Once upon a time, a writer summoned her muse to come and assist her as she strived to meet a deadline. But the muse was scared and raised his hands in the air and said in his squeaky voice, “I ain’t coming. I need peace and inspiration to be able to deliver quality work. But my friends Panic and Anxiety will assist you. Good luck, hon– I am off to Paris”.
Yes: when we are dealing with personal issues, we often find ourselves without support or inspiration. Even our muse leaves us alone. It feels like the weight of the world is crushing us, and all we want is just a single peaceful moment to deal with the demands of chaotic life: a breakup, an injury, a rejection, or whatever has put us off balance. But we can’t have that Zen moment, because we have a deadline, a boss breathing down our neck, or maybe just a promise we made to ourselves that we will finish this chapter, script, story, or blog… no matter what.
Then how do we keep that promise to ourselves? How do we stay professional? And how, when we have swollen eyes, do we become our best creative selves?
I ask myself these questions a lot. What’s more important– me the “person” or me the “writer”? The feelings or the task? Emotional health or a pay-cheque?
Well, the answer is everything.
All of these small things, when put together, make a complete life. However, in my opinion, we have to give priority to the person.
As writers and creative individuals, we bring something to life from within…so the pathway to doing so needs to be clear, doesn’t it?
Here is what I prefer to do when personal matters are troubling, but work still needs to be done:
* I give myself time to heal.
If need be, I let myself cry.
I jump to let go of aggression in the body.
I do a silent fast for 18 hours (yes, staying quiet helps to gather your energy).
When nothing else works or when I have less time, I take out my notebook and write
the answers to these questions:
Q) What is the root of the problem?
Q) What can you do to change it?
Q) Describe how you will feel once this problem gets resolved.
The answer to the last question often puts me in a happy and relaxed zone. I know that,
sometimes, we may not even be in the mood to do this exercise. During those times, I
pull out my Inspiration journal, which I purposely fill with stories and quotes to help
me at times like these.
Writers need to be courageous. There will often be times in life when we are required to
prove our mettle and, if we manage to bring ourselves to the desk and write, then our
muse will sit with us again.
Hey, if I continue to write, he’ll have to return sooner than later. Right?