I eye the pile of papers. It has been over two weeks, now, and I haven’t touched them. There sits opportunity, waiting for my energy and attention. There sits the next step along my writing path. There sits all the feedback from eleven talented, thoughtful writers from my writer’s group.
Now, to be fair, I’ve been busy. It was a little over two weeks ago that I had my work reviewed. It took me three days to recover. Not because they jumped me and beat me up – they were very positive and supportive. Rather, simply the exhaustion of attending, participating, and lunching afterwards, combined with the deep currents of fear and excitement I felt for days prior to and at the actual meeting.
Emotions take energy.
By Friday of that week, I was feeling better. Then, it was time to prepare for our Maine vacation. Exciting, yes, but also requiring energy and focus. The vacation was fabulous, but there wasn’t mental space for me to review the feedback there. Then, three days to recover from vacation. Recovering gets so tedious, sometimes. Then there was writing group again. And then there was this blog post to write.
And I still haven’t touched the damn papers.
Experience tells me, if I don’t do something different, I’ll never get to that feedback. There isn’t the extra – extra energy, extra mental clarity – for me to just happen upon being able to read and integrate the new ideas and perspectives offered in that pile of papers. Before this gets too far out of hand, before too much time has passed, I have to acknowledge the truth – I don’t have it in me. There just isn’t enough of me to make it happen, doing all that I’m doing now.
This blog post marks my twenty sixth weekly blog post in a row. It has been half a year of writing weekly, and the successful implementation of my dream and plan since I started writing in 2014. In truth, writing weekly has been a serious challenge. Basically, each and every week revolves around me writing a blog post. I have had the will for it and, mostly, the energy for it, too.
What I didn’t realize is creativity is a limited resource. Did you know that? Because I didn’t. I imagine creativity now as a deep well that recharges at a set rate. Perhaps my creativity well is shallower than others, or simply is shallow because of my limited energy, but… well… writing something new every single week strains that resource. At times, I have been taking out more than naturally recharges; I have been depleting myself… and that is exactly what I don’t want to do.
Through many epic fails, I have learned that depleting myself is simply something I cannot afford. Perhaps I will never be able to afford it, again. My life is about creating space for all my resources – particularly my energy, and now also my creativity – to recharge. I want to refill every corner of my soul with energy, energy I depleted so recklessly trying to keep my job post mTBI.
I want to thrive.
New plan. I will write a new blog post every other week. That will still give me 26 blog posts a year. That’s quite a few, really. Enough to feel good about myself, and enough to keep sharing my journey. Alternate weeks, I will work on moving the next phase of my writing forward.
So do you know what I’m going to be doing next week? I won’t be writing a blog post. You won’t be hearing from me. Instead, I’m going to sit down and focus on integrating the feedback I received several weeks ago. After that, I’m going to revise some of my existing blogs and submit them for publication in the real world. Perhaps they’ll be accepted. Perhaps they won’t. Regardless, I will be taking that next step along my writing path, another step closer to writing and publishing a book about my experience.
And if I find that doing both is a drain on my creativity… well, I’ll adjust again. What is most important is staying in my sweet spot, that place where I am functional while also nurturing myself to greater health. That is vital. That is what my life is now. Pushing myself, “trying” is counterproductive. It will take me more than a week or a month to reach my goals; it is going to take years. I choose for those years to be full of healing, not full of depletion. Slow and steady will make sure this tortoise wins her race.