My move is done!! At last, all my old business is concluded and I am fully adrift in a sea of possibilities and uncertainty. Which is largely less glamorous than it sounds, but that’s neither here nor there.
One thing that has changed in the extreme this last week is my ability to write. Not the ability of my fingers to type or even necessarily the ability of my brain to weave together impossible thing, but my ability to find the headspace I need to quiet my thoughts and let the story fill up the forefront so everything else fades away.
Here’s why: I’ve been living back with my family for three days. On Sunday night, we had a family movie night, and then I hung out with the littler girls for awhile, and then crashed because I’d been up finishing the move since five that morning. On Monday, I spent the day filling out job apps and finishing writing-related projects that were not writing, as well as doing reading for a review do very soon. In the evening, I helped with algebra homework, supervised science homework, and had a smores and Lego date with my baby sister. On Tuesday I went and got a haircut, ran some errands, filled out more job applications, spent two hours helping my other sister find and apply for jobs, and spent the evening cutting pieces for baby sister’s collage piece due Thursday, doing CP work, and dodging the puppy, who laid down in a mud pit and then tried to cuddle. Twice. I spent some time with my parents, and then stayed up late finishing review reading.
Which brings us to today. The morning is almost gone, and I’m just getting this blog post put together. I’m also wondering if I’m ever going to sit at a keyboard and make a book again.
I don’t say this to whine. I adore my family, I love being helpful and useful, and I wouldn’t exchange that time with them necessarily. We all make choice about every moment we spend, because each one happens once and never again. I’m not going to look back at the end of my life and wish I’d spent less time loving-as-a-verb my family. But I will still wish I’d written more.
Words are as much a part of me as my skin. That’s just the way it is. I won’t wither and die without spending time writing, but I will be less of who I am, and I don’t want to lose that. Maybe there were moments in the past few days when I could have spent some time writing, but even if the time presented itself, I couldn’t empty my mind. It takes time to settle in, switching off all the questions and thoughts, and slipping into the story. It takes trust in the environment, and comfort in where you are, because for me at least, slipping into story is like being another person, unaware of what’s happening around me or who might need me. And every protective and helpful facet of me panics trying to do that when I might be called or asked something or engaged in conversation at any second.
(case in point – while doing CP reading last night, I was interrupted twice to watch youtube videos, three times by the puppy, once by history homework, and constantly in the background was the sound of the shed being built and the two other dogs fighting. Prime concentration environment, naturally.)
So this week, and probably the rest of the summer, I’ll be working on finding my deep places. The silences inside of me, stronger than the environment around me, that will allow me to create. I’ve never been a believer in can’t, or the muse, or that the environment should control peace, productivity, or anything else. It’s all about my own strength and focus. I’m rusty and out of practice because of three years living alone, but I’m confident I can find it again – that ability to lay everything else aside, and let the words flow.
I’ll probably be posting again as I develop tips and tricks to reach this state, but meanwhile, what do you do in chaotic environments to find your writing? How do you set aside everything else and give in to the story?