How Much Energy Does Creativity Take?

by Kimberly A. Cook      (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Last Friday’s Quirky Friday video post of hamsters running themselves in circles got me thinking about my writing career. Note the resemblance. While many times we writers feel we are running in circles, part of the time we actually are making screaming car tire donuts in our minds, complete with smoke.

A recent head conversation went this way. “I want to shut down my Facebook account. Just because I am supposed to be on Facebook, doesn’t mean I have to. I prefer Twitter. But I don’t really interact with my Twitterai or Tweeters. Don’t have the time. And who actually reads this anyway?” (Besides Cindy and Janet that is.)

“Between the day job, volunteer activities, writing business, sleep, housework and family obligations, who is in charge of this chaos? Me. Well piffle. How much energy can I afford to spend on social media and networking and blogging if I can’t carve enough time to write?”

If you think this head talk is bad, you should be in my gray matter when my fiction characters take after each other. Yikes. They tend to fight when I am trying to answer questions at a fast food drive through speaker box. Challenging!

Speaking as a former journalist who worked in a busy press room with police and fire scanners going, people yelling at the front counter, flashes from the camera room and the press banging out papers in the back, you’d think chaos would work for me. At the newspaper we were all working as a team toward getting the paper out. One group goal.

As an author/writer/publisher, I am doing all that stuff without staff and a team of other priorities tearing at me for a zillion different goals. While killer discipline is a good thing, it doesn’t really work when the cat needs to be fed and your family has a crisis. We women writers can put everybody else before us until there is no us left. Then we hit a wall and fall over. Do not do that, it leaves marks on your forehead.

My new motto is do more and less. More of what I want to spend my time on and less of what I don’t like. Teeth cleaning and paying taxes are still required, but not everything is a must do. So lower your expectations and save some energy for your creativity.

Sometimes the best way to survive your life and the fast approaching holiday season is to do less or leave altogether; exit stage left like the cartoon character Snagglepuss above. Figure out how to take a writer retreat and do it now. One hour works! The mind you save may be your own. Got comments?


Filed under Writing Muse

3 responses to “How Much Energy Does Creativity Take?

  1. Janet

    This hit a “nerve” with me. While I’m not a writer, I can relate to what you are saying…social media is addictive and draining. I keep telling myself it is to connect with family…however, most of the connection is random crap…no substance! What they ate, bought, watched on TV. Really? How is that connecting in any meaningful way? And then my quest for the “Martha Stewart” home/food/life/relationships? Dude. No wonder I’m suffering from anxiety! Carving out time for me to journal and exercise is my “exit stage left” strategy at the moment!

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