Shifting my thinking so that writing comes first has focussed the mind. As a result I’m writing more and naturally weaving the rest of my activities around it. Again I am putting advice into practice and it works. I had a good flow after the last instalment and was tempted to keep going, but became acutely aware of needing to take a break, between creative life and the soul sucking drudgery of the dreaded 9 to 5. Before my working week starts I settle my thoughts and try to prepare for the uncertainty my job brings on an almost a daily basis. When my working week ends I am so jarred by the experience, I have to stop and ‘shake it off’ before tackling anything else. Helping to ‘shake it off’ is the bad angel encouraging me to take my fill of as much highly calorific goodies as I can get into my face, while telling me it is exactly what I need! Totally wrong of course. Writing should be my saviour at this point, diving into characters and paranormal ideas immediately should be the release; but I’m not there yet and suspect there is resistance because I believe negative thoughts will produce bad writing. A reasonable argument, but not necessarily true and surely any writing is better than no writing? Words of wisdom from the good angel.
The next step in this process is a bigger one; living, eating and breathing writing everyday. But for some reason I have been hell bent on keeping a hard line between the job and everything else. Work is treated as nothing more than a temporary means to an end until writing, good fortune or both pay out; but the strain of trying to keep the two worlds apart is intense. This should not be a surprise, because essentially I have been trying to split myself in half which is both ridiculous and impossible. Ironically a colleague shared some thoughts about attaining the elusive work life balance and it revealed not only what I was struggling with, but how to fix it. The exact wording escapes my memory but this is what I took from it. The key to the work life balance is not separation, but inclusion. If writing is who I am, or who I want to be I need to admit it and make it part of every aspect of my life. It makes perfect sense, but is easier said than done. The challenge here is not what to do, but how to do it.