidentally, we were talking about writing and I had a realization: So much of writing happens when we’re not actually writing. That might sound a bit counter-intuitive, but it’s true, at least for me. As I always say, “my mind is always working” — thinking of ideas, fleshing out bad ideas, even writing the beginnings of pieces in my head. And, maybe what’s even more interesting is that I’m thinking about writing even when doing the most ordinary of tasks, like brushing my teeth. I’ve thought of so many ideas for pitches while staring off into space as I brushed away all the plaque — that’s sort of amazing, isn’t it?
I suppose, then, that in my current dry spell, this idea of not-working working is somewhat of a comfort. Because, really, writing isn’t just about the actual act of sitting down and typing. Even when I’m just thinking about writing, I’m being productive! It’s all part of the process. Yes, I do wish I could try and speed up the “process” sometimes (and, yes, I have tried that in the past), but maybe the lesson in all of this is that I should just trust that process more? I figure it can’t hurt, right?
Do you sometimes find that you spend more time obsessing about writing than actually doing it? Think about writing than actually sitting down and actually doing it? That obsession gets in the way of the act itself, I’ve found. It’s something I’m definitely going to try and work on, friends… xoxo