As I reemerge from the brittle burned out shell of the work I was doing last summer, I have become increasingly frustrated that I have not been writing much.
There are many reasons I wasn’t writing consistently before, although it was mostly just raw burn out. Since I have rested enough to recover some of my enthusiasm for creating I’ve found the need to reestablish some of the habits and routines from the before times.
Setting Aside Time
The new normal is a timeless wasteland where the days merge into one undifferentiated stream of anxiety and boredom. Finding the mental energy to create is one thing, but finding a way to set aside time and space for creative work is hard.
I’ve been able to maintain my regular Friday evening creative time, although with the burn out it has not been as writing-focussed as I would usually expect.
I have also had good luck writing in my notebook. I will read a bit of something, then take a break to write half a page or so on the story I am working on.
It’s a start.
I am in the position of being able to perform my day job more or less unimpeded from my home, which is fortunate economically but unfortunate creatively because I still have the same workload and the same demands on my time during the day.
Something that I and many of my colleagues have complained of is the difficulty in demarcating between work and personal time. For me this specifically means I have been missing the transition time, especially the bus ride between home and office. That half hour each way of time when I can do nothing else but write or read or feed my brain in some way was a critical component in completing creative content.
So I’ve been taking the “bus”.
I have a standing desk riser that I do my day job at but if I sit down at my personal desk for 25-30 minutes I can get a lot done before I start the day job. I set a kitchen timer to limit the commute time.
It’s also very helpful in resetting my brain. I don’t have the crashing gears of going from family interaction to day job tasks without a transition; the commute has always helped me get in the right frame of mind to do my job. I’m just making the commute a time of choice rather than necessity.
But with that the “bus” has arrived at the stop (the timer has gone off) so it’s time to take up the day job controls.