I’m here at the Emirates Literary Festival and one of the things that strikes me about creative people is that they give priority to the their art. What separates us – the aspirants – from those who are published, invited, and touted as authors is the ability to put aside the daily demands of life in order to focus on the business of creating. Many people who want to write refuse to think about it in this way.
“I just write when the muse strikes me,” people often say.
These people seldom produce very much. Everyone from Stephen King to me, the co-editor of several anthologies, has a writing habit — daily writing habit. We sit down and get on with it so that by the end of the week, month, year, we have projects to show for those hours spent in isolation.
I admit that with my job at a start up, my well oiled machine has started to rust under the combination of the endless grind and the reduced number of hours I’m awake – an offshoot of my other job, being a healthy womb for our first child. I do keep up my fifteen minutes of morning pages most days – a habit 14 years in the making – but by the time they are over, the rest of life has crowded in.
Instead of bouncing out of bed to exercise, eat, or even write, I am on email, constantly catching up on work. I acknowledge this as last week being at a book fair and this week being at a festival have knocked my weekly blog entries to one side. But no one receives prizes for emails.
This is what I’m going to remind myself and re-commit to my creativity.
Do you have the same struggles? Any advice on prioritizing?