It's amazing how adding one little thing to a daily schedule can create utter chaos.
Well, it's probably me creating the chaos. But since I've begun my Friday morning ballet classes (joy! joy! joy!), the other bits of my Friday mornings -- the Before and After bits -- are beyond stressful.
And, yes. Writing the Friday Fricassee falls under the Before bit.
Admittedly, it doesn't take me long to write blog posts. I wish I could draft as easily as I can craft a readable blog post! But you know how it is when your brain's going in several directions? "Focus" is suddenly an alien concept.
Anyway. The one thing that's been floating to the top of my defocused brain this morning is the concept of Writing As Lifestyle. More to the point: Have you gotten to a place where writing is as much a part of your life as everything else? Eating, working, sweeping the front porch, putting out the garbage, brushing your teeth?
I don't mean "obsession". That's when you think about your writing all the time. "Writing as Lifestyle" is more of a non-thought process. As in, the writing is so engrained it's something you just do.
Not the writing alone, either. This includes the querying, the blogging, the researching, the critiquing, the networking, and the being-on-endless-sub-with-editors. Has it become a natural part of your life?
If it has, you're in a good place. You've found your balance; you've stopped feeling compelled to make excuses to people for your writing; you're not fighting Other Things in order to write.
The dark side: If, after a long and tiring journey, you decide that you no longer desire this Writing As Lifestyle, you're going to have a fairly large paradigm shift. There will be holes in your day; there will be a grieving process.
This may actually mean that you shouldn't quit. That the Writing As Lifestyle is truly for you. But it may just mean that, like any loss, you'll need a time to grieve before you regroup and move on.
I'm fairly certain I've embraced Writing As Lifestyle. My authorly self isn't separate from my "me" self. (Well, except online. And I can't tell you how TIRED I am of being anonymous!) When I feel ready to quit (which happens a lot lately), I start to think things like, "But...what will I DO?" And that's probably a sign right there that I'm already doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
What about you? Do you live the Writing As Lifestyle life? Does the thought of quitting leave you with a sense of great loss? Or could you walk away tomorrow and move on to the next thing?
Share! And I'll see you all on Monday at the opening of submissions for our first Logline Critique Round. Woo!