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Let it Go

I woke up this morning with blogging on my to-do list.

Also on my to-do list?

About a thousand other things, including but not limited to, walking the dog, finishing every thread of laundry in the house and packing us for a week long trip for Michigan before Scott gets home at 5pm.

But writing comes first, I tell myself. Writing is my lifeline, I tell myself.

And yet.

Why is it that on a morning like this one when so many other things stretch my attention thin, I feel like writing is actually the last thing I’m supposed to be doing?

There are many theories out there on how to balance creative life and home life, but the basic premise is consistency. You just show up every day and you write.

But sometimes, you can’t. Because of writer’s block. Because your schedule is completely packed that day. Because your kids’ schedule is completely packed that day. Because you’re sick. Or because, God forbid, you’re going on vacation. And if you, like me, have a teensy weensy bit of perfectionism in you, that might make you feel like a teensy weensy bit of a failure.

This morning, curled up in my favorite writing spot but surrounded by mountains of folded laundry ready to be put into suitcases, I ditched my computer in favor of my journal. And as I vented there about feeling blocked and frustrated, I remembered one thing I know for sure:

Stress blocks inspiration.

Forced writing isn’t good writing. As writers, I firmly believe that much as we have to have self-discipline, we also have to know when to cut ourselves some slack. Sometimes when we let go of the things we think we have to do, we make room for the things that want to happen.

Personally, I am ALWAYS far better off taking a walk in the woods, going for a jog, or even just free-writing in my journal than I am staring at a blank computer screen for two hours. The time is not only altogether more productive, but it relieves my whole body of stress and recharges my brain, allowing my body to connect with a natural flow of inspiration that can then carry into my writing.

This morning, on my journal’s pages, I let go and gave myself permission not to blog, to focus instead on getting my family ready for our trip in a relaxed way.

And voila. Inspiration.

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