Breathing Room for Creativity

I’m not sure what started it, but I knew that it was time. I had to take some time off work. I’d taken long weekends off, and I’d taken longer vacations to go and see my family halfway across the country, but I couldn’t think of a time I’d taken a nice “stay-cation”. So, here I am, sitting at my desk and ready to work.


These are my notes from yesterday, my first day of my writing retreat.

Maybe I’m not quite ready to work. I committed to doing my Miracle Morning today (If you haven’t checked out Hal Elrod, you should), and I’m stuck on the meditation part. Meditation requires a patience I just can’t find in myself today. It would be logical then to sit down and cultivate that patience.

Instead of meditating, I decided to convert my normal office workspace with my computer into a writing space where it’s just me, my notebooks, and fountain pens. My original plan had been to go to the library and write, but alas, I didn’t feel like leaving my home today. So, it was either don’t write, or mimic the writing space at the library.

I’ve found it hard to really write for extended periods of time at home. When I’m at the library, I get in “work mode”, but it’s distracting when I must go bathroom or get water and I must pack everything up, then unpack everything a couple of minutes later. Though, the water view is nice. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll ride the ferry.

Now, I have converted my office into the ideal writing space with the big desk, sunny room, and a comfy chair for reading breaks. I’m now sitting at that desk, and instead of writing my novel, I’m writing this.

Perhaps it’s just to clear my head, but I know that once I finish this, I’ll be facing the blank page and the temptation of Facebook scrolling, or shopping on Amazon for some sort of writing paraphernalia to make writing more magical.

I think the fear here is the expectation that because I’ve taken all this time off work, the whole week, that I need to spend every minute writing, because how many writers with full time jobs get to take a week off, sans kids and spouses, and just write? It would feel like a travesty to waste it. But, I haven’t sat down to write for stretches of hours since NaNoWriMo, and I’m not sure how I’ve done that for two years in a row now.

I have 30,000 more words before I reach my goal of 100,000 and I hope I can wrap up the novel by then. No sooner, no later. It just seems like the right number to me, but I need to be flexible and let the work be the size it needs to be. I say that, but feeling it is different. Can I do 30,000 words in one week? Probably. Is that the goal? No. I suppose I’m taking the route of Stephen King and simply aiming for 2000 words a day, which I can do quickly when I’m in the groove.

So that’s it. One week, including the coming weekend, and I will write my heart out, reform my habit of daily writing, and keep it going. If you dream big and truly believe it will come true, then act to realize that dream and make it a goal, I don’t think anything is unrealistic. It’s a lot of pressure, but I do better with pressure. I need a deadline or I just fall off the wagon.

I have two deadlines this month. The 2000 words a day for this week, and then I want to complete my novel by the end of the month for Camp NaNoWriMo going on now. I’m hoping this week can push me all the way to that goal, and then I can just rejoice for the remaining three weeks of Camp NaNoWriMo.

But that’s not how it works, is it? There isn’t breathing room being a writer. Once you finish something like that, the response shouldn’t be exhaustion. I feel like my response at the completion of a project is that I have so many ideas, and I’m thrilled I get to move on and explore them. So, maybe the goal here isn’t to get published (I know there are a lot of differing opinions on that, which I discuss in a different post) but to simply make room for more creativity once I have this story out of me.

I hope you have a great number of stories in you and that you have the room to explore your own creativity.

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