In one of my literature classes in college, the professor said something that has always stuck with me.
She said as a writer, you make a choice between living and writing.
You can’t do both. Because the act of writing — when you’re actually physically sitting down and writing — means you’re recording life. You’re not living it.
So writers must always make a choice between living and writing.
Now, I don’t necessarily agree with this, as you could make this argument for a whole host of things that one does in one’s life (and then, if you take it a step deeper and ask just what is the definition of living a life and how often are we actually living it versus just entertaining ourselves or going through the motions or doing tasks we don’t enjoy but are necessary to support a lifestyle, and you can really get yourself tangled up in the choices you make or even wondering what the point of it all is) but nonetheless, as an intellectual exercise, it’s an interesting thought to ponder. Especially with what’s going on currently with me.
On one hand, there’s good news. My retooling of my work habits has definitely put me on the right path. I’m more efficient and have been able to get things done faster.
But there is bad news too. I’ve had some personal challenges come up, which has left me emotionally exhausted and drained.
So, rather than use my new work habits to dig into my writing projects, I’ve used them to give myself time and space to both deal with the challenges and for self care and rest.
It’s not ideal. I would rather be diving into my writing right now rather than be patient and gentle myself.
But then I remember the choice between living and writing. I don’t know if self care and rest is considered living anymore than writing is, but I do know that’s what I need to do right now so I can both live AND write.
And having the time and space to be there for the people in my life who are important to me? No question THAT is definitely considered living. And sometimes that’s exactly the right choice to make.
Until next time.
© Copyright 2014 Michele Pariza Wacek (Michele PW)