Writing is a solitary vocation. We may have family and friends in our life, but we need time for our writing. That said we can’t ignore the important people in our life either. Time is needed to nourish our relationships as well. A balance must be struck.
I have a tendency to solitude. I need it as many introverts do. But I also have a need for connection, to feel as though I belong. Sometimes solitude wins out even if not much of the time alone is spent writing. I have a tendency to procrastinate. I’ll save that for another post.
What’s important to understand is that to develop our art and our relationships takes time. The idea of quality time isn’t valid.
A 20 minute focused writing session may move you along on a project if you do it every day. It may not be enough to make you a master writer. Well, maybe over a life time it would, but you need more time sitting at your computer or writing in your journal to become a master word weaver before you’re 80.
Words on the page are only part of the vocation. It also includes the dream time in between sessions, the reverie in which your ideas rise or begin to take shape. As a writer you may have noticed that you’re not really ever off duty. It becomes a way of life. You’ve heard the phrase pray without ceasing? For the writer the admonition is to create without ceasing. Even if you’re not putting words on a page, your subconscious is ceaselessly creative.
Our relationships take time, too. Intimacy grows in those silent moments together, in those hours of just being. Some of my deepest conversations rose out of the silence of just being with someone. Sometimes what needs to be said rises to the surface just as ideas do during reverie.
These longer stretches of time are reverent. They open us up so we can be filled. We don’t so much make art or relationships work as we give them the space and time to grow. In allowing, everything becomes possible and nothing is taken for granted.
How do you give time to your craft? Please share in the comments.
Learning to Live