A few days ago, I wrote myself a prescription for November. I wrote it because I need some creative medicine.
For the past few months, I have been running along the edge of an empty tank. My time is spliced between too many things, things that feed my soul and enrich my life, but that require a lot of physical, mental, emotional, and social energy. At the end of the day, I am left with little for myself. My kids get the last fumes, and that’s a wrap. Paul and I hang out, but since we are in the same boat, we are bogged down together.
By nature (and identity), I am a writer and a creator. But life has been so immersive, I have not been able to try new things with my writing. The last extensive project I engaged in was a full revision of my second novel. I finished that project in May, and haven’t written a word of fiction or posted a blog since.
And in the meantime, I grew comfortable. And fearful about sharing my writing.
I still write daily, filling blank pages with thoughts using thin-tipped markers. But I haven’t written anything for anyone outside of myself to see. And the longer I’ve been away, the more apprehensive I feel.
What am I going to write about? I wonder in a low-level writer’s despair. I have a million ideas, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t sit down and risk bringing them to light.
My creative energy is flat, and I’ve been banging my head, feeling a like a fraud teaching leadership when I’m out of balance in my own life.
A week or so ago, I figured it out: I’m hiding in my comfort zone, in the pages of my journal, where my thoughts are safe from judgement or scrutiny. But in the comfort zone, there is no risk, no growth, no innovation, and after a while, stagnation.
I’m a writer, after all. And part of being a writer is letting people read what you write.
So I wrote myself a prescription to push me out of my comfort zone to practice what I preach in class–to bravely and creatively express what is within.