December 2 Prompt: Writing
What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
Today's prompt, from the great Leo Babauta, struck a serious chord for me. I consistently avoid writing (on this blog, in my journal, or elsewhere) by telling myself that I can't take time to write until I've completed the other things I "need" to get done first. Laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, schoolwork, walking the dog...the to-do list goes on and on, and it seems to grow especially long and overwhelming during this busy time of year. Writing, and other creative pursuits, become luxury activities that I indulge in only when all "important stuff" has been taken care of.
The paradox is that, when I survey my so-called priorities, I've got it all backwards. The creative moments, the writing, drawing, dreaming up new recipes, dancing, and otherwise romancing my inner muse...that is the "important stuff." Yes, the dishes need to be done. The dog needs to be walked. And God knows my sock drawer could use some organizing. It's a constant challenge, but I'm slowly realizing this: there will always be more stuff to get done. If I waited to write or otherwise create until that mythical moment in time that I've checked off every single item on my to-do list, well...I'll be waiting a long, long time. And at the end of that long time, do you think I'll look back and say, "Gee, I'm sure glad I spent all those hours vacuuming"? No? Me, neither.
When I'm struggling to find the time to write, I try to remind myself that we do have time for what's important to us if only we are willing to get 100% clear about our priorities and then actually prioritize those thing.